A Kentucky Colonel in King Arthur's Court and The Swamp Maiden of Venus

A Kentucky Colonel in King Arthur's Court and The Swamp Maiden of Venus.
Bloomington, IN: Authorhouse, 2006.

A botched alchemical experiment tosses Hal Morgan—the scion of a wealthy Louisville family and perhaps a relative of Twain’s Hank Morgan--into a whacky dimension, where the characters of Arthurian legend indeed exist! Hal soon finds himself involved upon a dangerous quest to save Arthur’s court from the plotting of a mysterious black knight. Joined by a sprightly female warrior and a whimsical thief, Hal must confront a mangy werewolf, talking salmon, an exceedingly amorous Morgan Le Fay, belligerent giants, man-eating witches, a libidinous troll princess, walking eyes, a kelpie, and a dangerous magical forest before he can unmask and defeat Arthur’s adversary. At times humorous, at times satirical, A Kentucky Colonel in King Arthur’s Court is a fast-paced adventure in the style of that grand old fantasy magazine Unknown Worlds. Also included is The Swamp Maiden of Venus, a bittersweet tale of youthful romance and a boy’s addiction to fantasy.  
5.0 out of 5 stars ENTER A WORLD OF CHIVALRY AND HIGH ADVENTURE May 26, 2010
Hurled through space and time by a charlatan's surprisingly effacious magic, Kentuckian Hal Morgan finds himself in the middle of Logres, the realm of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table itself. Surrounded by walking, talking legends in a world where magic really works and ogres and werewolves stalk the night, Hal must struggle to orient himself as he is swept up in a conspiracy to overthrow Arthur led by the mysterious Black Knight. But will Hal's 20th-century tricks--and his handy pistol--be enough to see him through to his quest's bitter end? Will he ever make it back to his own world? And with the fair Glorinda, a beautiful female knight, at his side, will he even want to?

Though inspired in large measure by Mark Twain's classic novel A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, author Kenneth Tucker takes Twain's concept and creates a charming, engrossing story all his own. Whereas Twain turned a rather bitter, even disdainful eye upon the medieval world in general and the legend of King Arthur in particular, Tucker clearly loves the world of fantasy from which those tales are sprung, and the difference in tone creates an entirely different sort of tale. Great as Twain's book is, Tucker's is decidedly more fun, and if the author is not afraid to satirize the millieu in which his story is set he nonetheless never loses touch with the wonder and majesty of that world, either. The net result is a tremendously entertaining novel that jumps breathlessly from one well-crafted scene to the next, leading to a satisfying but bittersweet conclusion.

As a bonus, Tucker's book includes an equally enchanting short story entitled The Swamp Maiden of Venus. A tale of innocence briefly held and lost, and of the power of fantasy and imagination, it is a powerful coda to the longer novel that has gone before. Together these tales are a perfect literary treasure trove for any fan of myth or legend.