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The Knight of the Sacred Lake (Guenevere Novels) Hardcover – July 11, 2000

19 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The cast is so familiar, from Guenevere to Arthur to Morgan Le Fay, that the question is: how to make a retelling of the deathless saga of Camelot new and vital? In this second volume in her Guenevere trilogy (after Guenevere: Queen of The Summer Country), the popular and prolific Miles injects the familiar tale with poesy and some hoke. Purists will balk at the novel's new age, goddess-worshipping bent, but Miles produces an engrossing if unorthodox read. Her Guenevere is portrayed as a queen born to rule, taught from the cradle that woman is the giver of life, but she falls apart like any serving wench when her knight is in danger. Lancelot here is something of a cipher, but he is given more credit than any of the other men in this epic. Arthur tries his best but doesn't seem the master of himself or his kingdom. Merlin is a fey old man, and he fumbles through his quest, the search for Arthur and Morgan Le Fay's son Mordred. Christianity, in the form of Catholic priests who threaten the sacred isle of Avalon, plays a negative role; the church is challenged by a goddess cult centered around the Lady of the Lake and upheld by Guenevere. Though the religious background is farfetched, the adventures of the knights of the Round Table, the machinations of Morgan Le Fay, and Guenevere's struggle to remain faithful to Arthur, love Lancelot and keep peace in Camelot are engaging. No doubt Miles's fans will be pleased with this lush, feminist take on the English epic. 50,000 first printing; major ad/promo; rights sold in Germany, Holland, Portugal, Spain and the U.K. (July)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Once again, British author Miles takes her readers to the well-traveled realms of Arthurian legend. In this sequel to Queen of the Summer Country (LJ 1/99), Guenevere appears to lose some of the strength she exhibited in the earlier book as a warrior queen. Her ill-fated love for Lancelot does irreparable damage to her marriage and her commitment to her people and her realm. The plot lags somewhat as the author concentrates on exploring the queen's inner turmoil. Miles is at her best in her treatment of Morgan le Fay, half-sister to Arthur and mother of Mordred, Arthur's bastard son. After being immured in a convent where she was starved and beaten for much of her youth, Morgan is determined to avenge herself on all who have wronged her. The scene of the convent's slow but inevitable destruction is superb, and Mordred is the perfect tool to use against Arthur and Guenevere. As the story ends, Mordred is discovered by Merlin, who has spent years searching Britain for the boy, and returned to CamelotDopening the door to a third novel in this saga. Although not a memorable addition to the ranks of Arthurian legend, this is an entertaining tale that tells an old story from a new perspective.
-DJane Baird, Anchorage Municipal Libs., AK
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Series: Guenevere Novels (Book 2)
  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Crown; First Edition edition (July 11, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0609606239
  • ISBN-13: 978-0609606230
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 6.6 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,773,968 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By M. Tucker on October 27, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book did not live up to its hype. It tries to do for Guenevere what Mists of Avalon did for Morgan le Fey, but it fails sorely because the title character is an embittered shrew. The plot repeats itself endlessly over the course of three novels. Guenevere loves Arthur, she hates Arthur, she forgives Arthur, she loves Arthur again, no wait, she hates him.... Arthur, by the way, is a weak, feeble-minded, doddering simpleton. This is not the great king of Arthurian legend at all. Lancelot is still a tasty dish, but there is no apparent reason why he would love a bitter, jealous, middle-aged woman who repeatedly casts him away. Morgan le Fey starts out as a promising character, but becomes a demonic harpy-type creature. And the tone is excessively anti-Christian. I'm not a religious person at all, but even I was offended by the way Christians are depicted in this novel. It's just not a pleasant read. If you want a great trilogy told from Guenevere's point of view, read Persia Woolley's Guenevere trilogy or Nancy McKenzie's Queen of Camelot. They're well worth the time and effort.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 16, 2000
Format: Hardcover
THIS SECOND NOVEL IS A WONDERFUL CONTINUATION OF "THE QUEEN OF THE SUMMER COUNTRY". IT WAS A FAST AND EASY READ , EACH PAGE TOOK YOU TO WANTING MORE.THE STYLE SHE USED KEPT U FLIPPING AROUND EACH OF THE CHARACTERS,WHICH MADE IT SUSPENSFUL AND INVITING, I CANT WAIT TO READ THE NEXT ONE.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By JK on December 13, 2001
Format: Paperback
While I somewhat damned the first book in this trilogy as being full of erotic love scenes and a somewhat shallow telling (though quite entertaining), this book was exceptional!
