Monday, September 26, 2011

Guinevere: The Legend in Autumn-Persia Woolley

Guinevere: The Legend in Autumn

Persia Woolley

Sourcebooks, Nov 1 2011, $16.99

ISBN: 9781402246432

Queen Guinevere lies in a cell awaiting her execution looking back to how far she has fallen for trying to do the right thing by her people and her liege. After years of civil war, King Arthur has brought a tenuous peace to his kingdom. Unable to bear a child, his lonely wife raises her stepson Mordred, the offspring of Arthur and his half-sister Morgause. Mordred adulates his father emulating Arthur until he learns his maternal roots. Arthur’s other half sister the Lady of the Lake Morgan le Fey believes she should rule the kingdom so she sets in motion a deadly conflict between father and son.

Over the years she supported Arthur as few had though his Knights of the Round Table and his ambitious family with few exceptions scorned her. She respected Arthur while she loved Lancelot, but kept her distance from the King’s Champion. However, Arthur’s half-brother Agravain who believed he should have been king set in motion the scenario between Guinevere and Lancelot that has her in her death cell.

The third Guinevere trilogy is a terrific finish to the legend of Camelot through the eyes of an alleged betrayer of the king’s heart and soul. The story line is fast-paced partly because of the modern day speech that enables the audience to easily enter post Roman Britannia. The cast is solid as the knights come to life, but like its predecessors (see Child of the Northern Spring and Queen of the Summer Stars); the telling of the legend comes from the unique filter of the pagan Queen (who thinks the hunt for the Holy Grail is a foolish waste of treasure for a shaky cause).

Harriet Klausner

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