Review: The Pendragon Protocol

Whenever I have a spare half hour, I like to scour the bookshelves of various sites on the lookout for something a little bit different. I read a great deal. So, anything that comes across as unconventional is always welcome.

Baring that in mind, take a little look at the blurb for, The Pendragon Protocol, by Phillip Purser-Hallard, and you’ll understand why I was rather pleased.


The Circle are the modern-day successors of the Knights of the Round Table. Armed with the latest military hardware and operating from a hidden fortress on the South Bank, they protect 21st-century Britain from certain very specific threats – criminals who, like the Circle’s own Knights, have characters from Arthurian legend living inside their heads. Jory Taylor, the Knight bearing the device of Sir Gawain, has grappled on the Circle’s behalf with mercenaries, serial killers, and far-right terrorist cells. However, when he is captured by Gawain’s traditional enemy the Green Knight, he discovers a new side to the myths he lives by – one which, as he learns more about this clandestine world, becomes both threateningly personal and terrifyingly political. The legends of King Arthur are not the only stories with influence on the British psyche – and some of the others have their own, very different agendas. A smart, contemporary political thriller and a new kind of urban fantasy, The Pendragon Protocol is the first volume in The Devices Trilogy.


Now, I don’t know about you, but that blurb ticked all the right boxes. Everyone knows about King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. Purser-Hallard has taken those legends, added emphasis to the mythos that the one true king of the Britons would one day return, and pulled it forward through the mists of time, and into a modern-day, urban fantasy setting.

How about that for a quirky twist?

And it gets better. He builds on the principles found in ‘manifestation’ – that focused belief gives certain concepts, certain totems or ideas, the power to actually materialize in reality – and blends it into the fable of King Arthur and his knights in a very skillful way. This isn’t a case of a bunch of guys and girls getting ‘zapped’ by the radiation emitted by a mystical crystal, or drinking a magical elixir that grants them supernatural abilities. Oh no. Purser-Hallard makes his story much more believable, by concentrating on the psychosomatic aspect of manifestation; the way the subconscious mind perceives things – and can use them as a focus/mantra – to draw out certain talents in a physical way. (Think of athletes before they run, jump, lift, or throw things you and I can only marvel at). And then weave that into a fantasy setting. In this case, the skills and characteristics attributed to specific Knights of the Round Table.

It’s a great approach, especially as the storyline gains credibility from its unusual ‘narrator’ style delivery. Put it all together, and it works. The exploits and events portrayed within the book are as down-to-earth as they are relatable. You form an instant connection to the main character and those around him that helps to involve you in what’s going on from the outset. Add to that the twists and turns of a gritty espionage-thriller and you get a great action adventure that’s bound to please.

The Pendragon Protocol. The first book in the Devices Trilogy. A series I’d highly recommend, and one I’ll delve into a little more as time goes by.


Amazon US:


Amazon UK:

Source: Auto Draft

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