Child Queen

Nancy McKenzie, Author
Nancy McKenzie, Author Del Rey Books $4.99 (0p) ISBN 978-0-345-38244-3
Reviewed on: 07/04/1994
Release date: 07/01/1994
Hardcover - 320 pages - 978-0-09-922482-2
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First novelist McKenzie brings immediate freshness to her entertaining reworking of an often-told story by focusing on the girl destined to be queen. Two critical conflicts challenge this child queen's noble nature: the first is, of course, her love for Lancelot; the second is the jealousy of Guinevere's companion and cousin Elaine, who all her life longed to be Arthur's bride. And herein lies the book's weakness. Guinevere is unaccountably blind to Elaine's malevolence, and her characterization as a singular, strong and intuitive woman suffers accordingly. The book ends weakly, for the conflict between Elaine and Guinevere unfortunately comes to a head in a series of scenes where Guinevere behaves like nothing so much as a spoiled brat. Nevertheless, the charm of the majority of the novel succeeds in arousing interest in promised future volumes. While this Del Rey Discovery of the Year will not displace any of the classic tellings, it is a worthwhile debut. (Aug.)
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