From School Library Journal
Grade 6–10—Spinner's presentation of the Arthurian legends is told primarily through the voice of the Lady of the Lake. Damosel begins by explaining how she used her magical and metalworking abilities to create Excalibur for King Arthur, and how her cousin Nimue's involvement with Merlin led to his imprisonment. Damosel's involvement with Arthur's court continues when Merlin asks her to look after Arthur. She lives her life according to the rules that govern her kind, such as "A Lady Always Keeps Her Promises," but she learns that rules are made to be broken as she finds love and drama in Arthur's court. Damosel's narrative is interspersed with chapters from the perspective of Twixt, Arthur's dwarf court jester, who offers a more intimate and gritty picture of court life. The combination of these two unusual perspectives allows Spinner to create interest and suspense, even though readers know that the conclusion can only be Arthur's downfall. Fans of Arthurian legends will enjoy this new take on these familiar tales.—Beth L. Meister, Milwaukee Jewish Day School, WI
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In this lovely tale, drawn from Arthurian lore, Merlin commissions Damosel, the Lady of the Lake, to craft a wondrous sword for Arthur, the future king. Intertwined with Damosel’s tale is the story of Twixt, an insightful, clever dwarf, who is rescued from an abusive situation by Tor, an Arthurian knight on his way to Camelot. Twixt becomes a keen observer of court gossip, while Damosel protects Arthur with her powers of enchantment and ability to envision happenings from afar. Together, Damosel and Twixt tell a Camelot saga with all its political intrigue, battles, and romance. The magic is exciting and palpable: I had caused Excaliber to rise out of the water . . . A woman’s pearly white hand held the sword aloft so that it shone in the morning sun. Spinner’s elegant language, strong characterizations, energetic dialogue, and lively plot combine in a memorable, accessible novel. Grades 6-10. --Anne O'Malley