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Book Review: Camelot’s Queen by Nicole Evelina

In Nicole Evelina’s Camelot’s Queen: Guinevere’s Tale (book two), Guinevere must learn to reconcile her past with her future, what she was with what she is becoming. No longer a young lover with dreams of a home with her former betrothed Aggrivane, Guinevere must quickly learn how to be a queen and to navigate the rocky waters of a marriage to the high king, Arthur Pendragon. She must be at once a sage military adviser, a priestess of Avalon, and the mother of a dynasty, a daunting three-fold task, but over time, Guinevere proves a great success until she cannot give Arthur the heir he needs. After she is kidnapped by a ruthless man bent on revenge, Guinevere must find the strength to hold tight to her sanity while regaining her rightful place. Upon returning from her horrific ordeal, she finds her position as queen in jeopardy and her once-strong relationship crumbling as she struggles to hold her growing restlessness and loneliness at bay.

Book two of this series, which includes a map for easy reference, explores the duality of duty to self and duty to country. Once a girl with fanciful dreams of a quiet life, Guinevere must learn to put aside what she wants to do for what she needs to do. After swearing to protect her people as Arthur’s queen, she knows that she must always sacrifice desire for obligation, even when the choice breaks her heart. As a powerful Avalonian priestess capable of manipulating the elements with a literal flick of her finger, she must subjugate herself to a man who then seeks her wisdom, and while she is normally respected by Arthur and is easily the stronger of the two, Guinevere still suffers for her gender, legally equal as a ruler but never quite enough to command without her husband. Seeing a woman, even one in a fantasy/historical novel, as master of herself in a time when women relied entirely on men is inspiring albeit frustrating.

Hemmed in by the historical perimeters of this mythical queen, the author still manages to create a surprisingly unique character. Fans of the original stories will enjoy this reimagined Guinevere with her priestess markings and battle-tested body. She is no damsel in distress. Familiar characters like Tristan, Gawain, and Bors come to life, but this time, the Combrogi (aka Knights of the Round Table) take a backseat to the fairer sex who dominate the storyline. Lancelot will have the female readers swooning. And though the reader knows Guinevere seals her fate from the moment she chooses Lancelot as her champion, they will be cheering her on for taking charge of her own happiness.

Jealous wife, grieving mother, dutiful queen, strategic warrior, Camelot’s Queen is a tale about vanquishing the past and forging an ever-changing future, where two worlds–Christian and pagan–battle just as Guinevere’s need for love battles her need for duty. Lovers of historical fiction as well as those who enjoy fantasy will not regret reading this novel.

This review was written for Chanticleer Reviews. Chanticleer Reviews “offer editorial book reviews, manuscript overviews, writing contests, book awards, an author conference, workshops, and book marketing opportunities to help authors achieve their publishing goals.”

 

 

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