One of the New Classics

As modern people, we have a strong attachment to the medieval period of Western history. There is nothing more popular in literature than the Arthurian legend and it has been revisited and re-imagined countless times. The time of King Arthur belongs to the deep Dark Ages about which practically nothing was recorded and since we know practically nothing about it, we can re-imagine anyway that we like, as a time of low brutality or a short age of dazzling adventure and chivalry or a combination of both, as we prefer. However they are imagined, Arthur and Guinevere and Lancelot are as real to us as any people in history.

But what would a modern medieval adventure look like? In our continuing interest in the medieval period there are countless fairs and reenactments every year. There are even societies that mimic the feudal structure of authority. I recall a movie in which knights in armor rode motorcycles in an adventure set in the present time. I’m sure that wasn’t the only example of a modern medieval adventure. Other stories employ time machines to transport characters from the present into the past.

But how about a story wherein modern people recreate the past by doing away with the link to the present era of the machines and technology, a story about a time of adventure in an isolated river valley in the Canadian wilderness where a kingdom has been created that takes nothing from the present era. For that story you can dip into Gahan Hanmer’s The Kingdom on the Edge of Reality. Modern medieval adventure, romance, and humorous satire of the human condition with some timely and thought provoking questions about what we need and what we don’t need to achieve happiness in this world, this unusual novel promises to be one of the new classics.