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The Warrior Queen (The Guinevere Trilogy) by Lavinia Collins

August 16, 2014 Leave a comment

Synopsis: ‘The Warrior Queen’ is the first installment of ‘The Guinevere Trilogy’, a new series of eBooks that reimagines the famous story of Queen Guinevere for a modern audience.

When her people’s army is destroyed in the war with King Arthur, Guinevere is horrified to discover that her conqueror has demanded to have her as his bride. She arrives at Camelot angry and resentful, but quickly finds that the king who defeated her people in battle is not the brute she expected. Slowly, she gains a fragile happiness in her new home, but this is threatened when war comes again. When her life is saved on the battlefield by a mysterious French knight, Guinevere finds herself caught between desire and duty, the longing for happiness in the new life she has, and her desire to be free and follow her heart.

This original re-imagining of a much-loved legend gives readers a new Guinevere; passionate, headstrong and fiercely independent. An immersive adventure through Arthurian legend, steeped in magic, passion and intrigue, this book won’t disappoint, ‘The Warrior Queen’ retells the classic narrative through the eyes of a queen determined to escape the bounds her society has placed on her, determined not to be ruled by the men who surround her, and determined to be master of her own destiny.

 

Review:  I have a love for the story of King Arthur that started back in my childhood and has never gone away. I’ve never been overly fond of the Guinevere character. I was more of a fan of Merlin, personally. This is a much different telling of the story of Guinevere, and makes her infinitely more interesting and likeable than the original tales as well as some stories I’ve read from other authors. She’s a bit of a wild thing, and definitely her own person. Forced into a role she doesn’t really want, she grows accustomed to thing and falls in love with Arthur, at least. As always, there must be the affair with Lancelot, which is generally what made me dislike her in the first place. But the telling of the story is great and the story itself, a much different version, compelling enough for me to want to read on in the future.

 

7916e-fourstars

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Betrayal of Lancelot

May 10, 2013 Leave a comment

Oh dear gods the hits just keep coming. The last book broke my heart. This one has shattered my soul. We come to Lancelot 600 years after Camelot is gone, apparently unable to die. He’s lived multiple lives, married and had children that have long since died. He can find no true happiness without Tancred. He’s reverted to old habits. War and sex are all he knows. But fate won’t leave him alone, and neither will the gods.

*Spoilers*
Carnwennan is somehow thrust into the modern era as well, apparently on a task to get Lancelot back to Albion. She has no memories of anything after Lancelot left, and at one point they were lovers but apparently that soured. Now she has a way back and found a man she claims could be Merlin’s descendant, but is actually housing the spirit of Merlin inside him. And Tancred is sent into the future as well. He has the same problems and less time to adjust to the world. But the two are reunited and Albion needs Lancelot. There’s always a twist.

Lancelot’s wife, Morgana, had a child with Arthur, Mordred. True to the original myths, Mordred is power hungry. But he doesn’t want Camelot. He wants Albion. But he’s stuck in the modern era as well. He needs Lancelot in order to return.

Want more problems? Lancelot slept with a guy in the beginning of the book named Fox. Fox ends up on the journey with him. At first, Tancred hates him. Then, he warms up to him. The attraction is there and I knew full well that this would suck all the fun out of my life as I read. I was right. The attraction leads to Lancelot more or less being forced to accept Fox into his relationship. Not into his bed again, but clearly Tancred takes that part.

The return to Albion causes Lancelot and Tancred to team up to revive Arthur. Arthur, having matured, still has no intentions of laying claims on Lancelot. He wants Lancelot happy. Tancred’s insecurities come to the forefront, despite having married Lancelot in the modern world. And when Lancelot admits to having slept with Arthur after leaving Tancred, the shifter snaps and lashes out. This is my ultimate heartbreak in this story. Tancred not only lashes out, he sleeps with Fox and is seen by Lancelot. Then he tries to kill himself. When that fails, he throws the ring back at Lancelot and tells him to give it to Arthur, and then adds the real killer of telling him he’ll have Morgana seperate their souls when he is well again.

I can’t quite wrap my mind around that, and the ending with Rhea and Raton is great, but I’m quite pissed with Tancred, my favorite for the past several books. I need book 8 ASAP

Lancelot’s Curse by Sarah Luddington

My word this book has hurt my very soul. Finally, I was able to delve back into the world of Lancelot Du Lac, and our poor hero catches no breaks. As the story opens, he and his crew have recovered the mystical items Tarranis needs to defeat the Titans. But they are on the run because the gods have decided that they want Rhea’s death, except for Balar, however, who thinks to supplant his father by using the power of the Titans. Lancelot has Tancred, Rhea, Carwennan, and Nimue along for the journey and Nimue reigns as the most powerful and perhaps the most helpful. Tancred is fighting against perceived responsibilities to his shifter people and most importantly against Carwennan, who is quickly becoming a woman scorned and everyone knows it. There’s also the added conflict of Nimue’s sexual appetites, as sex actually fuels her power.

