Mistress of Legend: Guinevere’s Tale Book 3

Written by Nicole Evelina
Review by Viviane Crystal

From 518 to 524 AD, the aftermath of the Arthur-Guinevere-Lancelot debacle continues. Readers familiar with the legend realize that after the breakup of Guinevere’s marriage to Arthur, little is known about what happened to Guinevere. Nicole Evelina does a fine job of depicting her life, beginning with scenes showing how Arthur supposedly condemned her to burn at the stake. Almost dead, she spends months being nursed, an act Arthur claims is carried out by his bishop and stops before its completion. When the family meets months later, it is clear that Arthur’s next wife and Arthur’s son, Mordred, have treachery in mind. Arthur takes off to battle encroaching enemies and Guinevere leaves to live in Scotland. During that journey, she has one of her many “visions” and sees the Battle of Camlann between Arthur and Mordred, in which they are both killed. Heart-rent, Guinevere leaves the convent where she was resting and finds Lancelot. Unfortunately, numerous battles and deaths are to follow as rebel groups claim Guinevere’s leadership to unite Britain again. The fact that Guinevere and others like her possess the magical powers of the Old Ways compels further visions and fights. Other leaders belonging to different tribes are also vying against each other.

Evelina makes it very clear that few have the good of Britain in mind. The lust for power and war is a natural part of 6th-century living, which says volumes for what King Arthur had accomplished but could not seal forever. This novel is plot-centered, full of riveting action and surrealistic scenes of ancient lore. Guinevere is characterized as a peacemaker who is forced to do battle to hopefully unify the opposing tribes in the land she loves. Deftly crafted and highly recommended historical fiction!