When I picked this book off my shelf, I had my concerns. Mostly, I think, because it was the exact size and length of THIS horrible book. While it took me forever to read, I was way wrong about how I would feel about it. I loved this book. There are so many reasons–
I LOVE medieval legend. Give me a book about the crusades, or lords and ladies, or any of that and I am HAPPY. This book is based around the legend of King Arthur, which almost all of us are familiar with. The big difference is that it is written from the feminine perspective. Not only does it make the story even more romantic, it allows so many more twists and turns to the original legend. I love the way Bradley took the familiar story that we all know and made it her own. Still recognizable, but so different. It reminded me of Marek Halter’s story of Sarah, Abraham’s wife (this is another one of my favorite books, please go read this!).
As you’ve probably figured out, characters are important to me. I MUST feel real emotion towards my characters in order to love a book. This one is no different. I felt the power in Morgaine, the confusion in Arthur, the pain in Gwynhefar (even though by the end of the book I was sooooooo annoyed by here I could hardly stand it). There ARE a lot of people in the book, and some of the Companions got mixed up in my head (all their names start with G!), but overall, the characters were very well done.
The real reason I was so intrigued by this book surprised me. I usually get really involved in my books. But this one changed the way I look at religion. (Now, before my parents, and friends, and everyone starts freaking out, I did not say it changed my religion. Just the way I LOOK at it.) The plot is based around the Druid religion fading into Christianity/early Catholicism and how the royalty versus peasants were handling the change. It is really hard to explain on the blog what I mean, and I don’t think I want to go into that much personal detail, but parts of the book were intensely emotional. I definitely encourage you to go into this one with an open mind, whether you are Christian, Muslim, or Agnostic. The way you feel about the way the earth moves in God’s plan will change.
This is a deep one guys, but definitely a fantastic read, and one that should be on every high school reading list. Do I have any teachers out there following me? Put this on your list for next semester. You won’t be disappointed.