Ibbotson was born in in Vienna, Austria. Of all the different renditions of the Arthurian legends, I like White's rendering of Lancelot the best. His past comes back to haunt him as his bastard son, Mordred, comes to Camelot and stirs up all kinds of trouble. The black knight reveals himself as King Arthur.
The quest for the Holy Grail is an attempt to bring a spiritual aspect to the court that had until then found its success only through war and bloodshed.
He fends off challenges from Lot and from outsiders; he tries to keep his Round Table intact in the face of a serious challenge from Mordred and the sons of Orkney; he tries to keep h is kingdom intact by fighting for his very life against Mordred and his growing number of allies.
White, however, adds humor to the story, giving his novel versatility. It also evokes the five senses, so that the reader can imagine and feel what the character is experiencing at every moment The tone shifts from intensity to anger as White displays a theme of how to treat a lover.
He approaches the girl, breaks her enchantment, and is greeted as a hero.