Corbenic's valley lay hidden, in a corner of Lystenoys close by the sea, and it was not wholly by chance that any man found his way there, including Launcelot.

It was spring when he came; the hills of the valley were verdant, the gorse yellow all about, and the evening mists fragrant.  She was not looking for love that day…

She was Elaine, daughter of the fisher king and of the lineage of the grail keepers, and the mystery of the grail, the sacred cup that lay within Corbenic's walls, was in her very blood. Nothing else could find space in her heart. Until Launcelot came.

So begins the story of Elaine of Corbenic, the daughter of the Fisher King who bears Launcelot’s son, Galahad. The novel begins with Elaine as young grail bearer, deeply drawn by the grail's mystery—and utterly impervious to the young knights of her father's court.

Encountering a kind stranger by the forest stream one day, however, strange new feelings stir within Elaine.  Soon afterwards Launcelot comes to her father's hall. Elaine recognizes him as the one she’d met by the stream and falls deeply in love with him. Launcelot's devotion is to the Queen Guinevere but he is not untouched by the simple beauty of the princess. Sent to rendezvous with the queen through a deception arranged by the king, Launcelot instead finds Elaine.

Based on Malory's account in La Morte d’Arthur of the three brief encounters of Launcelot and Elaine, ELAINE OF CORBENIC is the chronicle of their poignant romance—and of Elaine’s journey through abandonment and darkness to the finding of inner strength and deepening wisdom. Offering the poetry of medieval legend, the story speaks to contemporary themes of love, betrayal, abandonment, and the quest for meaning.

ELAINE OF CORBENIC is an approach to the grail legend that reflects an evolving relationship to the mystery of the grail embodied in life itself.  In the heart of the heroic Arthurian legend, it offers a deeply feminine spirituality, threading through the pain and joys of a young girl’s heart, a single mother’s hopes and broken dreams, and a fierce determination to find the grail's meaning.

Tima Z. Newman