Ursus, a seventeen-year-old Roman slave, has no idea why he was born entirely covered in fur, or why he can’t stop himself from turning into a bear when he’s upset. Since he was born in a mythical place called Britain, he’s not so sure he wants to know, either.
Ursus has struggled for years to hide his bear problem, terrified he’ll end up in the gladiator’s ring. He’s a secretary, not a fighter. But bad as Rome is, Britain sounds worse: a land of flying serpents, boars as big as horses, and grimy, illiterate natives. When Ursus follows his master on military campaign and ends up shipwrecked on a British beach, all he wants is to find his way back to civilization.
That’s before he falls in with a group of British rebels resisting the Roman occupation and is forced to reconsider his loyalties. Still not sure which side he’s on, he is drawn into a quest for a legendary hero who alone has the power to drive the Romans from the island: the lost heir of the long-dead king Perceforest. Joining him are the cross-dressing bard Sorrow and the unsettlingly perfect knight Gallafur. Now Ursus has three problems, each one worse than the last. He’s in love with Sorrow, but she thinks he’s a monster. Roman raiders led by his former master are out to kill him and his companions. And he’s beginning to suspect he knows who the heir is – but revealing her secret will only put her in more danger.
The Lost Heirs of Perceforest is a historical fantasy based on parts of the medieval romance Perceforest. It has links to both the classical stories of Troy and the Celtic legends of King Arthur.