cover image Guinevere: The Legend in Autumn

Guinevere: The Legend in Autumn

Persia Woolley. Poseidon Press, $21.5 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-671-70831-3

The final volume of Wooley's Arthurian trilogy, following Child of the Northern Spring and Queen of the Summer Stars , plays out the doom that overtakes King Arthur's dreams of peace and civilization for Britain. While the king works to stabilize his realm after the armed conflicts of earlier years have given way to an uneasy peace, the childless Guinevere takes in and raises Mordred, the offspring of her husband's brief and unknowing coupling with his half-sister Morgause. Mordred, ignorant of their relationship, idolizes Arthur, seeking always to gain his approval; the brutal revelation of his parentage sets the stage for the later battle to the death between father and son. Morgan le Fey, the king's other, power-hungry half-sister, uses Mordred's hurt and his half-brother Agravain's grievances to entrap Guinevere and Lancelot in the compromising situation that leads to the queen's trial. Wooley's colorful, naturalistic portrayals draw the reader into British life after the Roman occupation. (Nov.)