Author: Persia Woolley
About (from Goodreads):Often portrayed as spoiled, in Persia Woolley's hands Guinevere comes alive as a high-spirited, passionate woman. When she is chosen by Arthur to be his wife, Guinevere's independence wars with her family loyalty. As the wedding approaches and hints of rebellion abound, she learns that the old gods are in revolt against the new Christian church, and that scattered kingdoms are stirring from their uneasy peace. This is Arthurian epic at its best, filled with romance, adventure, authentic historical detail, and a landscape alive with the mystery of Britain in the Dark Ages.
Published: November 1, 2010 by Sourcebooks Inc.
3 Reasons Review
I am trying out a new review format today called "3 Reasons Review". Jen from Jenny loves to read and I have chatted about coming up with a simple review format. Something with just the basics of what readers would want to know about a book. Some books do not require an in-depth analysis, yet as reviewers we still strive to get the important bits across to our readers. Therefore, the 3 Reasons, came from what Jenny and I think are most important. Didn't come up with a fancy button yet, but working on it. (If you have suggestions about this new format, please let me know.) I copied this directly from Jen's blog and just changed the order of our names so it made sense. Believe me Jenny came up with almost all of this!!! She rocks!
1.) Reasons you chose this book
I'm a big fan of the story about King Arthur, Merlin, Guinevere, Lancelot, and the Round Table. I had never heard of this author nor her book, so I thought I would give it a shot.
2.) Reasons you liked or disliked this book
- I enjoyed reading the author's version of who Guinevere was and how she came to be King Arthur's bride. I thought she was an interesting character who became multi-faceted as she grew older. Making her an expert horse rider was pure genius as this is how she makes a connection with Arthur.
- What I didn't enjoy was how the author kept changing between past and present. At times I thought it was confusing and it made the reading feel stilted at times. What is funny about this is that in the back of the book the author asks the question if using this technique was confusing to her readers! I guess my thought is that if you're questioning your own process then maybe you should do something different. I wish that she would have wrote this in two parts...pre-Arthur and post-Arthur.
- Changing of names was a bit confusing to me. She didn't mention Sir Lancelot but maybe once or twice and in every story I've read much has been made of Lancelot and Guinevere's relationship. I was a bit put off by that but managed to move on.
- There was too much information that I felt could have been left out. It made the story drag at times and I caught myself a time or two wishing that there would be some sort of action or an earth shattering event. It never happened.
3.) Reasons you are recommending this book
- Reasons for- if you have followed the King Arthur tale and would like to add another story to your library then I would say that you would enjoy this one. It is slow at times, but overall I thought it was a good read.
- Reasons against- If you're like me and devoured "Mists of Avalon" by Marion Zimmer Bradley then you may feel a bit let down. I believe that Bradley wrote the ultimate book based on the legend of the Round Table, Lady of the Lake, Arthur, Merlin, Morgause (the list can go on with characters). To me it is hard to beat this book and sadly I compare everything concerned with this subject to 'Mists of Avalon.'
- Interesting tidbit: Persia Woolley wrote this the same time Zimmer Bradley was writing 'Mists of Avalon.' She felt that the major difference between the two books is that hers was based on the reality of the time period, and stayed true to customs and lores. While Zimmer Bradley used more of a fantasy element in her writing. For me that was the difference....I love fantasy!!!
Thank you to Danielle @ Sourcebooks for sending me a review copy. I was not compensated for my review.
My thoughts on this book were in no way influenced by the author or publicist.
They are my personal reflections based solely on MY experience while reading this novel.
© 2010, Staci of Life in the Thumb. All Rights Reserved. If you reading this on a site other than, Life in the Thumb or Staci's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.
So interesting that Woolley and Zimmer Bradley were writing their books at the same time. I have Mists of Avalon on the shelf (one of my daughters read it a few years ago and liked it).ReplyDelete
Staci, I really like this review format. It tells me everything I want to know!
Great review, but I don't think that's the book for me.ReplyDelete
The first thing I did while reading this was run to put Mists of Avalon on my wishlist! This title is already on my wishlist, as I'm really liking the idea of a King Arthur tale with Guinevere as the central character. I will probably have to read this while putting all thoughts of familiar Arthurian tales to the side, as it doesn't seem to conform to the standard storyline. Thanks for the review!ReplyDelete
Julie @ Knitting and Sundries
I started Mists of Avalon, but it was hijacked from me and I need to get it back. I'll pass on this book.ReplyDelete
oh! And I think the review format works!ReplyDelete
Julie @ Knitting and Sundries
I loveeeeeeee how you did this review.... and I always value your opinion! :):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):)ReplyDelete
I like this review style, it covers everything essential. Can others copy it? I'm looking for a new way to write my reviews so that they are thorough enough, hit on the key points and my thoughts without taking too much time. I am not a fan of fantasy so this isn't a book that is for me.ReplyDelete
Hmmm--now I think I've pretty well discovered that fantasy is not something I much enjoy which would make this a better choice for me. On the other hand, this tale is so ingrained in my head, as is, that I think I would have a hard time separating the reality from the fantasy.ReplyDelete
I have this one to read soon. I'm a little behind still. I'm looking forward to it. I have yet to read Mists of Aavalon although I do own it.ReplyDelete
I usually don't like it either when the author switches around chronologically. It's hard to follow! Love this review format, though!ReplyDelete
Love the new format, might just have to use it too, which will make two formats I have borrowed from you.ReplyDelete
I read Mists of Avalon a while back and would have to agree that it is the best book I have read about King Arthur and would also be comparing this book to it. Thanks for a great review.
Love the review format! I've never been too interested in King Arthur stories, so I think I'll pass on this one.ReplyDelete
I loved Mists of Avalon and Mary Stewart's Crystal Cave series was the best book about Aurthur I've ever read. I can't remember the title of the movie but Kiera Knightly was the most interesting version of Guienevere I've ever come across.ReplyDelete
Happy Thanksgiving :)
Great review! And yes if she asks the readers that then perhaps she should not have used it. It did get me confused tooReplyDelete
Great review and I love the format -- very clever and fun. As I'm a diehard Mists of Avalon fan, I'm a little fearful I won't be able to stop comparing the two books. Still, I'm pretty curious about this one!ReplyDelete
Not my style of book but I liked your review. The formate works for me. I'm going to try it one of these days.ReplyDelete
MY little Christmas Elf!!!! I love the holiday theme. Awesome job and very cheerful. I also loved MZB Mists of Avalon, so I'll pass on this one. You're right about the author questioning her process, if you questions it, it must be off. Great thoughts.ReplyDelete
Sorry to hear that you didn't love the book but that cover sure is gorgeous!ReplyDelete