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Risa: In Camelot's Shadow (The Queens of Camelot Book 1) Kindle Edition
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An epic series featuring the women of Camelot begins with this tale of forbidden magic and enduring love.
Lady Risa of the Morelands has already caught the eyes and won the hearts of many suitors. Not one of them, though, can gain the approval of her father, Lord Rygehil. When Risa discovers his secret—that he promised her to the necromancer Euberacon—she is furious, and terrified.
Refusing to be a sacrifice, Risa runs away rather than submit to her fate. But Euberacon is determined to claim his bride, and Risa’s raw courage and archery skills are no match for his magic. Lucky for her, she is not alone.
Sir Gawain, fearless captain of King Arthur’s Round Table will never refuse a fight—or a chance to save a beautiful maiden. But no matter how distressed she is, Risa isn’t an ordinary damsel, and even in the midst of battle she poses no ordinary risk to Gawain’s gallant heart.
But Euberacon will not surrender his prize without a fight. Risa and Gawain are quickly ensnared in his web of poisonous enchantments. His deadly magics may destroy their lives, their love, and all Camelot with them.
Praise for Risa: In Camelot’s Shadow
“Based on the famous poem, ‘Sir Gawain and the Green Knight,’ this novel delivers passion, danger, and excitement laced with fantasy.” —RT Book Reviews
“Absorbing and exciting.” —Analog
“Zettel’s artful combination of romance and . . . adventures is truly magical to read and is accessible to even those unfamiliar with Arthurian writings.” —Historical Novel Society
About the Author
- ASIN : B07NDRF1JQ
- Publisher : Open Road Media Sci-Fi & Fantasy (April 9, 2019)
- Publication date : April 9, 2019
- Language : English
- File size : 9443 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 292 pages
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,122,338 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from the United States
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The pacing is a little slow, but the characters are well-developed and sympathetic. Zettel's take on Camelot is not wholly unique, but she throws in enough of her own inventions to make this different enough from other Arthurian tales that it doesn't feel old hat.
This is the first book in a series, but I don't own the other three. From reading this, I would be interested in Gawain's brother Agravain's story, but in doing some research his is the fourth book, and I didn't like this enough to slog through another two 400+ page novels to get to that. In my opinion, the ending of a series book should make one long to pick up the next, but I am sort of glad this didn't. This way I can leave it here with a satisfying wrap-up, knowing Gawain and Risa are going to be happy and well.
Actually, before I read this book, I once read a short story by the same author and didn't like it. But compared to this book, that story was almost good. Having been burnt twice, I won't be reading any more of this author's works, no matter how much people might rave about some of them. Stick a fork in me, I'm done!
In future, if I want to read about Camelot, I will stick to the brilliantly witty and charming books of Gerald Morris. His book 'The Savage Damsel and the Dwarf' is a great one to start with, if any other readers are interested in giving his work a try.
In this novel, Risa of the Morelands has grown to be a fair lady, but cannot get her father to agree to a betrothal. Lady Jocosa forces her husband to disclose his bargain with the sorcerer and Risa overhears the confession. Lord Rygehil refuses to consider any action to negate the promise, so Risa runs away to seek sanctuary with the holy sisters at the monastery of St. Anne.
Whitcomb, the steward, had overheard the bargain so many years before and insists on accompanying her to the monastery. Hardly had they left the cleared fields for the forest road than they found the sorcerer waiting for them. The black magician spooks Whitcomb's horse, dumping the steward on the ground.
When Euberacon moves over to the felled steward with a knife in his hand, Risa puts a arrow to her bow and draws on the sorcerer, but he only breaks her bow string and stabs Whitcomb. Then he accosts Risa, but a stranger rides out of the night and stabs Euberacon with his lance. Risa grabs the magician's knife from where he dropped it and stabs him. The sorcerer, however, heals his wounds and disappears in a cloud of smoke.
The stranger is Sir Gawain, a champion of Camelot and heir to the king. Ten years past, Arthur's forces had defeated the Saxons at Mount Baden. Now the Saxons are plotting an uprising under Wolfweard, called Wolfget by many, who is being subtly manipulated by a sorceress named Kerra. Gawain is bringing word of the uprising to Camelot when he comes across the confrontation between Risa and Euberacon. After driving off the sorcerer, Gawain gets Risa on her horse and leads her out of the area with considerable haste.
In this story, Euberacon has deliberately driven Gawain and Risa together to take advantage of Gawain's susceptibility to oppressed women. Gawain has blamed himself for a tragic incident between his father and his sister and has since fallen in love with numerous women having troubled marriages or other problems. The sorcerer knows that Gawain's weakness will cause dissension among Arthur's champions and thereby aid the Saxon offensive.
Nonetheless, Risa is by no means a helpless woman like all of Gawain's other loves. When she has to defend herself, she shoots first and becomes sick after the fight is over. Gawain is sure that she is something special in his life.
This story has a lot to say about the role of women in that time and place. Although ladies were cherished under the vows of chivalry, each is also bound to a male protector, first their father and then to their husband; if they do not marry, they are bound to their eldest brother when their father dies. Even if the protector is cruel and abusive, the woman has no recourse other than finding another protector. Despite the indifference (and cowardice) shown by her father, Risa is bound by tradition and law to obey him.
The last chapter ends with a note saying "the battle for England will continue in 2005". One presumes that another Arthurian tale by this author will be released then. Whether the tale will feature Risa and Gawain is not known.
Recommended for Zettel fans and for anyone else who enjoys tales of Arthur, the Knights of the Round Table, and their ladies.
-Arthur W. Jordin