The story: The Queen and the Cambion
By: Richard Bowes
Read by Wilson Fowlie
Another beautiful story. I'm getting rather fond of PodCastle. I like it's floating castle logo, the castle drifting through the air or, possibly, space, with its bit of earth trailing roots below it, and the theme music from Shiva In Exile - which is a great name, too, and I like the range of fantasy stories that turn up.
At first I thought I was not going to like this story much. Another Arthurian tale, another historical mix, a what if someone met so-and-so theme. If you want my attention for a story like this, you had better do something special.
Which it does. It's a kind of low key story and it's really about the relationship between Queen Victoria and Merlin. Maybe it's not deep, but it has nice moments: When the young Victoria first meets Merlin, she needs his help. When she is old it is she who has the power to help him.
As a bonus the podcast's M.K. Hobson reads us a quote from T H White in The Once and Future King, the one where Merlin tells Arthur that the cure for sadness is to learn something.
A cambion, by the way, is a human-demon offspring which Merlin, famously, was.