The New Parcival
by Beate Sigriddaughter

Lulu Press, 2007. ISBN 978-1-4303-2483-6.
Reviewed by Lee Ambrose
Posted on 03/26/2008

Fiction: Paranormal/Science Fiction/Fantasy

The New Parcival begs readers to face time, place, and gender issues. The themes are ancient yet timely, unique yet familiar. Sigiddaughter has crafted a parable of sorts, grounded in the tales of knights heading off to war while the women stay behind and are basically invisible. But she quickly transports readers to the present day with discussions about weapons of mass destruction.

The able guide through Sigiddaughter's tale is Spirit Rose, whose wise, worldly observations command the readers' attention as she addresses peace, war, King Arthur, Germany, Baghdad, God, Lucifer, rape, and ETDs (emotionally transmitted diseases).

Spirit Rose proposes to her sister spirits, Fox and Blue, "...we should disguise the new knight well this time... Let's hide the knight in a woman's body... That way nobody will recognize her at first and a great deal can get accomplished before anybody realizes what's going on." Thus Lucy, the new Parcival, becomes a contemporary female counterpart to the Spirits Rose, Fox, and Blue.

This is not light reading. The many characters and contrasting stories weave a complex set of thought-provoking questions, most of which are left for the reader to answer for herself. It is, however, a very interesting and unusual approach to telling the story of 'everywoman.'

Beate Sigriddaughter lives in Denver, Colorado, and Vancouver, British Columbia. She grew up in Germany and has also lived in Ireland and Lesotho. She is the fiction editor for Moondance (a woman's literary ezine) and has had her poetry and fiction published in many literary magazines and on several ezines. To encourage authentic female literary voices, she established the Glass Woman Prize, which is awarded bi-annually.

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