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  • Writer's pictureJo-Anne Blanco


Lancelot and Guinevere by Herbert James Drape

Orlando has a direct connection with King Arthur in the 16th century Irish romance The Adventures of Melora and Orlando, in which Melora, Arthur’s daughter, falls in love with him. Sir Mador, a Knight of the Round Table who is in love with Melora, persuades the wizard Merlin to get rid of Orlando. Merlin imprisons Orlando within impenetrable spells that only three items can break and which no man born of woman can obtain. The items are the Holy Lance of Longinus that pierced the side of Jesus Christ; a precious stone belonging to Verona, daughter of the King of Narsinga; and oil from the pig of Túis, belonging to the King of Asia. After tricking Mador into revealing what has happened to her beloved Orlando, Melora takes up arms as a knight, disguising herself as the Knight of the Blue Surcoat, and sets off to obtain all three items.

On behalf of the King of Babylon, she defeats the King of Africa, and is rewarded with the Lance of Longinus and a servant named Levander. Melora and Levander are then taken captive by the King of Asia, but are helped to escape by a guard named Uranus, who also procures for them the oil of the pig of Túis. Finally, Melora and Levander disguise themselves as minstrels from King Arthur’s court, and use the King of Narsinga’s fascination with Arthur to lure him and Princess Verona onto their ship. But when Melora reveals the truth to the King, he gives her the precious stone freely to use as she will. Upon her return, Melora uses the Holy Lance to strike down a great rock in her path, the precious stone to dispel the darkness from the pit in which Orlando is imprisoned, and the pig’s oil to restore him to strength. Merlin and Mador are banished, and Melora and Orlando are happily wed, as are Levander and Verona, who have fallen in love.

Meet Arthur and Merlin in my Fata Morgana Series.

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