THE DRAGON QUEEN: The Tales of Guinevere

Alice Borchardt, Author . Del Rey $25 (480p) ISBN 978-0-345-44399-1

Magic rules in this first volume of a trilogy that focuses on the fabled Guinevere's adventures before and after she comes to Camelot. Borchardt (Night of the Wolf) paints a vivid portrait of the future queen, who is no pale Pre-Raphaelite princess. Suckled by a she-wolf, this child of power is protected by a Druid, Dugald, and the Gray Watcher, Maeniel, not to mention a shape-changing wolfman. Daughter of a pagan queen, this warrior beauty takes control of her own destiny. Bold, courageous, prophetic and possessed of powers that enable her to communicate with dragons and wolves, as well as with a shrunken head, this Guinevere enchants and engages the reader immediately, even as a spindly toddler thrown into a wolves' den. A fine, lyrical storyteller, Borchardt reinvents familiar characters, including a young Arthur and an evil Merlin, who seeks to control the once and future king of Camelot. This dark sorcerer may dismay some Merlin lovers, as he would rather see Guinevere dead than as Arthur's queen. It's an interesting concept in a long line of derivative explorations of a mysterious character who has long enchanted Arthurian fantasy devotees. In the prologue, Guinevere writes: "I am myself a creature of the dance, the imitation of the movements embraced by the dialogue between earth and sky," and readers will be eager for the dance to be continued in the next installment. Borchardt further stakes her claim as a writer of breathtaking eloquence, reminding all, once again, that she is more than just Anne Rice's sister. (Oct. 2)

Forecast:The popularity of Arthurian romance and the author's high name recognition would alone ensure strong sales, but good word of mouth should give this a long shelf life.

Reviewed on: 10/01/2001
Release date: 10/01/2001
Open Ebook - 345 pages - 978-0-345-44950-4
Mass Market Paperbound - 512 pages - 978-0-345-44400-4
Paperback - 576 pages - 978-0-85750-098-4
Open Ebook - 576 pages - 978-1-4070-6845-9
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