For Ages
8 to 12

For fans of The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom comes an offbeat, comedic spin on the Holy Grail legend as told by the lovable Nosewise--talking dog and wizard-in-training!

The magical realm of Avalon has gone to the dogs--well, one dog. Nosewise, the hilarious talking pup and wizard-in-training, can wield powers untold...but he has yet to master the powerful sword Excalibur. This dog still has some new tricks to learn.

But Lord Oberon's evil worms threaten to eat all magic in existence. Nosewise and his pack, the street urchin Arthur, the sorceress Morgana, and his beloved master Merlin, must find the Holy Grail, the one item that can save them all. The only problem: the goblet is hidden in the legendary castle of Camelot--which has been missing for centuries! Worse, Queen Mab, sovereign of dreams, is planning havoc of her own. As naps turn to nightmares, Nosewise will have to rely on his smarts and his snout, or the dog days will be over!

Popular author Eric Kahn Gale returns with a fast-paced fantasy adventure that stands out from the pack!

An Excerpt fromThe Wizard's Dog Fetches the Grail

He told me not to speak. Most dogs would find that an easy command to follow. But I’m not like most dogs. I’m a wizard’s dog.


Still, Merlin was my master, and as my pack shivered together in the rain outside the tavern door, I closed my mouth and wagged my tail in assent.


“Thank you, Nosewise,” Merlin said, pushing a wet strand of hair from his brow. Water pooled in the brim of his hat and streamed down his long white beard into his robes. He glanced at Arthur and Morgana. “And you two. Are we clear on what to share and what to hide?”


“We are,” said my girl, Morgana, covering her eyes to keep them from the rain. She shivered in her tunic and elbowed Arthur in the ribs.


“Me too,” said Arthur, my boy, patting the cloth pack bound tightly against his back. “I can keep a secret.”


“Right, then. Let’s not make a scene,” Merlin said, and pushed open the heavy tavern door.


Warm yellow light filled the hall, and the air was scented with mead and meat. I felt my fur dry in the toasty air and my mouth water from the delectable smells. I turned to Morgana to say how nice it seemed, but then I remembered: Don’t speak.


“Is this the best place to keep a secret?” she whispered to Merlin as the four of us shuffled into the tavern. The place was packed with rowdy guests eating and drinking their fill. Some warmed their damp feet by the fire, and others laughed uproariously over cards.


“It’s the only tavern around,” Merlin said. “Perhaps we’ll go unnoticed here.”


“Arthur? Nosewise? You’re alive!” A young girl’s voice spun us all around. She dropped her tray of foamy mugs and spilled the suds across the tavern floor, turning half a dozen heads.


“So much for unnoticed,” Morgana murmured.


“G-G-Guinevere,” Arthur croaked. His face went flush and he stumbled back a step. Guinevere, the tavern keeper’s daughter, a willowy girl with short brown hair, always had that effect on him. Though I could never work out why. I jumped up against her chest and licked her face. I hadn’t seen her in months.


“Nosewise!” She laughed and pushed me away. “But how? You survived the storm? And the soldiers! They came back with wild tales! Father, look who it is!” she shouted to the burly man behind the bar.


“The boy and dog! You survived it!” Leodegrance was Guinevere’s father and the owner of this tavern. He waved off a customer vying for his attention and stomped over to us. “I can’t believe it!”


“This was a mistake, coming here.” Morgana tugged on Merlin’s robe and whispered in his ear, “We should go.”


“I know you, too,” Guinevere said, pointing at Morgana. “You were with the soldiers. And you’re the old man Arthur was trying to find.”


Merlin smiled wide and threw up his hands. “No, no. I’m afraid I don’t know what you’re talking about. We’re simple travelers just looking to buy supplies and be on our way. We don’t even need accommodation for the night.” Merlin patted Leodegrance on the chest. “If we could just purchase some bread and cheese, we’ll be out the door.” He dropped a heavy handful of gold coins on the table. Leodegrance and Guinevere ignored him.


“Tell me, Arthur?” Guinevere said, probing him with her eyes. “Something happened on Avalon.”


Arthur’s lip quivered. His face went flush.


My ears perked, and I noticed that some of the other patrons near the bar were listening in. Come on, Arthur, I thought. Don’t mess this up.


“Tell me,” Guinevere said, drawing even nearer to his face. “I worried about you.” She tenderly placed her hands on his shoulders, and Arthur spasmed at her touch. His arms flailed and his legs kicked at the floor and his whole body tumbled backward over the stool. Morgana gasped. Merlin reached out to catch him, but he was too late. Arthur crashed into the ale-soaked floorboards, and his cloth pack ripped in two.


The glimmering gold-and-silver blade of Excalibur cut through the fabric, and the sound caught the ears of every patron in the bar.


The sword slid away from Arthur and spun in the pools of ale, glimmering bright and lighting up the tavern with golden beams. Every eye beheld its light.


“That’s . . . that’s . . .” Guinevere trembled in awe and struggled to speak.


“The sword” was all Leodegrance could say. “The sword. The sword!”


“It’s the sword!” someone cried.


“Excalibur!” shouted another.


“No, no, it isn’t!” Arthur said, scrambling across the floorboards. “It’s nothing.” He grabbed Excalibur by the hilt and hastily tried to shove it back into his torn sack. But when he thrust it into the bag, the razor-sharp blade sliced the cloth to ribbons, which fell around him like streamers. He was left holding the sword upright, down on one knee, in the most heroic pose I’d ever seen.


“Arthur, you did pull the sword from the stone,” Guinevere said in almost a whisper. Her words swept across the silent tavern. No one spoke. Not Merlin nor Morgana. Least of all me, even though I was dying to. I was the one who’d really pulled the sword from the stone.


“Might I offer an explanation?” Merlin said. But his words were lost. The entire tavern rushed Arthur.


“He is our king!” Leodegrance cried, lifting Arthur up on his shoulders.


“King Arthur! King Arthur!” the awed patrons chanted. They ran up to the bar, completely ignoring Merlin, Morgana, and me. I had to leap and slither between their wet boots or else be crushed by their enthusiasm.


“That’s what the soldiers feared,” Leodegrance said, reverently placing Arthur on top of the bar. “Our king has been found. After these long years of chaos, a true king has returned to his people. Arthur!”

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