I should preface this review with the statement that I usually dislike Arthurian stories a great deal. After all, by this point it's been done ad nauseum, and all the various permutations of who is good versus bad seems to have been pretty much exhausted...
This rendition was brilliant. I especially liked the interpretation of Arthur having had three queens with the same name and the lack of a strong romantic element. Gwenhwyfar as portrayed as a strong warrior woman whose first loyalty is to her dream of being a warrior chief for her family is masterfully done and I really enjoyed her growth from seeing herself as warrior first to having conflicting desires to be seen as a woman.
Lancelin's romantic interlude with Gwenhwyfar was perhaps my favorite part of the story -- I never really liked the conflicting stories of how Guinevere and Lancelot were both loyal to Arthur and yet both betrayed him and this version addresses the conflict and carries it off well.
Lackey's nod to Christianity and her sympathetic Abbot was also very much appreciated. There comes a point when there's just too much black washing of Christianity and her treatment of Christianity was both fair and credible.
Lovely story and it's definitely going on my keeper shelf.
The bestselling author of the Valdemar novels pens a classic tale about King Arthur’s legendary queen.
Gwenhwyfar moves in a world where gods walk among their pagan worshipers, where nebulous visions warn of future perils, and where there are two paths for a woman: the path of the Blessing or the rarer path of the Warrior. Gwenhwyfar chooses the latter, giving up the power that she is born into. Yet the daughter of a King is never truly free to follow her own calling. Acting as the “son” her father never had, when called upon to serve another purpose by the Ladies of the Well, she bows to circumstances to become Arthur’s queen—only to find herself facing temptation and treachery, intrigue and betrayal, but also love and redemption..