Everyone knows the legend. Of Arthur, destined to be a king. Of the beautiful Guinevere, who will betray him with his most loyal knight, Lancelot. Of the bitter sorceress, Morgana, who will turn against them all. But Elaine alone carries the burden of knowing what is to come–for Elaine of Shalott is cursed to see the future.
On the mystical isle of Avalon, Elaine runs free and learns of the ancient prophecies surrounding her and her friends–countless possibilities, almost all of them tragic.
When their future comes to claim them, Elaine, Guinevere, Lancelot, and Morgana accompany Arthur to take his throne in stifling Camelot, where magic is outlawed, the rules of society chain them, and enemies are everywhere. Yet the most dangerous threats may come from within their own circle.
As visions are fulfilled and an inevitable fate closes in, Elaine must decide how far she will go to change fate–and what she is willing to sacrifice along the way.
5 stars because it made me cry
I am generally easily pleased with any King Arthur retelling. I grew up on Mary Stewart, Stephen Lawhead, TA Barron and Marian Zimmer Bradley. I loved all of those books. But one of the books that made the most impact on me was a book titled, “I am Morgan Le Fay”, which was all about our favorite sorceress from her POV. Think Marian Zimmer Bradley lite. So I was never more pleased than when Kiersten White wrote from Guinevere’s perspective, and when Tracy Deonn took a whole new take on the Arthurian myth. I love when things get mixed up. So obviously when I heard Laura Sebastian was taking on the Lady of Shallot I was so beyond excited. I love when myths take women and put them front and center.
Elaine was an amazing character, and I love the way Sebastian incorporated her into the myth with more agency. And I adored Morgana in this one. Actually, I liked all the characters to be honest. I got really invested in them despite knowing what happens in the end. You would think that by now I would be used to the fact that it would be a sad ending.
I cried my way through this book. It made me feel so many emotions and I could not contain them. Instead I had to hold the book and rock myself through the feelings. I didn’t quite succeed.
I will say there definitely was a queer overtone to the book which I liked. I just think there were a few slow parts in the book that were a bit of a struggle to get through, but didn’t drag the book down overmuch.
I love Sebastian’s writing style. She drew me in and kept me reading. It was so easy to read honestly. It was an enjoyment.
I gave it five stars because it made me feel all the emotions and cry. I need Sebastian to write more like this, because I enjoyed it SO much.
If you ever like MZB, you will probably like this book.