Knight of the Sacred Lake

Rosalind Miles, Author Crown Publishers $24 (432p) ISBN 978-0-609-60623-0
The cast is so familiar, from Guenevere to Arthur to Morgan Le Fay, that the question is: how to make a retelling of the deathless saga of Camelot new and vital? In this second volume in her Guenevere trilogy (after Guenevere: Queen of The Summer Country), the popular and prolific Miles injects the familiar tale with poesy and some hoke. Purists will balk at the novel's new age, goddess-worshipping bent, but Miles produces an engrossing if unorthodox read. Her Guenevere is portrayed as a queen born to rule, taught from the cradle that woman is the giver of life, but she falls apart like any serving wench when her knight is in danger. Lancelot here is something of a cipher, but he is given more credit than any of the other men in this epic. Arthur tries his best but doesn't seem the master of himself or his kingdom. Merlin is a fey old man, and he fumbles through his quest, the search for Arthur and Morgan Le Fay's son Mordred. Christianity, in the form of Catholic priests who threaten the sacred isle of Avalon, plays a negative role; the church is challenged by a goddess cult centered around the Lady of the Lake and upheld by Guenevere. Though the religious background is farfetched, the adventures of the knights of the Round Table, the machinations of Morgan Le Fay, and Guenevere's struggle to remain faithful to Arthur, love Lancelot and keep peace in Camelot are engaging. No doubt Miles's fans will be pleased with this lush, feminist take on the English epic. 50,000 first printing; major ad/promo; rights sold in Germany, Holland, Portugal, Spain and the U.K. (July)
Reviewed on: 07/03/2000
Release date: 07/01/2000
Genre: Fiction
Hardcover - 978-1-4177-7986-4
Paperback - 464 pages - 978-0-609-80802-3
Ebook - 356 pages - 978-0-307-42212-5
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