Del Rey, August 2004, 13.95, 337 pp.
After his knee shattered in the Korean War, Lance Porter goes to San Francisco to recover from his wounds. While in the hospital, he receives a letter from his girlfriend Ellie who tells him to wait for her to come to him because she has something important to tell him. Thinking that she is coming west because she has become a communist, he explores the Bay Area looking to see if there really are communists in Berkley where Ellie will be staying.
He meets Jack a gay poet who seems to believe that Lance is the Fisher King, the man destined to find the Holy Grail, the missing piece of the Ark of the Covenant. He learns from Jack that his twin brother Dewy, who disappeared when he was twelve years old, resides in a small Canadian town. He travels to see Dewy, who tells him that he was chosen by their father to carry out the family heritage but is abdicating in favor of Lance since death surround those who have the Holy Grail. Lance and Elle search for the Holy Grail and evade the people who are searching for it, intent on having it or kill his enemies in a holy war.
Readers who want something different in their fantasy reading will enjoy ONE KING, ONE SOLDIER. It is cutting edge urban fantasy and the protagonist must discover the truth about himself and his family if he is to fulfill his quest. This is a different archetype on the Arthurian legend, one that is keeping with modern day society. Alexander C. Irvine has written a fantastic work of speculative fiction that will change the way readers think of urban fantasy.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner