Grade 5-8–During a feast to celebrate the beginning of the Grail Quest, Arthur, the knights, and every other adult in Camelot fall under a sleeping spell, and Merlin is nowhere to be found. Three teenagers don't know what to do, so Gerard, the oldest and best-trained squire, decides that he must locate the magician. He is joined on the road by Newt, a stable boy, and Ailis, a maid. They follow a map stolen from Arthur's study, which leads them to a house of ice in which Nimue has imprisoned Merlin as a prank. He charges them with finding three talismans that will release the spell on Camelot and gives them only seven days in which to complete the task. Along the way they must figure out what the talismans are, battle monsters and dragons, and win the ultimate battle against Morgain, who cast the evil spell. The episodic story is largely plot driven, following the standard quest formula. The squire proves himself worthy, the stable boy is a little less rough around the edges, and the maid shows that she's just as smart and tough as the boys. The characters, though fairly one-dimensional, are likable, and readers will be engaged in their struggles. At first readers may be surprised at the contemporary tone of the characters' language and speech patterns, but it does make them seem more real.