The group is moved from place to place, trying to find a way to bargain with the gods. Balar, however, steals the items, leaving no bargaining chip. They try to regain the items and face far more heartbreak along the way. Nimue proves herself a changed woman by nearly giving up her life to save Rhea. Her power bails them out of many tight spots, as well as her wealth of knowledge. Even when facing her own people, from whom she is outcast, she proves her worth time and time again. But the real heartbreak comes later.

*spoiler alert*

Lancelot is forced to make a deal to save the lives of all he cares about. Taranis will help him, keep him safe, and make Tancred’s shifting easier in exchange for Lancelot agreeing to walk away from everyone when the time comes. Lancelot agrees, and boy do we all regret it. Balar lures the group in and captures everyone. Lancelot discovers he cannot fight against a god, no matter how powerful he has become. The biggest heartbreak so far comes with Nimue’s rape and degredation by Balar. But the pain doesn’t stop, as Balar forces Lancelot to kill her, and she begs him for it. Balar, as a god, stopped her ability to feed off of sex, so he really and truly raped her and turned her into a victim. Lancelot struggles, but in the end, he does kill her. When at last Taranis intervenes it is too late. Nimue is dead and Lancelot bears a guilt he’s not felt before. For the first time, he has murdered a friend. Balar makes things worse, as in order for him to halt his rising against his father, he asks for Lancelot’s banishment. And though all try to fight against it, in the end, Lancelot promised Taranis he would walk away when the time came. So in order to save his friends, Albion, and Camelot, Lancelot must leave everyone behind.

What really gets me is Tancred’s heartbreak. If possible, I think I love him more than Lancelot, because he has been through nothing but pain. He’s the sweetest soul and deserves happiness, but no one will give it to him. Lancelot tries his best, but in the end, to save everyone, both he and Tancred must suffer.  This is the worst of all, knowing that according to Taranis they can never see each other again despite clearly being destined for each other. There’s no end to the heartbreak. I should probably take a small break to grieve before reading the next one.

Lancelot and the Grail by Sarah Luddington

March 25, 2013 Leave a comment

Well, the third book certainly took some twists I didn’t forsee. We open with a very broken Lancelot alone in the woods, reeling from the loss of Tancred and his betrayal by Arthur. His very psyche apparently has fractured. In his loneliness, someone appears. At first, we have no idea who it is, but soon it is revealed to be Tancred. Over several months, he nurses Lancelot back to health, in order to return him to Arthur, who is just as broken. Tancred loves Lancelot fiercely, but he’s a king’s man as well and will do his duty.
The reunion with Arthur is not happy. Lancelot’s pain makes him fear Arthur and retreat back into his insanity. This hurts Arthur, and the King lashes out like a petulant child. Just when we fear the split is permanent, the two are forced to make a journey together. In order to stop Aeddan, Lancelot’s father and king of the Fey, they need the help of the Titans and must venture into the underworld to obtain it. Try as he might, Lancelot cannot truly resist Arthur, for they are two halves of a whole. This hurts Tancred, who I’d grown to like, but Tancred has secrets of his own. After obtaining help from the Titans and coming to some very hard truths, Lancelot loses Tancred, which by the way hurt my feelings as I was growing accustomed to the idea of them being together. But apparently Tancred’s full Fey heritage means he needs a full Fey to be happy. Frankly, I want to punch him in the face for this but whatever. He did his job, apparently. Now Lancelot and Arthur have become one and it’s time to take down the king of the Fey, with the help of little Titan Rhea.
I happen to like Rhea. She seems very near to what the Titan Queen of legend should be, despite being trapped in a child’s body. She’s smart and funny and I rather hope she doesn’t turn all evil or something later because she’s entertaining. But i know this happily ever after won’t last, so it’s on to the next book.

Lancelot and the Sword by Sarah Luddington

March 24, 2013 Leave a comment

So, the first book had me hooked and rooting for Arthur and Lancelot, and hating Guinevere. This book has changed things drastically.

We open with Arthur, Lancelot, and Merlin returning to Camelot to find Guinevere broken and victimized and the kingdom in shambles. The three quickly work to get the kingdom back in shape and we are introduced to a new character, Tancred, who becomes Lancelot’s steward. But, if we thought the Fey were done after book one, we’re wrong. Now a new threat has risen with greater power, and he’s Lancelot’s father. It’s a race back to Avalon in an effort to save Camelot from the invading Fey again. Filled with more undead and a ruthless usurper trying to seize Arthur’s throne.

Of course, Arthur and Lancelot’s relationship takes a new turn with Guinevere now being far more accepting of their love but it’s odd and Lancelot understands that he must surrender Arthur. The fighting gets more fierce and just when they think they have the battle won, the tables are turned and tragedy strikes. And the relationship between the king and his knight changes irrevocably.

I’m quite pleased with this book, though slightly troubled and I cannot wait to read the next, as Lancelot in all his pain is simply mesmerizing and leaves me hoping he’ll find happiness that lasts