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Gwenhwyfar: The White Spirit (A Novel of King Arthur)
     

Gwenhwyfar: The White Spirit (A Novel of King Arthur)

5.0 1
by Mercedes Lackey
 

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The bestselling author of the Valdemar novels pens a classic tale about King Arthur's legendary queen.

Gwenhwyfar moves in a world where gods walk among their pagan worshipers, where nebulous visions warn of future perils, and where there are two paths for a woman: the path of the Blessing or the rarer path of the Warrior. Gwenhwyfar chooses the

Overview

The bestselling author of the Valdemar novels pens a classic tale about King Arthur's legendary queen.

Gwenhwyfar moves in a world where gods walk among their pagan worshipers, where nebulous visions warn of future perils, and where there are two paths for a woman: the path of the Blessing or the rarer path of the Warrior. Gwenhwyfar chooses the latter, giving up the power that she is born into. Yet the daughter of a King is never truly free to follow her own calling. Acting as the "son" her father never had, when called upon to serve another purpose by the Ladies of the Well, she bows to circumstances to become Arthur's queen-only to find herself facing temptation and treachery, intrigue, love and redemption.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Starred Review.

Prolific writer Lackey (The Phoenix Endangered) tackles the complex legend of King Arthur's queens in this compelling and heart-wrenching retelling. When warrior-woman Braith announces that the Young Princess Gwen is marked by Epona, the goddess of horses, Gwen's father allows her to train on the warrior path. Although Gwen is deep into training, in the background of her life lay the tales of two other women with the same name-Gwenhwyfar the Golden-both of whom were married to King Arthur. The story of Arthur's kingdom unfolds as Gwen's path as a warrior involves Lancelin, Arthur's closest Companion, and Medraut, the illegitimate and magic-born child of Arthur and his half-sister, Anna Morgause. Lackey places the story in the early dark ages, rather than in the romanticized Camelot of the later Romances. She creates a vibrant world where the old religion and culture of the Celts vies with the invading traditions of the White Christ's followers and Roman influence. Gwen is an independent and formidable woman, determined to follow her dreams, but also dedicated to her duty and to the good of Arthur's kingdom. Though the ending of Arthur's story comes as no surprise, the way that Lackey reweaves old tales to create something new and powerful, with a compelling and sympathetic heroine, is this retelling's strength.
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VOYA - Rachelle Bilz
Setting aside traditional Arthurian tales by Malory, White, and others, Lackey creates an entirely different version of the classic story. Based on an ancient Celtic version of Arthurian legend, this telling begins when Gwenhwyfar (Gwen), the narrator and protagonist, is about ten years old. One of four daughters of King Gawr, who is allied with Arthur, the High King, Gwen is believed to be touched by the Goddess but prefers to pursue the path of a female warrior instead. When she is twenty-seven, Gwen is asked to leave her warrior's life and become Arthur's third wife. Thus the book has three parts—Princess, Warrior, and Queen. Through Gwen's eyes, the reader is immersed in the lives of her family, learns how squires are trained, and gets a realistic look at ancient battle. Gwen also makes evident the importance of the Folk of Annwn, or faerie, to mortals and their travails. Gwen meets Merlin, Lancelin (Lancelot), Morgana, Medraud (Mordred), and other characters from the Arthurian tradition, but their roles and guises are often different in this novel. Packed with magic, battles, and plot twists, this book is an interesting alternative version of Camelot. Vivid narration gives the novel an immediacy and veracity that will hook any fantasy fan. Because this tale provides an unusual twist to the tradition canon, it would best be understood and enjoyed by high school students already familiar with the Arthurian legends. Reviewer: Rachelle Bilz
Library Journal
Using the Welsh legend that suggests Arthur of Britain had three wives, all named Guinevere (or Gwenhwyfar), Lackey pieces together a complex, multitextured story of the rise and fall of King Arthur through the life of the young warrior maiden who became the third Gwenhwyfar. Inspired by her close friend and mentor, Marion Zimmer Bradley, whose seminal Mists of Avalon turned Arthurian legend on its head, the author of the popular "Valdemar" series displays her talent for creating a new and surprising story from familiar material. VERDICT Portraying the complexities of a religious civilization that treads cautiously between the path of the White Christ and the Goddess-based old religion, this retelling of the Arthurian legend should attract widespread fans.
From the Publisher
"The way that Lackey reweaves old tales to create something new and powerful, with a compelling and sympathetic heroine, is this retelling's strength." —-Publishers Weekly Starred Review

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780756406295
Publisher:
DAW
Publication date:
10/05/2010
Pages:
416
Sales rank:
1,261,043
Product dimensions:
4.20(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.30(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
"The way that Lackey reweaves old tales to create something new and powerful, with a compelling and sympathetic heroine, is this retelling's strength." —-Publishers Weekly Starred Review

Meet the Author

Mercedes Lackey is a full-time writer and has published numerous novels and works of short fiction, including the best-selling Heralds Of Valdemar series. She is also a professional lyricist and a licensed wild bird rehabilitator. She lives in Oklahoma with her husband, artist Larry Dixon, and their flock of parrots. She can be found at mercedeslackey.com.

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Gwenhwyfar: The White Spirit (a Novel of King Arthur) 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Alexanoel More than 1 year ago
This captivating tale puts a new spin on the King Arthur story. It has a wonderfully strong female lead character with just a touch of romance. One of the best books I have read in awhile.