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Guinevere: On the Eve of Legend (Tales and Legends for Reluctant Readers) Paperback – February 23, 2017
"Children of Blood and Bone"
Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut. Pre-order today
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Mother:"I love how Guinevere is depicted as strong and loyal yet contemplative. Thereader is privy to Guinevere's inner thoughts and turmoil concerning herdecision to abandon her childish ways and embrace her responsibilities as thedaughter of a king and spokesperson and protector of her people. I thought shewas an excellent role model for tween and teenage girls alike."
Daughter: "I liked that there was magic in the book with Merlyn thewizard, the unicorns, and the dragon. I thought the story of the unicorns wassad because they have to die to save humans, but I understood (after my Momexplained it to me) that meeting the unicorn helped Guinevere decide that shehas to meet her responsibilities as Lady of the kingdom and marry KingArthur." - Mother-Daughter Book Reviews
From the Publisher
"[Carpinello has] created very believable characters and use[s] description nicely. Those two elements really help to enhance [her] writing. It is obvious that [she has] put much thought and effort into [her] work. There were times even that I wondered if [Carpinello's] story were really fiction or perhaps based on non-fiction." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
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What I liked and disliked about it:
I liked how, in the story, there was a twelve year girl playing with a seven year old boy because it shows that you can be friends with anyone and it doesn't matter their gender or age. So, I liked the relationship between Guinevere and her friend Cedwyn and I liked how Cedwyn said "Guin'ver" - it was cute.
It was interesting to read how people in those times lived. It was weird that in medieval times, girls would get married so young. I wouldn't want to get married so young [Mom: thank you, thank you, thank you!!].
I liked that there was magic in the book with Merlyn the wizard, the unicorns, and the dragon. I thought the story of the unicorns was sad because they have to die to save humans, but I understood (after my Mom explained it to me) that meeting the unicorn helped Guinevere decide that she has to meet her responsibilities as Lady of the kingdom and marry King Arthur.
I liked the pictures inside the book, but in some of the pictures she looks like she's seven not twelve/thirteen.
I didn't like that at the end in the section called "King Arthur Legend" it said that Merlyn was imprisoned by a lady named Nimue. It felt like a bad ending to the story and it made me sad.
My bottom line:
I loved, loved this book and I would recommend it to girls and maybe boys 8 years and older.
What I liked and disliked about it:
While much of Arthurian legend focuses on the adult characters of King Arthur, Merlyn, Guinevere, Sir Lancelot, and the other knights of the round table, Cheryl Carpinello brings to life the story of Guinevere as a young girl prior to her role in the legendary love triangle involving herself, King Arthur, and Sir Lancelot. I love how Guinevere is depicted as strong and loyal yet contemplative. The reader is privy to Guinevere's inner thoughts and turmoil concerning her decision to abandon her childish ways and embrace her responsibilities as daughter of a king and spokesperson and protector of her people. I thought she was an excellent role model for tween and teenage girls alike.
Carpinello introduces elements of legend and magic as a metaphor for the position that Guinevere finds herself in. When Guinevere follows a shadowy figure into the forest near the castle, she encounters a rarely sighted unicorn and learns of the purpose and fate of its kind. The plight of the unicorn, as well as the story of the red deer, touches Guinevere deeply and helps her to understand and accept her own destiny which was laid out for her at birth. Carpinello weaves these elements within the story so beautifully and lays the foundation for the lessons learned by Guinevere (and the reader!). That being said, some of these more complex nuances may be harder to grasp for younger children, although I think that younger children (like my son) would still enjoy the story.
At the end of the book, there are many "added" features such as a short Epilogue which ties this story to the more popular and well-known part of Arthurian legend occurring after the wedding of King Arthur and Guinevere. There is also a short Afterward which discusses written accounts of the Arthurian legend. Also useful in understanding terminology from medieval times is the glossary which provides definitions of words encountered in the text such as amphora (a two handled wine vessel), bratchet (a hunting dog), circlet (a type of small cake), and so on. There is also a section entitled King Arthur Legend which provides a succinct description of some of the highlights of King Arthur's life. Finally, there are two sections Questions For Discussion and Enrichment and Additional Reading for those who want to explore the story and legend in more depth.
There are not very many illustrations. There are simple, pencil-drawn illustrations at the beginning of each chapter priming the reader for what will occur in the chapter. These were perfectly appropriate.
Of note, this is not the first middle grade book written about a young Guinevere. Robert D. San Souci has written a series of books centred on the lives of the main characters of Arthurian legend as youths including Young Guinevere, Young Merlin, Young Lancelot, and Young Arthur. Additionally, Jane Yolen has written some books focused on Merlin and King Arthur as youths. However, we have not read those so cannot really comment on how good those books are in comparison.
My bottom line:
I read this story to both my children aloud. From Chapter 1 all the way through to the Discussion Questions, my children were captivated by the story. The story is a nice balance between action, elements of magic and fantasy, and important life lessons, all woven within the historical context of medieval times. This was an enjoyable and educational read and I would recommend Guinevere to tween girls and boys.
* Guinevere: On the Eve of Legend was provided to us free-of-charge by the author in exchange for our honest opinion.*
Rating: 4 of 5 stars
Author: Cheryl Carpinello
Format: Kindle, Paperback
Life as a young princess was perfect! Playing and hunting with her seven-year-old friend Cedwyn, Guinevere filled her days with joy and merriment. Unfortunately, much was set to change as her thirteenth birthday approached. She was expected, of course, to master Latin--a language few spoke. But it would be her duty as princess to liaise with the officials who would visit court. There were other responsibilities as well as she came of age and no matter how much she wanted to avoid them, the march of time would not yield to her wishes. Already overwhelmed with these changes, Guinevere learns of her arranged betrothal and her world collapses.
Cheryl Carpinello's Guinevere: On the Eve of Legend, is a unique introduction into Arthurian Legend focusing on the life of the young princess. It is perfect for tweens interested in this genre. While most young people aren't royalty, they will likely relate with the emotions associated with wanting independence while struggling with the responsibility that comes with it.
I also enjoyed the simple line drawings introducing each chapter. They are wonderfully illustrated and provide additional texture to the novel. While the author provides and epilogue foretelling Guinevere's future, I believe additional volumes continuing the story from these early years would make a wonderful series.
Most recent customer reviews
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