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Guenevere, Queen of the Summer Country (Guenevere Novels)by Rosalind Miles
Synopses & Reviews
Last in a line of proud queens elected to rule the fertile lands of the West, true owner of the legendary Round Table, guardian of the Great Goddess herself . . . a woman whose story has never been told — until now.
Raised in the tranquil beauty of the Summer Country, Princess Guenevere has led a charmed and contented life — until the sudden, violent death of her mother, Queen Maire, leaves the Summer Country teetering on the brink of anarchy. Only the miraculous arrival of Arthur, heir to the Pendragon dynasty, allows Guenevere to claim her mother's throne. Smitten by the bold, sensuous princess, Arthur offers to marry her and unite their territories, allowing her to continue to reign in her own right. Their love match creates the largest and most powerful kingdom in the Isles. Yet even the glories of Camelot are not safe from the shadows of evil and revenge. Arthur is reunited with his long-lost half-sisters, Morgause and Morgan, princesses torn from their mother and their ancestral right by Arthur's father, the brutal and unscrupulous King Uther. Both daughters will avenge their suffering, but it is Morgan who strikes the deadliest blows, using her enchantments to destroy all Guenevere holds dear and to force Arthur to betray his Queen.
In the chaos that follows, Arthur dispatches a new knight to Guenevere, the young French prince Lancelot, never knowing that Lancelot's passion for the Queen, and hers for him, may be the love that spells ruin for Camelot.
"Rewriting the Arthurian legend can be a tricky undertaking; the main obstacle is to give the main characters new faces and new motivations for doing the things the reader already knows that they are doomed to do. Miles partially succeeds at this in Guenevere. In her story we follow Guenevere herself from happy princess to beleaguered queen (in her own right) to the repeated tragedies that befall her as Arthur's queen. So far so good. It is the other elements where the story tends to break down; she makes the legend a story about the spiritual turf war between the Pagans and the Christians, and most of the characters rely more on stereotype for their personalities than actual characterization. Goddess worshippers are good, Christians are hypocritical or downright evil, etc. etc; we've seen this before, done better. While there are some novel aspects to Miles' version of the story (it is fairly unique in the existence of Guenevere's and Arthur's son, not to mention a 'happy' ending), this Guenevere does not make a substantial contribution to existing lore." Reviewed by Andrew Witmer, Virginia Quarterly Review (Copyright 2006 Virginia Quarterly Review)
"A vivid tale from an acclaimed novelist and historian that brings to life a legendary woman's most glorious time" Publishers' News
"A marvellous story, which until now, has focused almost entirely on the king." The Scotsman
The first novel in Miles's "Guenevere" trilogy is now in paperback. Rich in historical detail and full of passion, "Guenevere" shimmers with a feminist sensibility. A true heroine--of her own time and of ours--Guenevere is courageous, beautiful, and decidedly wiser than her husband, King Arthur.
About the Author
ROSALIND MILES is a well-known and critically acclaimed English novelist, essayist, and broadcaster. Her novels, including Guenevere, I, Elizabeth, and Return to Eden, have been international best-sellers.
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