- Mass Market Paperback: 512 pages
- Publisher: Del Rey; Reissue edition (June 3 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0345444000
- ISBN-13: 978-0345444004
- Product Dimensions: 10.7 x 3.3 x 17.3 cm
- Shipping Weight: 249 g
- Average Customer Review: 31 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,087,460 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Dragon Queen Mass Market Paperback – Jun 3 2003
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From Publishers Weekly
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.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From School Library Journal
Adult/High School-Set in a Britain freshly rid of Roman rule, this tale is loosely based on Arthurian legend. Readers meet a noble Arthur, a wise Morgana, a mesmerizing yet nasty Merlin, and a very different sort of Guinevere. Raised by wolves and endowed with ivylike skin armor reminiscent of Celtic tattoos, this young woman is no frail maiden in need of a Lancelot. Young Guinevere blossoms into womanhood while finding herself at the center of a struggle for the soul of her country. On one side is the powerful archdruid Merlin, who has sold out to Romano-British slaveholders. On the other side are matriarchs, sorcerers, and sorceresses, all of whom honor the old ways. With a sense of destiny and the fire of youth, Arthur and Guinevere navigate worlds mundane and surreal. Magical encounters border on the whimsical while retaining an often-frightening edge. During these encounters, Guinevere discovers her affinity for dragons and chooses her destiny with Arthur. The author has created a world that is civilized yet wild, brutal yet beautiful-a world in which readers can easily become immersed. Teens who enjoyed Marion Zimmer Bradley's The Mists of Avalon (Del Rey, 1987) are sure to appreciate The Dragon Queen. It's a fresh and scintillating take on a well-loved theme.
Sheila Shoup, Fairfax County Public Library, VA
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to the Hardcover edition. See all Product description
Top customer reviews
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About halfway through the book, the plot begins to wander, switching locations quickly. Because of the fantastical landscape, this can be confusing for a reader who was just newly introduced to this world. Once you get through this section, the book becomes a pleasure to read once again.
I really enjoyed the grittiness of the world and I felt that the historical facts were well-represented here. I love how Borchardt takes atypical perspectives in history, such as having Guenivere raised in the poorer North of Britain.
This Guenivere is without a doubt the strongest Guenivere you can encounter. Step aside, other Gueniveres. This Guenivere is gonna bodyslam you! She's impressively intelligent and resourceful. However, the other women are not downplayed. Kyra and Morgana are equally interesting and capable women. Even Igraine, portrayed as an self-serving sorceress, has a strong role. Borchardt doesn't neglect the men either. I would say that this book has a fair treatment of both men and women, when so many books in this genre will tend to sanctify one sex and villify the other (on both sides).
I am really looking forward to the next installment of the series. Even with the gritty realistic feel, there is plenty of magic and mystery to keep any fantasy-reader entertained.
Borchardt paints a vivid picutre of Britian in the Dark Ages. She has no trouble setting up scenes of legendary castles and fantastic worlds populated with dragons and goddesses. However, the plot often bounces around abruptly, which may leave you confused about which characters you are following. I found myself having to go back and re-read paragraphs and pages until I figured out what was really happening. The dialogue is uneven and several of the characters can't seem to find a consistent voice or personality. The main characters are either near-perfect (Guinevere, Arthur, Maeniel the werewolf) or consummately evil (Merlin, Igraine) with little room in-between. While that isn't a showstopper in a good vs. evil tale, it would be nice to have a character the reader could relate to.
Guinevere's many adventures seem to have only one point: to give her more magical victories and allies. Arthur enters the tale about halfway through the book, and he is also launched into several trials. Arthur's courage and nobility are showcased during his struggles, but they don't seem to advance the plot. His adventures might acquire more relevance in the sequels. The concepts and twists added to the Arthur legend are fascinating, but because of the inconsistent dialogue and the abrupt transitions I was not able to settle in and enjoy the storyline.
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