In the war-torn world of late fifth-century Britain, young Guinevere faces a choice: stay with her family to defend her home at Northgallis from the Irish, or go to Avalon to seek help for the horrific visions that haunt her. The Sight calls her to Avalon, where she meets Morgan, a woman of questionable parentage who is destined to become her rival. As Guinevere matures to womanhood, she gains the powers of a priestess, and falls in love with a man who will be both her deepest love and her greatest mistake.
Just when Guinevere is able to envision a future in Avalon, tragedy forces her back home, into a world she barely recognizes, one in which her pagan faith, outspokenness, and proficiency in the magical and military arts are liabilities. When a chance reunion with her lover leads to disaster, she is cast out of Northgallis and into an uncertain future. As a new High King comes to power, Guinevere must navigate a world of political intrigue where unmarried women are valuable commodities and seemingly innocent actions can have life-altering consequences.
You may think you know the story of Guinevere, but you’ve never heard it like this: in her own words. Listen and you will hear the true story of Camelot and its queen.
Fans of Arthurian legend and The Mists of Avalon will love Daughter of Destiny, the first book in a historical fantasy trilogy that gives Guinevere back her voice and traces her life from an uncertain eleven year old girl to a wise queen in her fifth decade of life.
This book has been short-listed for the 2015 Chaucer Award for Historical Fiction.
Title: Daughter of Destiny (Guinevere’s Tale #1)
Author: Nicole Evelina
Genre: Fiction | Historical Fantasy
Publisher: Lawson Gartner Publishing
Published: January 1, 2016
FTC Disclaimer: I received an ARC from the publisher via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours in exchange for a fair and honest review. Opinions expressed are mine.
Having read The Mists of Avalon quite some time ago, I was ready to read Nicole Evelina’s version of this Arthurian legend in her new work, Daughter of Destiny (Guinevere’s Tale Book #1). Evelina did not disappoint.
Taking her readers back in time to Guinevere at age 11, Evelina shares with us the pressures placed on this young one as she faces her maturing self as well as a parentless rival, Morgan. Guinevere passes every test put before her and receives the powers of priestess. In the process, she meets her first and one true love, Aggrivane.
Not long after pledging their love for one another, tragedy strikes and Guinevere is called home. Once back in Northgallis, her life is challenged because of her pagan faith, outspokenness, and magical and military abilities. All these raise threatening liabilities for Guinevere.
With a new king rising to power, Guinevere must be ever watchful for the dangerous status of single women–valuable commodities–and seemingly innocent acts can threaten one’s safety and life.
Evelina allows Guinevere to tell her own story. I find this approach far more palatable than listening to someone else share it. Guinevere’s voice is honest, suited to her age as she grows into womanhood, and powerful.
Her fellow characters are well drawn and realistic. The setting both in Avalon and Northgallis is beautifully accurate to the time in history, and I found myself transported by the magical language used by Evelina in her writing.
Anyone interested in this time period, the story of Arthur and Guinevere, the Knights of the Round Table, and more of the characters in this story will enjoy Daughter of Desire. And you will quickly see why this work was shortlisted for The Chaucer Awards for Historical Fiction for 2015.
To marry without love was to embrace the cold emptiness of the tomb, only without the sweet release of death.
Rating: As you know, I am not inclined to rate books here, only where I’m required to (i.e. Amazon, Goodreads, etc.). Not often, but sometimes, I feel I have read a book of such superb quality that it deserves a rating which I happily share here. I believe Evelina’s work is truly deserving of:
Nicole Evelina is St. Louis-born historical fiction and romantic comedy writer. Her first four books are coming out in 2016:
- Daughter of Destiny (January 1 – This is the first book of an Arthurian legend trilogy that tells Guinevere’s life story from her point of view)
- Camelot’s Queen (March 23 – The second book in the trilogy)
- Been Searching for You (May 23 – a contemporary romantic comedy that won in the single title romance category of the 2015 Great Expectations Contest (sponsored by North Texas RWA) and the 2015 Gold Rose Contest (sponsored by Portland RWA) and is a finalist in five others.
- Madame Presidentess (July 25 – Historical fiction about 19th century American Presidential candidate Victoria Woodhull, the first American woman to run for President)
She hopes to have the final book in Guinevere’s Tale available in late 2016 or early 2017.
Nicole is a member of and book reviewer for the Historical Novel Society, and Sirens, a group supporting female fantasy authors, as well as a member of the Romance Writers of America, Women Fiction Writers Association, the St. Louis Writer’s Guild, Women Writing the West and the Alliance of Independent Authors.
She is one of only six authors who completed the first week-long writing intensive taught by #1 New York Times bestselling author Deborah Harkness in 2014. Nicole has traveled to England twice to research the Guinevere 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.
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