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Posts Tagged ‘Cedwyn’

Cheryl Carpinello’s The Legend of Guinevere: Book Three completes her Guinevere trilogy and picks up right where the second book left off. (The first two books were previously reviewed here at Children of Arthur: Young Guinevere: On the Eve of Legend and Guinevere: At the Dawn of Legend.)

Book Three of Carpinello’s Guinevere Trilogy depicts a future queen who thinks with her heart more than her head.

Guinevere is fifteen in this book, and she already knows she will one day be wedded to King Arthur. When the second book ended, Guinevere’s friend, eleven-year-old Cedwyn, had been kidnapped along with a group of younger children by a group of renegades. The renegades, led by Baard and Ulf, plan to sell the children into slavery.

Guinevere is following the renegades, planning to rescue them, although she doesn’t know how. Fortunately, Merlyn and Arthur learn of her plans and agree to help her, despite their displeasure at how she has gotten herself and Cedwyn into trouble in the first place. This will be a dangerous journey, forcing them to travel over the channel to Gaul to try to find Cedwyn and the children.

I won’t give away the whole story of what happens next, but author Cheryl Carpinello loves to weave a bit of magic into her stories. In the first book in the series, we were introduced to a unicorn, and in the second to an ancient Celtic goddess. In this third book, the goddess communicates with Guinevere and Cedwyn through their thoughts, helping Guinevere to find Cedwyn.

Also of interest are the caves in Gaul (ancient France) where Cedwyn and the children hide when they manage to escape from the villains. Carpinello is an educator who loves to teach children about history and interesting places, so she has them hide in the caves in Lascaux, which are today known for their cave paintings. The back of the book contains additional information about the cave paintings as well as other places and items featured in the book, such as medieval armor.

I also commend Carpinello for creating realistic, yet scary villains. These are not over-the-top villains like Captain Hook, but real men who are not above becoming violent to get what they want. Perhaps my favorite part of the book is when one of the villains later commends Cedwyn for being brave enough to stand up to them.

Altogether, The Legend of Guinevere: Book Three is a fun, if dangerous, story. Beyond the suspense, Carpinello raises questions for young readers to consider about friendship, standing up for what you believe in, having courage in the face of danger, and taking risks to help the people you care about. Because of this added depth, the books would be great for classroom discussion and for children to think about priorities and what matters most to them.

For more information about Cheryl Carpinello, her Guinevere trilogy, and her other young adult books, visit www.BeyondTodayEducator.com.

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At last, Cheryl Carpinello has published her long-awaited Guinevere: At the Dawn of Legend—Book Two, and it ends with a cliffhanger, suggesting yet another book will follow.

The first book in the series was charming, complete with a unicorn and Merlyn, but this second book shows us just how much Guinevere is growing up quickly due to the situations surrounding her. When the first book ended, Guinevere was affianced to King Arthur, though still just a girl. Arthur is himself new to the throne and seeking to make alliances, hence his desire to wed Guinevere, but Guinevere has more important concerns.

As this second novel opens, Guinevere and her best friend, the almost-eleven-year-old boy, Cedwyn, decide to leave their home at Cadbury Castle on their own and go visit the Wizards’ Stones. While they know the adults wouldn’t want them to leave, they are anxious to see the stones that Merlyn had told them about. It sounds like a fun afternoon adventure, but it quickly turns into more when an ancient goddess appears and utters a prophecy about the two young friends’ futures.

The prophecy has barely ended before Cedwyn and Guinevere hear strange sounds, and spooked, they ride to a nearby monastery to seek shelter. There they learn some renegades are out to kidnap Guinevere, and fearing the monastery will be attacked, they flee again, but once they feel it is safe, they return, only to discover the monastery destroyed. By the time they return home to the castle, it has also been sacked. The renegades were searching for Guinevere, but since they couldn’t capture her, they decided not to leave empty-handed, so they kidnapped several children.

I don’t want to say more and spoil all the fun of reading this book. I’ll just say there is plenty more adventure, but what I most appreciate are the story’s pacing and the care Carpinello takes with her two main characters. They are children, they are having adventures, but they feel like real people, frightened, trying to do what is right in the face of danger, and they are also headstrong, not always believing that the adults know what is the right thing to do so sometimes they have to act on their own. They are heroic children with all the idealism and foolhardiness that come with first adventures.

Anyone who enjoyed the first book in this series will equally enjoy the second and look forward to the third. The characters are well-drawn and realistic, the events plausible, and the story well-plotted. I’m eager to read the next book and see Guinevere grow up a little more and mature into a queen worthy to sit at King Arthur’s side.

Cheryl Carpinello is also the author of a non-related young adult Arthurian novel, The King’s Ransom (Young Knights of the Round Table), as well as Sons of the Sphinx and Tutankhamen Speaks. To learn more about her and her books, visit www.beyondtodayeducator.com.

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Tyler Tichelaar, Ph.D., is the author of The Children of Arthur series, which includes the novels Arthur’s Legacy, Melusine’s Gift, Ogier’s Prayer, Lilith’s Love, and the upcoming Arthur’s Bosom. He has also written the nonfiction scholarly works King Arthur’s Children: A Study in Fiction and Tradition and The Gothic Wanderer: From Transgression to Redemption, plus numerous other historical novels. You can learn more about Tyler at www.ChildrenofArthur.com.

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