In it, Guenevere seems to have grown up a bit- she's more mature, there are less love scenes (always a plus), a revealing tell-all with Morgause (half-sister of Arthur, sister of Morgan), and very, very entertaining parts- most of the book, in fact!
One part that makes the heart split in two is the fact that Guenevere is morning Lancelot's departure so greatly- Arthur still keeps things from her, and you truly can empathize with a lost woman who seeks her religion (the pagan one of the Mother) as her only solace and comfort.
Of course, what would a Guenevere book be without Merlin, so he shows up in odd chapters to let us know that he is still around.
The sons of Morgause and Lot come alive in this book; you also hear more from the "underdog" characters, such as Morgause (already mentioned), Lamorak, the knight Bedivere, the maid Ina, and, of course, more and more of Morgan le Faye. And........Mordred.
So, fasten your seatbelts for a fascinating journey into the Guenevere series- I would advise reading the first one quickly, then turning to this one- a book so good it completely makes up for the first's blunders. :)
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 6, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Queen Guenevere has made peace with Arthur and has sent Lancelot away. She tries in all her power to make the kingdom a cheerful place, as it once was. However, havoc soon returns. Morgan le Fay is back again to haunt and harm Arthur. Merlin desperately searches for Mordred, Morgan and Arthur's son, as heir to the throne as High King. The four sons of Arthur's other half-sister, Morgause, plan more mischief. Lancelot has returned, and Guenevere must face him again. Can order be restored, once again? Can Guenevere come to accept Arthur's illegitimate son, Mordred?
I found The Knight of the Sacred Lake more enjoyable than Guenevere: Queen of the Summer Country. Guenevere herself seems stronger and wiser. The story holds more suspense and emotion and left me wanting to find out what happens next in The Child of the Holy Grail. I recommend this to anyone who liked Queen of the Summer Country and even to those who did not; the story becomes much more interesting!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kelly Houser VINE VOICE on June 19, 2005
Format: Paperback
"The Knight of the Sacred Lake" is the second novel in Rosalind Miles' Guenevere Trilogy. Miles paints a beautiful and enrapturing portrait of the love triangle between Guenevere, Lancelot and Arthur. By the beginning of this novel, Arthur has had his incestuous relationship with his sister, Morgan Le Fay, and produced their son, Mordred. Guenevere, heartbroken, turned to Lancelot for comfort. "The Knight of the Sacred Lake" covers Lancelot's return to Camelot, Merlin's obsessive quest to further the line of Pendragon rule by finding Mordred, and the Christian monks attempts to further erode the worship of the Mother and destroy Avalon.

Miles' Guenevere Trilogy is quite an interesting take on the Arthurian legends. The story is told through many viewpoints, through primarily through Guenevere's. Miles does an excellent job of painting Guenevere as a strong woman and follower of the Goddess, as opposed to the more popular literary Guenevere of "The Mists of Avalon" by Marion Zimmer Bradley, who is weak-willed and simpering. The reader connects to Guenevere and her pain in a deep way. Miles has created a moving and deep portrait of the famous Queen and her consorts.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 30, 2002
Format: Paperback
Rosalind Miles takes quite a different slant on the Arthur legends. Rather than the traditional tale with the Round Table at the centre, this book focuses on Guenevere and her conflicting relationships with Arthur and Lancelot. Of particular mention is the conflict of faiths between the Dark Age Christian monks and the Celtic faith with the Mother Goddess at its centre.
Guenevere: The Knight of the Sacred Lake is a modern retelling of an age-old tale. Feminist readers will probably enjoy it more than I did; nevertheless it is not a bad read.
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