In the introduction to The Spark, the author says it was inspired by the story of Lancelot. I am not one to argue with an author about where his or her inspiration comes from, but this was not the story I expected. It was better than I expected.
The story of Lancelot is often told from the perspective of King Arthur, betrayed by his wife and his best friend. I distantly recall a version of the story told from Lancelot's perspective, which left only Guinevere to be the villain of the story. This story is not at all like that. There is a king, sort of. He is married. He has a best friend, who is the best of the Champions, who are sort of knights.
But we see the story through the eyes of a young man from a small town, who wants to be a Champion. Because of this, we see both how hard it is to be a Champion, and how far from his ideal the actual Champions are. That is the very heart of the story. The difference between good and evil, and how it may be that good people do not see good and evil the same way.
The story is wrapped with adventure and deceit. There are technologies from an ancient world, and the near magic of the makers, who can both understand and change these machines.
In short, it is a really good story, and on that was hard to put down.