Camelot’s Queen by Nicole Evelina (Guinevere’s Tale 2)

3.5 Stars

This book, in most ways, fulfilled the promise of Daughter of Destiny, carrying forward the engaging characters and storyline, the history and lore of Camelot and Arthur. Camelot’s Queen, the second instalment of the Guinevere’s Tale series begins directly after the marriage of Guinevere and Arthur. Following the early years of their reign the plot is exciting and well-paced and the writing, mostly, is smooth. We begin to see the fortitude and depth that shape this Guinevere and this Guinevere is worthy of the legend that has lived for well over a thousand years. That said, I was somewhat disappointed by the lack of polish compared to the first book (and in general). I encountered multiple typos in addition to some disruptive and awkward moments.These alone might not have warranted comment, but these in addition to some other aspects do. First, there is a reference to Bedlam (the Bethlehem Royal Hospital in London for the mad), a hospital that was not even founded until 1247, and a term (Bedlam) whose earliest recorded  usage in this context was 1598. Taking place in the late 490s and early 500s, the usage in this book is something that should have been caught in the editing process. This kind of anachronism, in such a beautifully researched and written story, is really disheartening. Another concern that came up, again something that really should have been caught by the author, editor, publisher, anyone, is the use of a phrase that is the beginning of the most popular quote from one of the most popular fantasy series of all time: “as the wheel of time turns” is the start of the binding phrase that pulls through all of Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series. It is a phrase used so much and so well that it might only be second to Winter is coming. To use it in a book of a similar genre is dangerous. If nothing else it invites a comparison. I did wonder if it might be phrasing from a Druid tradition, but my research only found it as a ritual concept from Buddhist and Hindu traditions. I still loved the story, and I am looking forward to the next book in the series, but I hope that it will be scrutinized a little more carefully before publication to catch these little sloppy mistakes that bring a 5-star story down to a 3.5-star book.

02_Camelot's QueenCamelot’s Queen (Guinevere’s Tale, Book Two)
by Nicole Evelina

Publication Date: April 12, 2016
Lawson Gartner Publishing
eBook; 358 Pages

Series: Guinevere’s Tale
Genre: Historical Fiction/Fantasy

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History remembers Guinevere’s sin, but it was Arthur who transgressed first.

Forced into a marriage she neither anticipated nor desired, Guinevere finds herself High Queen, ruling and fighting alongside Arthur as they try to subdue the Saxons, Irish and Picts who threaten Britain from every direction. Though her heart still longs for her lost love, Guinevere slowly grows to care for her husband as they join together to defeat their enemies.

Meanwhile, within the walls of Camelot their closest allies plot against them. One schemes to make Guinevere his own, another seeks revenge for past transgressions, while a third fixes her eyes on the throne. When the unthinkable happens and Guinevere is feared dead, Arthur installs a new woman in her place, one who will poison his affections toward her, threatening Guinevere’s fragile sanity and eventually driving her into the arms of her champion.

Amid this tension a new challenge arises for the king and queen of Camelot: finding the Holy Grail, a sacred relic that promises lasting unity. But peace, as they will soon learn, can be just as dangerous as war. As the court begins to turn on itself, it becomes clear that the quest that was to be Arthur’s lasting legacy may end in the burning fires of condemnation.

This highly anticipated sequel to Daughter of Destiny proves there is much more to Guinevere’s story than her marriage and an affair. See the legend you think you know through her eyes and live the adventure of Camelot’s golden days yourself – but be prepared to suffer its downfall as well.

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About the Author03_Nicole Evelina

Nicole Evelina is a St. Louis historical fiction and romantic comedy writer. Her debut novel, Daughter of Destiny, the first book of an Arthurian legend trilogy that tells Guinevere’s life story from her point of view, has been short-listed for the Chaucer Award in Early Historical Fiction. Camelot’s Queen is its sequel.

Later this year, she will release Been Searching for You (May 10), a romantic comedy that won the 2015 Romance Writers of America (RWA) Great Expectations and Golden Rose contests, and Madame Presidentess (July 25), a historical novel about Victoria Woodhull, America’s first female Presidential candidate, which has been short-listed for the Goethe Award in Late Historical Fiction.

She hopes to have the final book in Guinevere’s Tale available in late 2016 or early 2017.

Nicole is one of only six authors who completed a week-long writing intensive taught by #1 New York Times bestselling author Deborah Harkness. Nicole has traveled to England twice to research the Guinevere’s Tale trilogy, where she consulted with internationally acclaimed author and historian Geoffrey Ashe, as well as Arthurian/Glastonbury expert Jaime George, the man who helped Marion Zimmer Bradley research The Mists of Avalon.

Nicole is a member of and book reviewer for the The Historical Novel Society, and Sirens (a group supporting female fantasy authors), as well as a member of the Historical Writers of America, Women’s Fiction Writers Association, Romance Writers of America, the St. Louis Writer’s Guild, Women Writing the West, Broad Universe (promoting women in fantasy, science fiction and horror), Alliance of Independent Authors and the Independent Book Publishers Association.

She spent 15 years researching Arthurian legend, Celtic Britain and the various peoples, cultures and religious practices that shaped the country after the withdrawal of Rome. Other historical interests include the Middle Ages and women who made their mark on history. She’s also a frequent visitor to Chicago, where Been Searching for You takes place.

Her website/blog is http://nicoleevelina.com and she can be found on Twitter as well as on Pinterest, Facebook, Goodreads, Instagram and Tumblr.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, April 25
Kick Off & Giveaway at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, April 26
Excerpt & Giveaway at Just One More Chapter

Wednesday, April 27
Review at History From a Woman’s Perspective
Guest Post at Jorie Loves a Story

Thursday, April 28
Review at Broken Teepee

Friday, April 29
Review & Excerpt, & Giveaway at Book Lovers Paradise

Saturday, April 30
Review, Excerpt & Giveaway at Laura’s Interests

Monday, May 2
Review at Eclectic Ramblings of Author Heather Osborne

Tuesday, May 3
Review at The Baking Bookworm

Wednesday, May 4
Interview & Giveaway at Let Them Read Books

Thursday, May 5
Interview at Author Dianne Ascroft’s Blog

Tuesday, May 10
Review at Curling up by the Fire

Wednesday, May 11
Review & Giveaway at Singing Librarian Books

Thursday, May 12
Review at One Book Shy of a Full Shelf

Friday, May 13
Review at Book Nerd
Interview at One Book Shy of a Full Shelf

Monday, May 16
Review & Excerpt at Jorie Loves a Story
Review at Seize the Words: Books in Review

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