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Publishers WeeklyStarred 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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