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Sunday, May 12, 2013

Book Review: The Forgotten Queen by Annette Mackey

"She said to tell you that Excalibur would fall silent once Avalon reaches the age of magic: her twenty-fifth birthday."

"Great," he shivered beneath the needle's prick. "Now she tells me."
My Rating: 
Book: The Forgotten Queen
Author: Annette Mackey
Page Numbers: 296 pages
Publication date: February 23rd, 2013
Retelling Camelot. As an infant Avalon is stripped of beauty so that all that remains are her dra­matic green eyes. She is taught from birth that Arthur is her des­tiny. Out of curios­ity she watches him in the lake and finds it impos­si­ble not to fall in love—and yet he is the king. It’s not until a love tri­an­gle between Guin­e­vere, Lancelot, and Arthur forces Camelot to the brink of destruc­tion that Arthur real­izes what a fool he has been. Raised in the shad­ows, sub­servient to the Lady of the Lake, Avalon rises above it all to become the true queen of Camelot. She is the for­got­ten queen … and the sole bearer of Arthur’s heart. Genre: his­tor­i­cal fan­tasy, folk­lore, fantasy

My Review:
I received a copy through the author to read and review in return.

The Forgotten Queen is a wonderful novel where Annette Mackey magically and vividly retells the story of King Arthur in the Camelot era. I have not often read a book in this historical genre, and after finishing it I have decided that I'm definitely open to receiving more novels like The Forgotten Queen. I am a huge fan of Game of Thrones (currently only seen the TV Series; I have shamefully not gotten to the books yet), and it was so fun putting faces the characters and imagining the surroundings with the ones I have seen in the Game of Thrones TV series, and it really put me back into that exciting mindset of that era. The Forgotten Queen is a mixture of an abundance of romance, tragedy, betrayal, redemption, quick paced action, and I enjoyed every page of it! Let's get into the details!

The story begins with immediate excitement, when the enchanted Lady (Vivian) of the Lake is giving birth to her and Merlin's daughter, Avalon. We immediately come to know the fate of the child when Lady Vivian strips the child from its beauty in order to save her from being 'cursed' by her looks. Lady Vivian is extremely protective and keeps Avalon close at all time and cuts Avalon's hair in order to prevent anyone from finding out of its power and stealing its magic.
Fast forward years later, and we come to know King Arthur, who is a noble, merciful and selfless man who's greatest love is Camelot and will do anything in its power to protect it. At a young age he is given the Excalibur sword by Lady Vivian, who bounds it by blood between Arthur and her daughter Avalon, in order to give its rightful ruling power to King Arthur.
King Arthur turns out to be a righteous King who is even more powerful with his Excalibur sword by his side, and he immediately realizes the (magical) connection the sword makes to Avalon, which initially makes him question Lady Vivian's motives for binding the sword to Avalon and himself. I really loved his character and his traits, even though he often made mistakes, he showed that, despite his status, he is only human and thus susceptible to falling in love or trusting the wrong people. He is man made out of his steel, but his heart could not be more open and kind than any other King I have ever read about. King Arthur is pulled through endless treachery, betrayal, broken romances, until he finally finds out that some prophecies and destinies are just bound to happen.

At first, it was really hard for me to warm up to Lady Vivian and her daughter Avalon. I wouldn't say that Lady Vivian is your typical mother, as she is an extremely powerful enchantress who is very overprotective, almost too stubborn and very strong minded. She has the ability to see the future in the Lake and tries to stir everyone into the direction in which she thinks is best for Camelot. She is not afraid to make drastic and brutal sacrifices and uses her powers to seek in the darkness in order to find the light which will keep Camelot's future bright. Towards the last chapters I have really grown to admire her more and more.

Avalon is definitely a very submissive calm and subdued girl. She is told by her mother that she is to be the rightful Queen of Camelot, the wife of King Arthur, but these are not the stimulants of her love for King Arthur. She is determined to follow her destiny and be with him, but this does not go down very smoothly. I often found Avalon weak and too compliant to her mother and others, but I remembered to put myself in the minds of those in that era, that woman were not seen as anything superior (unless in a very high position) and were rather expected to be subdued by men (oh those double standards). But as I warmed up to Avalon's character, and her true status, I came to sympathize and admire her as she may seem weak, but later in the story she becomes someone who is truly strong willed and influential and it is so fantastic to see this transition in her.

Overall I thought the story was very enjoying and powerful. It is a fast paced read which is beautifully written and does not dwell on insignificant things (hence does not leave you bored at all!). Some parts of the story was very recognizable with the (little) knowledge I had on the story of King Arthur, so this was definitely a very entertaining and beautiful read. It is definitely a book which will keep you hooked on the story long after you've closed the book.

I recommend this book to readers who love to be journeyed back to the era of knights and princesses, conflicting matters between wizards and enchantresses, bundled with loads of heartwarming historical romances, suspenseful battles, and delightful retells of the well known King Arthur and the Excalibur!

1 comment:

  1. Great review! I'm glad you enjoyed the book. It's not my kind of book, but I enjoy watching good movies set in such era.

    Thanks for sharing, Blogger-Buddy, and do have a wonderful week! :)