Gwenhwyfar, the Princess of Dinas Emrys, grows up in a time surrounded by the mists of magic, the wings of dragons and the bloodshed of war. Gwen cleaves to the old beliefs, the beliefs of the Druids. Taught by her Grandmother, the Priestess Rhiannon and her Uncle Merlin, she tries to hold the evil at bay. When evil, magic, dragons and war converge on Gwenhwfar's family, she must do all she can to save herself and her family.
The story of the Welch Princess begins far away from the round table. I had always thought of Guinevere, or Gwenhwyfar in Welch, in relation to Arthur and Lancelot, so I was entranced the idea of meeting this incredible woman before her legend took shape. I was also excited to read my first book on Arthur or Pre-Arthur Legend. Upon opening the book, I was transported to Dinas Emrys, a rocky green land with still lakes and gorgeous trees. Looking at pictures, I know I have been there now.
Gwen is a curious girl, whose questioning nature often lands her in hot water. But for all her questions, she knows many answers. She is attuned to the forest and trees, as well as her family. She seamlessly goes from speaking to a magical benevolent fish to trying to mediate between her Druid Grandmother and Cristos Mother. Gwen is expected to be a strong woman, just as her mother and grandmother are. I loved how in times of trouble, the women band together and solve the problem without male assistance. Even though the solution was grisly, it added authenticity to the book.
The magic in this book, is well, magical. Talking fish and dragons are featured. But almost more magical that the magic itself, is the sense of peace that surrounds Gwenhwyfar, even during her most trying times. (Ok, during most of them.) The book was very dramatic and climatic. The upcoming sequel should be as good or better, if my predictions prove true.
This magical book is perfect for any lovers of Arthurian legend, lovers of Dragons, or any type of folklore. I can easily see this 5 book series becoming a "LOTR" type love for me!
Thank you to both Rachael and Amy!!!