The screen shrieked and went blank. Callie felt herself falling, surfing through space, through an icy blackness that seemed to stretch forever. She knew this, had been through this before. Her plan had succeeded. She was spnining into an unknown, into the last turbulent days of Camelot along with her sister and their friends. This time deadly danger awaited them – but from whom, and from what source? For what purpose had Guinevere summoned her?
Twice before Callie, her sister El and their friends have travelled to Camelot through their father’s virtual reality machine. Each time they have been lucky to return alive and they have sworn not to return. But when Callie hears Gunievere calling her across the ages, she knows she must return, even though she doesn’t understand why she is being called by the woman who has previously tried to destroy her.
Soon the teenagers are back in Camelot and, once again, fighting for their very survival. Callie is charged with rescuing Ana, Guinevere and Lancelot’s child. In doing so she risks losing her friends and their path back to the present day.
The Final Journey is the final installment in the Shalott trilogy from the talented Felicity Pulman. The combination of the Arthurian legend and ultra-modern virtual reality makes it highly appealing to teen readers. Pulman, it seems, is as lost in Arthurian times as her young characters, enabling her to create a believable setting and richly drawn characters. Readers who have come to know Callie in the earlier books will enjoy seeing her face her biggest challenges in this one, in both the real and virtual worlds.
Of course, as with all good series, it is sad to see it end, but the reader will at least feel a sense of completeness with this one.
Shalott: The Final Journey, by Felicity Pulman
Random House, 2003