-- Boy, Snow, Bird: A Novel (Oyeyemi, Helen)
I guess it’s not actually a new word, so much as a phrase, but when I read that in this book, I had to know what the Siege Perilous was.
The “Siege Perilous” is the empty seat at King Arthur’s Round Table. Merlin reserved that seat for the knight who would one day find the Holy Grail, and the rules about who could sit there were so serious that if you sat in it but hadn’t found the Holy Grail, you would die.
The narrator was saying it of a man who loves her but who she can’t love because he would love her too much and give her nothing imperfect to complain about.
A love like the Siege Perilous would be a terrible love -- unless you were the one it was meant for.