Review of ‘Spear’

Spear gives the story of Camelot a new breath of life with beautiful storytelling exploring gender identity and sexuality.

Delving into the Arthurian mythos, Griffith follows Peretur through their journey in search of identity, putting together a wonderful and magical tale.


Nicola Griffith

I have to say, I was not expecting a long narrative to drive the story forward. But don’t get me wrong, that in no way impacted the way I ultimately thought of the story.

What I mean to say is that this is very much a novella. There are section breaks but no chapter breaks. The story continues and moves at a brilliant, almost ethereal, pace. The best word to describe it is magical.

Griffith has decided to reinvent the tale of King Arthurs Knight Peretur, also known as Percival. Peretur is a woman who dreams of a lake, of adventure. So, taking her simple hunting spear and stolen armor, she embarks on her journey to Camelot.

It is not a fast-paced story but a slow, steady, and thoughtful one. Peretur sees the world through innocence, remarking on the beauty of everything around them. And coupled with the Gaelic used throughout the story, these elements make the narrative so ethereal.

And the story it follows builds up Peretur’s character’s strength. This is a woman who wants and dreams of being a knight of the round table. Haunted by visions of a lake, she makes her dream a reality. She explores her sexuality, and by switching the gender of the character, Griffith can delve into the exploration of identity and sexuality.

This is an LGBTQ+ story with lesbian representation and exploring the polyamorous relationship between Lancelot, Arthur, and Guinevere. There is beauty in the relationships in how Griffith presents them to the reader, which makes the story engaging.

Final Thoughts

Coupled with the illustrations throughout the story, Griffith builds an excellent narrative within Spear, giving readers a thoughtful and compelling read.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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