________________ CM . . . . Volume XXII Number 24. . . .February 26, 2016


The Cave Beneath the Sea. (The Shards of Excalibur; Book 4).

Edward Willett.
Regina, SK: Coteau Books, 2015.
213 pp., trade pbk., pdf, epub & mobi, $14.95 (pbk.).
ISBN 978-1-55050-639-6 (pbk.), ISBN 978-1-55050-646-4 (pdf), ISBN 978-1-55050-871-0 (epub), ISBN 978-1-55050-878-9 (mobi).

Grades 6-12 / Ages 11-17.

Review by Ronald Hore.

*** /4


She could get to Wally from Maple Creek, thirty kilometres away, courtesy of any tap in any bathroom or kitchen. But she couldn’t bring him back there. She could only materialize them in a body of water deep enough to submerge them, and while Maple Creek had a swimming pool, it was an outdoor pool, snow drifted and forlorn this time of year. Elkwater, the other relatively nearby settlement, had a resort hotel with a pool; but it was a salt water pool, useless to Ariane.

That meant the only place they could reliably return to after each of Wally’s jaunts in search of internet access was Medicine Hat, more than an hour’s drive from Barringer Farm in good weather. And the way this storm was shaping up…

Ariane grabbed the backpack she always kept handy, the one that held her bathing suit, a towel, a change of clothes, a waterproof flashlight and a knife. She already wore the first shard of Excalibur strapped to her side beneath a tensor bandage: she only took it off when she was showering or sleeping. She grabbed her coat from the foot of the big four poster bed and hurried out into the upstairs hall.


The Cave Beneath the Sea is the fourth volume in the “Shards of Excalibur” series. The story is told from the point of view of the two heroes, Ariane, a teenage girl anointed by The Lady of the Lake with the power to control water, and Wally, a teenage boy and a descendent of King Arthur. Wally is discovering he has some of the powers of his ancestor.

     The villain is an industrialist, Rex Major, once known as the wizard Merlin, and readers occasionally experience things from his point of view as well. Rex wants to find all of the pieces of the magic sword Excalibur. The completed sword would allow him to control our world and ultimately invade the land of Fairie. The Lady of the Lake is opposed to him. The author has created interesting characters as the villain and the heroes all have occasional uncertainties about their actions.

     Ariane and Wally have joined forces and are seeking both the next piece of the sword puzzle and Ariane’s missing mother. They are being hidden from Rex and his minions by Ariane’s Aunt Phyllis. The search takes them to a remote island in the Caribbean Sea and a cave open to the sea. There, they have a confrontation with Rex Major who controls Wally’s sister, Felicia. Felicia happens to hate Ariane, and she is also a descendent of Arthur with powers of her own. The teens Ariane and Wally are now of an age where their feelings for each other are becoming obvious. By the end of the tale, the teenagers have two shards of Excalibur, but so does Rex, with one piece still remaining to be found.

     The Cave Beneath the Sea will appeal to young readers in search of adventure as well as adults who enjoy another version of the timeless story of King Arthur. Wally’s last name just happens to be Knight.


Ronald Hore, involved with writers’ groups for several years, dabbles in writing fantasy and science fiction in Winnipeg, MB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.

CM Home | Next Review | (Table of Contents for This Issue - February 26, 2016.) | Back Issues | Search | CM Archive | Profiles Archive

Updated: October 17, 2014 (hsd)