I received a copy of this book from the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.
Author: E.A. Haltom
Published: May 8, 2015 as self-published
Cornwall, England, 1193. Eleanor of Aquitaine, the indomitable dowager queen, has ordered all of England onto a war footing while her son King Richard languishes in a German dungeon. When Gwendolyn de Cardinham happens upon mercenaries from Prince John’s rebellion, she draws her sword and defends her home as well as any knight could have. But more of John’s mercenaries are coming, her sister-in-law claims Gwendolyn’s husband has died on crusade, and the local prior has absurdly informed Gwendolyn that King Arthur’s fabled sword is destined to be hers. Self-educated and martially trained, Gwendolyn gave her husband her oath to guard and protect their estate of Penhallam while he fought in the crusade. Gwendolyn travels to London with her constable to present herself to the dowager queen. But Gwendolyn has a secret that could put all of Penhallam—and herself—at risk if the queen discovers it.
I love anything to do with King Arthur and so when I saw this I just knew I had to read it! This was a new take on the Arthurian legend and it did not disappoint!
It follows Lady Gwendolyn who is not your average lady. She has callouses and scars on her hands and arms from learning how to fight. Her husband, Robert is away fighting with King Richard and so she is left behind to protect the estate as well as defend it. Soon she is thrust into a prophecy that claims that she is one of the descendents of King Arthur and that she will wield Caliban to destroy the greed and evil int he land. Gwendolyn doesn’t believe it but what she does believe is that King Richards brother, John is rebelling and she is in the middle of it all.
The setting itself was unique in that Ms. Haltmon used historical events and people to place her characters. Its the era of Queen Eleanor and King Richards (her sons) reign. I just remember this era not because of the books I’ve read but all because of Disney’s Robin Hood. I just LOVED Sir Hiss and Prince John. (I tried to put a GIF here but apparently I have no idea how to do it :/) So stupid me I thought maybe she would turn into Robin Hood or something similar. Gwen didn’t really but she did turn into someone who cared about the people around her. She was a little too good and perfect for me. She had no doubts and though she was strong I wish she had a flaw. The supporting characters were great but sometimes the names got messed up in my head about who was who. Also the POV changed from Gwen to her bodyguard William and I would get confused as to who was talking(thinking).
Overall this was a great book though the heroine was a little too perfect and the descriptions of some of the setting was a little wordy it was a great take on the Arthurian legend. I look forward to reading more and what happens with Gwen and her husband at the end of the book!