With the knowing eye and fiery voice of an accomplished storyteller, Alice Borchardt takes us back to the amazing world of a re-envisioned Camelot in the continuing Tales of Guinevere. Remarkably strong, magically talented, a match for friend and foe alike, Guinevere has come into womanhood—and faces a new relationship with Lancelot that will lead to the sharp-edged triangle of legend. . . .
Born of the Highlands, along Pictish shores washed by the icy North Sea, Guinevere, Queen of the Dragon People, has become a woman. She has taken the power offered to her by the Dragon Throne. Now there is no turning back. In order to protect her beloved homeland from the obscene greed of the Saxon raiders, Guinevere knows she must launch an attack. The sub-chiefs refuse to fall in line with her plans (because what does this young thing, barely a woman, know of warfare?) and give her an army of the useless, the outcast, the weakest of their young boys and girls. But the war party must proceed. If it fails, the command of both land and sea will fall to the enemy.
Facing her first battle against the pirates on foreign shores, and backed only by a meager band of ill-equipped fighters, Guinevere calls upon the spirits of the dead to aid her in the attack. Diving into the dark, morbid depths, Guinevere suddenly understands more of hate, love, anger, and revenge than she has ever wanted to. But the power the dead provide comes at a severe price. If she makes it through the raid, she will be a changed woman, in more ways than she can possibly imagine.
Further south, Black Leg, her childhood companion, sets out on his own. It is a quest to become a man—a man, he hopes, who will be worthy of the newly crowned Guinevere. A shapeshifter and the son of Guinevere’s adoptive man-wolf father, Black Leg (soon to be Lancelot) feels he has much to learn—and even more to prove. He discovers both his inner strength and an unmitigated passion when he meets the Lady of the Lake. But the trials of his journey— both mental and physical—turn out to be more perilous with each step. And when Lancelot and Guinevere are finally reunited, the consequences of both their ordeals will unleash a torrent of anguish and desire.
With familiar names brilliantly repositioned for a new generation of Arthurian fans—evil Merlin, conniving Igrane, complex Lancelot, tainted Arthur, and of course, warrior Guinevere—Alice Borchardt’s creation stands as a testament to the power of imagination.
Arthur turned and strode toward us. He was magnificent, and I will never forget that, in that moment, I first loved him. And I believe–had I known what the future held for us: all the trouble, torment, battle, and grief of our lives–I still believe that I would have yielded my heart into his keeping as I did then . . .
In a sweeping epic of the imagination, Alice Borchardt enters the wondrous realm of Arthurian legend and makes it her own. The Dragon Queen is the first volume in a trilogy of novels that boldly re-imagines Camelot–and casts Guinevere as a shrewd, strong-willed, magical warrior queen.
Born into a world of terrible strife, where war is constant and weapons are never far from the hands of men or women, Guinevere, daughter of a mighty pagan queen, is a threat to her people and a prize to the dreaded sorcerer Merlin. Sent into hiding, she grows up under the protection of a shapeshifting man-wolf and an ornery Druid. But even on the remote coast of Scotland, where dragons feed and watch over her, she is not safe from the all-seeing High Druid Merlin. He knows the young beauty’s destiny, and he will stop at nothing to prevent what has been foretold. For if Guinevere becomes Queen and Arthur, King, they will bring a peace to the land that will leave the power-hungry Merlin a shriveled magician in a weary cloak.
Yet Guinevere possesses power of her own–dazzling power to rival even that of Merlin. Summoned from her home by forces she cannot fathom, she travels from the Underworld to an Otherworld of the Past, at each step calling on ancient powers to aid her way. When young Guinevere proves her mettle to an embarrassed Merlin, even her faithful dragon protectors cannot prevent the evil that the sorcerer rains down. Seeking revenge, Merlin banishes Arthur to a world from which the only escape is death. Now Guinevere must face Merlin’s wrath without him–and prove that she is worthy of being Arthur’s Queen.
From the glass-roofed Great Hall at Tintigal to the lush garden forts of Wales, Alice Borchardt details the travels of Guinevere in a rich fabric of prose. The Dragon Queen is a novel of great emotional depth, timeless romance, and soul-stirring adventure.