Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Guinevere, The Legend In Autumn by Persia Woolley

In this third book of her trilogy about Arthur, Guinevere and the Knights of the Round Table, Persia Woolley ends the telling of her story.  It is above all the story of the triangle that King Arthur, his Champion Lancelot and his Queen, Guinevere, are tangled in.  Both men love Guinevere, but they also love each other as brothers and would do nothing to hurt each other.  Guinevere, in her turn, loves them both.  Arthur is her wedded husband, who honors her, takes her counsel and has her rule at his side.  He cannot, however, express his love easily in words, as his emotions have been trained to be hidden from others.  Lancelot is her true love, but one she is forbidden to have, for fear of hurting Arthur and tearing apart the kingdom.

But even more than the love story, this is a story steeped in historical fact that gives the reader insight into the times.  The reader learns of daily life with its proscribed tasks for each member of the royal household, the petty intrigues of court, the quest for adventures that periodically takes the Knights away.  The rise of Christianity and its gradual erosion of the pagan religions is explored.  The strength of family is evident, but betrayal for position is also common.

The central theme is the trial of Guinevere for treason and adultery, her condemnation to death, and her rescue by Lancelot, aided by Arthur.  Above all, each individual in this triangle is called by a love of country and the people, and will sacrifice whatever is needed to insure that the country survives as a strong entity.  This book is recommended for readers of historical fiction.  While it is the last in the trilogy, readers probably know enough of the story to enjoy this one as a stand-alone, but many will choose to then go back and read the first two to see how Woolley interprets the beginning of this magnificent saga.

2 comments:

Cozy in Texas said...

This sounds like a great read. Thanks for posting.
Ann

Sarah Allen said...

Sounds awesome! Thanks for the thoughts and recommendation.

Sarah Allen
(my creative writing blog)