Steve McEvoy Review of The Excalibur Mystery

A review of The Excalibur Mystery by Donal Anthony Foley, from Steve McEvoy at Book Reviews and More:

I am very thankful this long teased third volume in this series has finally been released. The books are now with a new publisher, and the first two volumes have been rebranded and reprinted. I reread books one and two before reading this one.

I have read a several of Donal Anthony Foley’s nonfiction works and have loved them all. Both books he has written and books he has edited. This was the third of his fictional works I have read, and it is an excellent story. It is an awesome story, in a classic style and genre.

The description of this book states:

“Matt Bergen and his cousins, Luke and Annie, learn more about the Abbey at Glastonbury, King Arthur and his legendary sword. Soon they find themselves in a battle with evil accomplices fascinated by the sword, who want it for the occult power it will give them.”

It is another story packed with action, danger, risk, and figuring out your faith.

This one adds in another cousin. And brings back a previous villain. I would say this book is written with the teen or young adult audience in mind. And yet also state that because of how compelling the writing is readers of any age will fall in love with the characters, and be captivated by the story. This is one of those books that friends and family will get tired of hearing about. It is a story I will be talking about for months and recommending for years to come.

This story ties together a lot of elements that are important to our family. My son and I are big fans of Richard III, for both of us the fascination started with Colm Feore’s playing the role at the Stratford Festival in Canada. For myself in 1988 and for my son in 2023. So, when the cousins go back in time to just prior to the battle of Bosworth. But there is also mention of Saint David of Wales and St Patrick of Ireland, both of which are favourites in our family. There is also speculation about what the world would look like of Richard had won.

“In fact, the Catholic Reformation wasn’t simply a reaction against the rise of Protestantism, even though the Protestant Reformation had the effect of greatly stimulating the Catholic reform. Rather it was really another example of the type of work of spiritual reform undertaken by men such as St Bernard in the twelfth, and St Francis and St Dominic in the thirteenth centuries.”

“But all that didn’t happen, and the Reformation was a real turning point, and not just for this country, but for the whole world. This was because England was destined to have such a huge influence on how America developed. If England had remained Catholic then North America would have been entirely Catholic. And that would have meant a completely Catholic ‘New World’. And that’s probably what God intended, given that Our Lady appeared in Mexico at Guadalupe in 1531, as the Reformation was unfolding.”

This thought has got me wondering about an Alternate History where this has happened. And finally, the links to Arthur and legends around him and Joseph or Arimathea are masterfully executed. So much history was brought into this story.

If you have read and enjoyed books like Narnia, The Chime Travelers, and the lesser know Mr. Baker’s Book Series will love this book. But geared for older readers than the last two. If you appreciate historical fiction with a twist. This is one for you. If you just love a very well written story, give this one a try. It was masterfully executed. This is another amazing story in an excellent series.

My only regret is that there are not currently eBook editions available of the series, I have a dual form of dyslexia and greatly prefer eBooks so I can change the font, and colour of font and page. My Son has eye tracking issues and prefers eBooks as well. Foley has written a great story and series in the time and space travel genre. In it we follow 4 youth being transported back to England during the end of Richard the III’s reign from the Tor in Glaston.

It is a great adventure story about friendship, family and faith. But be warned it will leave you desperate for the next volume. I can easily recommend this book and this series. A great read!

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