Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Merlyn’

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.

Read Full Post »

Guinevere: On the Eve of Legend
Cheryl Carpinello
Outskirts Press (2009)
ISBN: 9781432737047

Guinevere Comes Alive as Thirteen-Year Old Prospective Bride in Children’s Novel

Guinevere: On the Eve of Legend by Cheryl Carpinello

There is no end to the number of novels being written about the Arthurian legend, and exciting new children’s author Cheryl Carpinello can now be added to the number of writers recreating the legend for new generations with “Guinevere: On the Eve of Legend.” Carpinello has been teaching the Arthurian legend to her high school English classes for nearly twenty years, and now that interest has resulted in her first novel about a young Guinevere, on the eve of her thirteenth birthday, when her life is about to change forever.

The reader is first introduced to Guinevere when she is in the forest hunting rabbits with her seven-year old friend Cedwyn. She is not quite as ladylike as a princess should be, considering she is the daughter of King Leodegrance. Nor is she happy that as her thirteenth birthday approaches, she will be expected to take on a more adult role in the castle and prepare for possible marriage.

Guinevere finds that things get a bit easier when the wizard Merlyn arrives to participate in her birthday celebrations. But King Arthur also comes, and through her father, he makes a proposal she is uncertain is in her best interests.

After a fantastic birthday party and a couple of encounters with a magical beast in the forest, Guinevere starts to accept what her role will be in the future. She also realizes she still has some time left to enjoy her youth, and she is happy that her adult role will allow her young friend, Cedwyn, eventually to fulfill his own dream of becoming a squire and then a knight.

Guinevere: On the Eve of Legend is not a long or complicated story. It is just over one hundred pages, but it is a pleasant reading experience. It does not try to accomplish too much, but rather it is one of those rare books where the author understood that less is more and fully delivers in making each page valuable and interesting. The sighting of a unicorn in the book is an example of this—the delicate handling of the scene leaves the reader as much in awe as Guinevere over the magical beast. Similarly, the illustrations are not elaborate but simple drawings, yet they are magical for what they leave to the reader’s imagination. While the influence of T.H. White can be felt in the novel’s pages, and perhaps a bit of Disney’s film version The Sword in the Stone in the illustrations, Carpinello manages to create a unique and original version of Guinevere’s childhood.

Carpinello is obviously enthusiastic about sharing the Arthurian legend with young readers. Her biography states that “The focus in her writing is on reluctant readers.” I felt she provided enough magic and detail to appeal to readers of all ages, especially in her realistic portrait of Guinevere coming of age. I also appreciated her short, educational section at the book’s end, including a discussion of the King Arthur Legend, a glossary, discussion questions, and some additional reading. The book is suitable for readers, depending on their reluctance or proclivity to read, from about third grade through middle school, although as an adult, I enjoyed the book thoroughly.

Well done all around, “Guinevere: On the Eve of Legend” is a novel sure to win readers’ hearts and add to the many fans of the King Arthur legend. Perhaps best of all, Carpinello is now busy writing “The King’s Ransom,” the first in her prospective “Young Knights of the Round Table” series. To learn more about Cheryl Carpinello and her books visit www.beyondtodayeducator.com

________________________

Tyler R. Tichelaar, Ph.D. is the author of King Arthur’s Children: A Study in Fiction and Tradition, available at www.ChildrenofArthur.com

Read Full Post »