The Fifth Knight is an engaging Arthurian fantasy with a reverse harem twist. In this story, Fiona is blackmailed into stealing Excalibur, and in the process of trying to do so meets Arthur, Lancelot, Gawain, and Percival. She develops feelings for them immediately while still being a strong warrior.
I have read reviews from others, even one person calling Fiona a Mary Sue. I would disagree on this point. A Mary Sue is a perfect person who can do no wrong and who everyone love immediately. It would be Mary Sue-ish if she could wield Excalibur better than Arthur could, but she doesn’t. Her battle skills are great, including besting Gawain. While that would be impossible for a normal human woman, it Fiona has fae blood, something that has long been secret from herself.
The story moves quickly, but it’s a fun read. This also means the infatuation plot moves just as quickly. I’m not a fan of insta-love, but this is mostly not portrayed as love but attraction that might turn into love with the right nurturing.
For those readers who are new to reverse harem stories, this might seem implausible and outlandish. Those readers might not enjoy this story. If you’re willing to try, then this promises to be interesting on that front. If you’re not interested in any of the love aspects of the story, the adventure is still great, and I wonder how it will unfold over the series.
I did listen to this as an audiobook, and the two narrators are very skilled. My only complaints are mild and have to do with the male narrator. He sounds much older than the age of the characters he’s narrating. (Arthur here is 23.) He also pronounced Zephyr in an odd way. Had I not already heard it in context earlier in the story from the female narrator, I might have missed it entirely.
In the end, a fun book. Give it a shot!
Disclaimer: I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.