THE CHIEFS OF AVALON
It’s a new take on an old myth. In 1942, a small group of retired U.S. Navy chief petty officers have all settled in Honolulu, a place they call Avalon. The chiefs learn that one of their own—Arthur—has created a team-building exercise for the upcoming chief selectees of 1943. A chalice, used at the celebration of the newly created rank of chief in 1893, is hidden somewhere in the Islands. The idyllic lives of the chiefs are radically altered in the aftermath of the attack on Pearl Harbor. In failing health, Arthur requests to see the chalice one last time. To grant their friend’s final wish, the chiefs embark on the quest themselves. These ventures take them from the depths of Kealakekua Bay to the summit of Mauna Kea.
Unbeknown to these retired military personnel, their seven adventures mirror the seven corporal works of mercy, the medieval concept of practicing specific virtues in order to combat the seven deadly sins. Their adventures force them to learn the lessons of chastity, patience, temperance, charity, humility, diligence, and kindness. The novel depicts four male protagonists, a vain and glory-seeking antagonist, and a series of adventures throughout the Hawaiian Islands that all build to an unforeseen climax.
The Chiefs of Avalon adopts the themes and structure of the classic Arthurian tale of the quest for the Holy Grail. These chiefs are depicted as chivalric knights in cotton breeches and faded combination covers. The maimed Fisher King, the Red Knight, helpful hermits, and the quest itself all receive their modern counterparts.