The Plot

(Critical Survey of Science Fiction and Fantasy)

Arthur Blessing, a ten-year-old New Yorker, finds a magical cup once possessed by Christ, at the Last Supper, and by the evil Arab Saladin. The cups history is told by the centuries-old Saladin, who used the cup, often referred to as the Holy Grail, as a means of gaining eternal life. Saladin had lost this vessel three times. Saladin retrieved the cup the first time when he was told the story of Christ drinking from it at the Last Supper. The second loss occurred in the Middle Ages, when the cup fell into the possession of the wizard Merlin, who wanted to give it to his beloved King Arthur. Saladin loses the vessel the third time following the rebirth of King Arthur as Arthur Blessing. Arthur finds the cup after it rolls into sight. Although the cup can only do good, healing the sick and wounded, Arthur twice refuses to keep it, because it tempts men to kill for it.

Once Arthur possesses the cup, his troubles begin. Saladin and his followers attempt to retrieve it by breaking into the apartment where Arthur lives. Arthur is in another apartment, showing his new find to Mr. Goldberg, who is really Merlin in disguise.

Merlin also appears to former FBI agent Hal Woczniak, who actually is a reincarnation of Sir Galahad, a Knight of the Round Table. Hal is plagued by guilt and nightmares because he could not save a red-haired boy from a maniac. As a consequence of this guilt, Hal has become an unemployed alcoholic. Merlin, masquerading as Mr....

(The entire section is 555 words.)