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The Warrior Queen (The Guinevere Trilogy) by Lavinia Collins

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This book was received from the Author in return for an honest review

A sumptuous romance based around the life of Guinevere and Arthur’s Court.

Never before has the magical world of Queen Guinevere, King Arthur and Lancelot and the knights of the Round Table been so deeply explored than in this warming saga of passion, duty and infidelity. Drawing on a rich seam of historical sources Lavinia Collins has created a fictional masterpiece, and epic romance that will stand the test of time.

The Warrior Queen is the first full novel length instalment of the Guinevere Trilogy. A Champion’s Duty and The Day of Destiny will be released by Spring, 2014.

I wasn’t too sure what this book was going to be like. Everyone has heard of Guinevere, Arthur, Lancelot and Merlin. Everyone has read, heard or seen a story about them at one point or another. My husband is SUPER into the story of these characters; he’s seen the movies, read the books. He knows the story in many of its incantations. So he gave me a refresher course on all things Camelot, and off I dove into the book.

I was pleasantly surprised! This was no regurgitation of the standard Arthur/Guinevere/Lancelot story. Every time I’d put the book down and update my husband on what was happening in the story, he was genuinely interested in the direction the book was taking and it was actually really really nice to be able to discuss a book with him as in depth as we discussed this. He’s not always so interested in my reading material! It also just goes to show that for this book, it doesn’t matter whether you have a passing knowledge in the subject like I did, or a much more in-depth knowledge like the husband does, the story captures you either way.

The story is told through Guinevere’s eyes. It focuses on her journey and tribulations as we follow her from her homeland, through to Arthur’s court, onto the battlefield and back into the sticky politics of being King Arthur’s Queen. I really enjoyed venturing through this classic story from her point of view. It did of course contain the stories of war and combat, and meetings around the round table, but it also had the details that would only come from telling the story through her eyes.

I loved that there was a decent dollop of magic type plot. Not too much that it seemed ridiculous, just enough to make it a bit dark and mystical. Another love was the chemistry, the Guinevere/Arthur/Lancelot love triangle. Serious chemistry! There were some scenes with so much of it you could almost feel it coming through the pages… When you read this you are not going be short on action (bedroom variety!) and I had no idea I’d end up feeling torn between these two men, but I did. It’s not always a sure thing to be able to write the characters with the right amount of heat and tension between them but the author has definitely hit the mark here. Her writing of these relationships makes sure that this storyline is much more deeply layered than just a simple romance.

Finally I’ve kept my favourite point for last. The world building. I could picture EVERYTHING in my head. I felt like I was there in Camelot with them. Sitting at the banquets, riding into war, the clothing, the weapons, the liaisons, the politics. The attention to detail was mind blowing. I love love love books that transport you to their world, and I was most definitely transported to Camelot. I was blown away with the descriptive writing, and it’s this descriptive writing that really has me wanting to read the next two installments, I can’t wait to follow this story to the end.

photo credit: AlicePopkorn via photopin cc