In a magical Arthurian world, knights and ladies fall in and out of love, in this enchanting collection based on the popular carol, the 12 Days of Christmas.
"On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me: twelve lords a-leaping, eleven ladies dancing, ten drummers drumming..."
Set in the magical world of medieval romance—home to as many noble knights as there are tales—this enchanting collection of stories takes the verses of the familiar holiday carol and transforms each one into a tale of fantasy, adventure and love.
Twelve handsome knights are imprisoned by a lady, and eleven ugly ladies are set free by a knight. Brothers are destroyed by love, and love is endangered by brothers. This clever anthology explores love in its many facets and from many different viewpoints; from the young maid-in-waiting who thinks she can secure a knight's love with magical embroidery, to the two devoted lovers fleeing destiny as doves, to the angry husband who becomes embroiled in a never-ending game of chess.
First love, lost love, revelations and misunderstandings, fiery passion and affection grown cold: all can be found here in a kaleidoscope of intertwining narratives, and a story for every season.
A ship was sailing towards him. Its pure white sails were made of silk, and its ropes glinted as if spun with silver. At its prow was the figure of an ivory woman, exquisitely beautiful, with two whole sapphires for her eyes.
A noble knight in those times never refused an adventure; filled with wonder, Girflet climbed aboard. There was no one on the deck, which shone as if no foot had ever trod there. Girflet could hear nothing but the gentle lapping of the water and a slight creak of timbers. Going below, he was amazed to find a bed, laid with the most expensive covers, all in various hues of white, cream and ivory, with white lace curtains hanging from the posts. The top coverlet was embroidered all over with delicate cobwebs and snowflakes of the finest silver thread. Girflet was afraid to stay there, lest the blood from his wound should spoil the bed’s perfect whiteness, but, against his will, a great weariness overcame him and he dropped down, laying his head upon the lacy pillow.
When he woke, he found the ship had carried him to a place he had never seen before. Great willow trees bent down to embrace the water on each side, and the prow of the ship cut a path through hundreds of white lilies. By the bank of the river stood a palace, the like of which Girflet had scarcely imagined in his dreams. Its walls were made of the purest, smoothest marble and seemed to shine in the rays of the sun. Many tall turrets pointed to the heavens, and the breeze caught banners embroidered with the same cobweb and snowflake emblems that had covered him while he slept. He rubbed his eyes, but the palace remained.