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Queen of None by [Natania Barron]

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Queen of None Kindle Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 19 ratings

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Editorial Reviews


"...a layered, engaging retelling sure to please fans of the Arthurian tales."
-- Publishers Weekly

"A captivating look at the intriguing figures in King Arthur's golden realm."
--Kirkus Review"... a masterpiece of modern Arthuriana... heartbreaking and beautiful." --Paul Jessup, author of Close Your Eyes

From the Author

The seeds of Queen of None were planted in the spring of 2000, when I attended the University of Massachusetts - Amherst, and took my first official class in medieval literature. The instructor, Dr. Charlotte Spivack, had taught alongside my grandfather when he was part of the same English department. Her syllabus read like a dream for me: a full immersion from the oldest historical references up through modern interpretations of Arthur.

There, I met, and fell for, a knight named Gawain and, by extension, his family. I recall hovering over my copy of Le Morte D'Arthur on the bus during my commute, feeling as if I'd discovered a new world. Until that year, I'd only had a passing understanding of Arthur in English mythology and literature from books and movies of my childhood, but by the end of that semester--still living at home to help my mother endure the pains of chemotherapy--I knew my life would never quite be the same.
When it came time for graduate school, I knew Arthuriana would be my focus. And there, in another course, I gained a better understanding of the historical contexts; or, rather, the lack thereof. Arthur himself, the fulcrum around which the entire canon rises and falls, has much historical context but no concrete proof. He, and his court, are both incredibly detailed and familiar and also mercurial, shifting, and adaptable. The standbys we know now, of the Table Round and Lancelot du Lac, are much later French additions. Arthur's myth was honed over almost a millennium, and it's still being forged.

In 2009, my younger sister was diagnosed with cancer. And, like a mirror to the past, I was again drawn to the story of Arthur and Camelot. I needed to cope with her illness, andI needed to find my voice again: I had decided not to pursue my PhD and, instead focus on raising my son and freelancing. The first draft of Anna's story came in that cold spring and winter, hectic and sparse. And as the years passed, I was drawn again and again to the story to edit, to expand, to add, to detract. Now, over ten years later, the result is this novel.

I wrote it, on purpose, out of history. It is intended to be a kind of mirror-version of the Arthur of England familiar in T.H. White and Mary Stewart. You'll notice unusual spellings of names, places, and twists on common tales. It's all very intentional. I pulled both from very old concepts and very recent concepts, and looked to create something new. In a way, like the Victorians, I wanted to pull Arthur out of a strict time and add a gauzy, mysterious window into the world not often seen.

More than anything, the story is about the women--so many women in the tales--who are often relegated to plot points, pawns in marriage, gifts in battle, and vessels for future kings. Anna Pendragon appears almost a thousand years ago in Geoffrey of Monmouth, and then is absorbed into the myths of her more famous sisters. I sought to reconcile that, and to play upon her disappearance in her own prophecy, to unexpectedly give a voice to the women who came before and after her.

Product details

  • ASIN : B08DK3791Q
  • Publisher : Vernacular Books; 1st edition (December 1, 2020)
  • Publication date : December 1, 2020
  • Language : English
  • File size : 351 KB
  • Text-to-Speech : Enabled
  • Screen Reader : Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
  • X-Ray : Not Enabled
  • Word Wise : Enabled
  • Print length : 336 pages
  • Lending : Not Enabled
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 19 ratings

Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5
19 global ratings
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Reviewed in the United States on December 11, 2020
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Reviewed in the United States on January 11, 2021
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Reviewed in the United States on January 6, 2021
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Top reviews from other countries

E. J. Dawson
5.0 out of 5 stars A bitter sweet and twisted tale of Arthurian legend
Reviewed in Australia on December 6, 2020
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