The publisher provided me with a copy of this book to review via NetGalley.
I have a huge love of books that revolve around the legend of King Arthur and his knights of the round table. There are so many different versions of this story and I have enjoyed nearly all of them. However this book isn’t the exact story of King Arthur, instead it occurs during that time but the focus isn’t on Arthur or his knight, though they do play a role in the story, but instead it is about a young woman.
I enjoyed the main character, Deirdre, though she aspired to be a knight she also had weaknesses that prevented her from pursuing parts of that path, not only did they not allow female knights but when times came upon her that her limited training would be handy she froze, showing that she’s not ready and perhaps being a knight isn’t the right path for her. She also did have several lady like qualities to her, admiring the nice dress her sister gave her, finding a young knight handsome, wishing for his company and being jealous when he spoke to another of the ladies. This mix of wanting a life not normally given to women and also craving some things that all women do, gave Deirdre lots of dimension. Her character wasn’t perfect and that’s what was so appealing about it, she had flaws, made mistakes and it took time for her to find her place in the world.
I liked Nia, Deirdre’s sister, she was a good role model for her sister even though you could see their relationship wasn’t perfect. Nia’s presence in the book was small however her importance, not just to Deirdre but to several of the events unfolding became apparent the further into the story things progressed. Ronan, a good friend of Deirdre, was another character I enjoyed. His part was small at first but as Deirdre became more involved into things occurring in the kingdom so too did Ronan’s presence and role grow.
King Arthur and his knights only make a small appearance in this book, however that moment has a huge impact on the story and what will come in the future. I admit I would have liked to have seen more of these characters but I feel that their influence will continue to be strong in the upcoming books even if their presence continues to be small.
There is the strong feel of a historical fiction novel with the alliances building and falling, the old ways along with the new and the divide between them, war being made, and court intrigues and romances. Though the pace was a bit slow, it was not so much that I lost interest in the book but I did find myself having to focus a lot on reading, especially during the first half. The second half, where a lot of the action takes place along with events coming to fruition really helped the pace pick up and I found myself enjoying the story more at this point.
There were a number of grammatical errors as well as broken sentences and missing/extra words. This made reading a bit of a chore as at these parts I had to piece together what the sentence should have said and there were times when it seemed two sentences got mixed together so it was quite difficult to follow the flow and figure out what was being said.
Overall, while slow in the beginning, the second half of this story really made me enjoy this book. There is a good mix of fantasy and historical fiction feel to the story, nice characters, and a fairly good flow to the story. I would recommend this to fantasy fans, though this book is aimed more at the young adult genre. I will be continuing on with this series as the next books come out to see what else lies in store for Deirdre and all her friends.