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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

The Pendragon Legacy: Sons of Camelot book One by Sarah Luddington

August 11, 2014 Leave a comment

 

Synopsis: “I am just a man, I am not the Black Wolf of Albion or the White Hart of Camelot, I am just a man. I have but one task – to keep Galahad du Lac alive and away from the Lady of the Lake long enough for him to take the throne of Albion. I will do this for the sake of Camelot and my heritage, but also because Galahad du Lac is possibly the only man I will ever truly love.”

Loholt Pendragon and Galahad du Lac are the two men set to rule Albion now the old guard are gone.

Unfortunately, Loholt is burdened by a crown he doesn’t want and a heritage of which he feels unworthy. Galahad is burdened by his parent’s sacrifice to The Lady.

Her hate for the royal family has left Galahad profoundly damaged and a difficult man with whom to reason.

These two young men must find a way to work together to save their families, their heritage and ultimately each other.

The first book in a new series based on hugely successful Knights of Camelot that began with Lancelot and the Wolf.

 

Review: I love this author. I have since the first book of Knights of Camelot. That series was an emotional roller coaster. I can already tell this one will be the same. I love Loholt, Arthur’s son, a lot more than I did his father. He’s very comfortable with who he is, but he doesn’t like the responsibility that comes with being the oldest living child of King Arthur and heir to the throne of Camelot. He doesn’t want to marry a woman he can’t truly love just to have children. He doesn’t want the complicated love life his father and Lancelot had. Too bad he’s already got it. Galahad is a victim in all this. Raised by the very strict, rigid, and misguided Lady of the lake, he’s supposed to rule her way when he gets to challenge for the throne. He’s raised to believe that his mother, Morgana, and father, Lancelot, were tainted and poisoning Avalon. I still hate the Lady, as I should, and reading this story I ache for Loholt, who goes through the ultimate embarassment at one point in the line of duty to protect the future king and the man he’s in love with. Both face betrayal and heartache, and I cannot wait for the second book in this series.

 

Revenge of Lancelot by Sarah Luddington

May 18, 2014 Leave a comment

 

Synopsis: “So much has changed for me. I cannot believe I am the same man who began this journey a lifetime ago. It all started when I fell for Guinevere’s charms only to know it was Arthur I wanted and now—together at last—we will conquer our most deadly enemy. We have to conquer him because I have far too much to lose… Far too much.” 

Lancelot and those who travel with him must find the god Balar and defeat him. They have won against Mordred but at a terrible cost, both Arthur and Tancred are badly wounded. Morgana also has a secret that will be used by their enemies to subvert her husband and all their plans. 

There are so many questions left to be answered. Will Lancelot save Rhea and Raton? Will Tancred and Arthur ever find the love they both crave? Will Lancelot finally be able to hang Caliburn over his hearth and know they have found peace at last inside the land that is Albion? 

The tempestuous and passionate lives of the Royal houses and their friends continue to throw up new twists and turns right to very last page.

 

Review: Finally, the final installment of Lancelot’s story. and the author doesn’t fail to continue the roller coaster ride until the end. There’s some resolution to the Arthur/Lancelot/Tancred story. While a bit hot, still not the resolution I’d hoped for (I still love Tancred more than any other character). Rhea and Raton come into their own, with Raton finally becoming who he really was all along. It’s finally time for Balar to go down and of course, there has to be a bit of a lead in to the next series, continuing the story with Morgana and Lancelot’s child, as well as Arthur’s son. Nothing in Lancelot’s life is ever easy, and we get reappearances from the Lady who is still the ice cold bitch of the world but somehow insanely powerful. I”m beginning to wonder if she’s more than what she seems, she’s just that powerful. But in the end, we have something of a happier ending, but the author never seems to do a simple happily ever after. Now I wait for the next series and I sincerely hope their sons’ have an easier time of it than they do

Passion of Lancelot by Sarah Luddington

May 18, 2014 Leave a comment

passion of lancelot cover

Synopsis: “I am home. I still find it hard to believe. I am home and I have hope. I know the gods are waiting, I know I have to stop the evil trying to steal my peace, but for now – for now I just want to rebuild my family. With luck they will allow me that at least.”

Lancelot might be home but all is not well. His betrayal of Tancred has driven a permanent chasm between the men – one which might never allow them to be happy. For months Lancelot lives with a strange emotional hiatus until he and Arthur are attacked and they are once more faced with their true passions and destiny.

Epona, the goddess who has chosen Lancelot as her champion, finally decides he has taken enough time to himself and he must act to save Albion and Taranis from her son. Lancelot however isn’t convinced after what he sacrificed the last time he tangled with Balar. She ensures he has little choice and forces him to pursue her agenda. With a small cohort of companions Lancelot must face the largest army ever raised in Albion and defeat the son Morgana and Arthur created.

Their journey north is a harsh quest for the royal house of Albion but they draw together, forging new bonds which will bind them forever – making them a weapon able to face their final great threat.

 

Review: I could not wait to get into this book. Took longer than I’d prefer but I got to it. Of course, it opens up with more heartbreak for me, because I really wanted Lancelot to end up with Tancred. I love that wolf shifter, but Lancelot messed that up. The attack on Arthur reunites him with his original and perhaps greatest love, but it’ never an easy road for them. An attack on Arthur is a prelude to the return of Mordred. With a god backing him, it’s not going to be easy, but when is Lancelot’s life ever easy? We get to know more about Morgana finally, and her eventual acceptance of  Lancelot. Like all her other stories, there are a lot of highs and lows and points where you get utterly frustrated with certain characters, mainly Tancred for me because I want him to be happy and I wanted him with Lancelot. But that wasn’t really meant to be and we get a return to the original story with the final battle of Arthur vs Mordred. Couldn’t wait to get to the final book

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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’s Burden by Sarah Luddington

March 31, 2013 Leave a comment

I can’t help but be hooked on this series. Lancelot is the kind of character that reaches out and puts a stranglehold on your heart.
So in this book, we get a surprise. As Lancelot travels with Tancred, Rhea, Nimue, and Bors, they are attacked and Tancred is nearly killed. Lancelot blocks the killing blow and Tancred gets some revenge as he kills Rafe, Lancelot’s half brother and Nimue’s son who had blatantly used Tancred for his own purposes. However, Lancelot nearly dies and drastic measures are taken, resulting in his union of souls with Arthur ending and his soul being bound to Tancred instead. Of course, nothing is ever simple for Lancelot and Tancred.
The union unlocks more power in Tancred, revealing him as a shifter, apparently something akin to a werewolf. He cannot resume form on his own and Lancelot cannot hear his thoughts. Epona, a goddess, helps in what small way she can by allowing Tancred to resume form during daylight hours. More twists and turns come as they continue on their search for objects to help the gods take down the Titans once and for all. Tancred is abducted again, this time by shifters like himself and revealed to be of royal blood among shifters. His father is Cerrunnos, a well known mythological figure as he was a celtic sun god in the myths. The shifters want him to take his father’s place, prompting more torture for Tancred.
There are more twists and dangers, and strange alliances are made, all culminating in the civil war among the gods in which Tarranis has decided he wants the death of all Titans, including Rhea, while others want to use the Titans in hopes of wielding their ancient power.
I enjoy Lancelot’s story because he’s always struggling but finds the strength to do whatever is needed to protect his loved ones. I hurt for him, and I want to read more.