Welcome back to Fantasy Friday where you will find reviews of classic and new books!
This is a wonderful oldie but goodie Arthurian tale told from Guinevere’s POV. It starts with the prophecy proclaimed to her father at her birth:
This night shall be born a daughter who shall rule the mightiest in the land. … She will be the fairest beauty the world has known and the highest lady in all the kingdoms of Britain. Her name will live on in the minds of men for ages to come. Through her will you reach glory. … But she will bring you pain, King, before ever she brings you joy. Beloved of kings, she shall betray a king and be herself betrayed. Hers will be a fate no one will envy. She will be the white shadow over the brightest glory of Britain.
Early in childhood, Guinevere leave her father and childhood home to be fostered with her cousin, Elaine, who is like a sister to her. Even as a child, Elaine has a huge crush on Arthur. But marriage to him is not hers to have, though with the way things turn out, perhaps it would have been better. Guinevere, of course, is the one who marries Arthur after his first wife dies and he needs a heir. Alas, that is another not to be, at least not through the queen. They deeply love each other nonetheless. But the prophecy was not incorrect, both in its beauty and sorrow. Guinevere is betrayed. But not yet Arthur. Though the queen loves Lancelot as well, their mutual love for Arthur as lord and king keeps them determined to remain faithful to him despite their tremendous passion for each other.
I loved this book! It is vividly written, and you really feel for Guinevere. She grieves terribly she cannot give Arthur an heir. But she knows he has one and counsels her husband to send for him, the child born him through evil: Mordred. Stay tuned to read more in The High Queen.