Guenevere, Queen of the Summer Country (Guenevere, #1)
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Guenevere, Queen of the Summer Country (Guenevere #1)

3.57 of 5 stars 3.57  ·  rating details  ·  2,489 ratings  ·  163 reviews
This is the first part of a trilogy chronicling the life of Queen Guenevere. Beginning with the young King Arthur preparing for the war which will unite Britain, the book recounts Guenevere and Arthur's marriage, the growth of Arthur's Court and Guenevere's adulterous affair with Lancelot.

Although told mainly from Guenevere's point of view, this is a truly epic narrative,

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Published (first published January 1st 1999)
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Brittni
Wow, I hated this book. Now, I don't know TOO much about Arthurian legend, but I know enough to know what needs to be known, and from what I've learned I was intrigued by it. I thought this book would further propel me into the legend...I thought wrong.

I found the characters to be disgusting. Merlin was portrayed as a crazy, sex-obsessed old man, and Arthur was portrayed as weak. Guenevere, however, was supposed to be thought of as perfect by us, from the way the author spoke about her. That's p...more
Rachel
What an awful book. I nearly always finish any book I start, but this one I only made it into a hundred pages. The author has a very clear agenda - that men and religion work hand in hand to suppress women both sexually and politically. I don't mind reading books with a bias if they are well written and make you think, but this novel is pedantic and heavy handed. The characters were stereo-typical and seemed created to make a point. The northern knights who serve men are dirty drinking, loutish,...more
Erica Hopper
Let's get to the point: I really disliked this book. I was all for giving it a go when I picked it up at my bookstore and very excited to read it. My reasons for buying and reading it are as follows:

1) I was going through Merlin withdrawals which translate to withdrawal of Katie McGrath as Morgana because, really, Merlin was horribly written.

I mean, look at Katie McGrath, she is a Queen in my book.

2) The book's cover has John William Waterhouse's Ophelia on it. Basically, if you put Waterhouse p...more
Kirby
I was severely disappointed with this book.
When I started I was excited to read about the Arthurian legend from Guenevere's point of view, but Miles pushed it too far. Yes, Guenevere is supposed to be a strong, independent queen, but it was presented in the worst light possible. I'll go as far as saying Guenevere wasn't even presented as independent, merely as a naive young girl furiously wanting to be. Her desperation, prayers, continuous complaints, and intense mood swings almost pushed me of...more
Jayne
And as much as I had really really really wanted to enjoy it, I hate it. I don't think I got past the first 10 chapters.

Plot: Seriously, your standard fare about the Arthur legends. The "difference" here was that it was told from Guenevere's perspective, but there is something in the back of my mind telling me that another author had already done this. Marion Bradley Zimmerman? I think?

Characters: Childish. All of them. I don't mind characters having a childlike quality, but I don't think ther...more
Michelle
I really appreciated the perspective of Guenevere coming from a long line of strong, warrior queens from the Summer County. However, Guenevere didn't live up to her heritage and seemed weak and wishy-washy to me. Being able to hear her thoughts, as she went back and forth between loving Arthur and later Lancelot, only strengthens the wishy-washy aspect to her character. Also, random sexual scenes didn't really add to the progress of the novel and seemed unnecessary. The 'bad' characters were bad...more
Amber
Great story. I love different POV books. I was worried it would be overly feminist considering the autor's non-fiction titles, but it was great. Guenevere is a character that's rarely fully fleshed out and I felt like this was a plausible alternative to the traditional tale. Looking forward to the rest of the trilogy.
amy
Wonderful twist on the old tale of Guenvevere, King Arthur's queen. She is a queen in her own right..in fact a daughter from a long line of queens of an old realm ruled by. Arthur's rule of Camelot was hard won and marrying Guenevere gave him credence to rule the people of the country.
Chana


I had this book for a long time on my TBR shelves but I finally read it during Plum's What to Read in Oct. which was folk and fairy tales. Actually I wasn't sure if the Arthur legends had any basis in reality so I googled it and found that historians don't know either; they can only tell you about how long the legend has been around and guess at its origins. Fascinating really as the legend is so popular and ubiquitous.
So as to the book itself: Not bad. I did get sick of certain words like "othe...more
Dana
Well, that went downhill fast.

First, let it be known that unlike some other reviews on here, I didn't give this book a low rating because Guenevere has these so called "horrible morals" or has slept around or whatever else people have claimed makes her unlikable. Main characters are allowed to be unlikable if that's what the author has intended. If you've read any "King Arthur", Guenevere does sleep with Lancelot. She is the fall of Camelot (inadvertently). She isn't the kind of person you want...more
Lydia Presley
In Guenevere, Queen of the Summer Country by Rosalind Miles we about the old Author legend from the viewpoint of Princess (Queen) Guenevere. More depth is given in this story then normal in stories about Arthur to Guenevere and her mother's kingdom.

There were a few things I did enjoy about this book. When viewed at as a fantasy novel there were all the ingredients that make a good one. Light magic and dark magic. Twists and turns, betrayals and true love. It was all there and the writing was goo...more
Nicole (Reading Books With Coffee)
The only book about Arthurian legend was The Mists Of Avalon, which is one of my favorite books of all-time. I was expecting something very similar to The Mists Of Avalon, so I suppose I was disappointed when this book didn't live up to what I thought it would be.

I didn't like this book as much as I thought I thought I would- in fact, I didn't like it all. While I like the fact that the book focused on Guenevere, I found her to be such an unsympathetic character. It was clear that we were suppo...more
Holly
i think there are better Authurian legend books out there. This is a book about redemption & forgiveness set in the time of King Authur. The familiar characters are probably not portrayed as you expect. Merlin is a spiteful, vengeful, sex crazed old man. Not wise at all. So is he a Druid? A Christian? I'm not sure. Authur is a puppet of Merlin. He can't make a decision w/o him. And the knights & the rules of chivalry. Were the knights of this time really like this? I always pictured the...more
Nikki
Though I liked parts of it, it is an Arthurian legend after all, there is enough that bothers me about the book to stop me from continuing the series. Her writing style itself isn’t bad, but most of the characters are just entirely too flat to care about. The crazies are just too crazy, the zealous too zealous, the pathetic too pathetic. It drove me crazy, she really pushes it out there too, like, it isn’t just intricacies in their characters that make them a little annoying, but huge sweeping g...more
Sarah Beth
I really thought I was going to enjoy this book. Marion Zimmer Bradley obviously set the bar too high for me in terms of Arthurian novels, and this novel fell far, far short. The novel is told from Guenevere’s point of view but the narration is stilted and everything felt very forced. The novel jumped randomly forward in time – for example Guenevere and Arthur have a son named Amir, and in the next chapter he’s seven years old and then is killed. I almost stopped reading this just because the ch...more
Kelly
Jul 31, 2007 Kelly rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: Arthurian lit fans (who are women)
This was on the good side of pretty okay. Again, Gwen comes off much better here than she does usually, since these books are mostly from her point of view. The writing is pretty good and very lovely. Very descriptive. The characters are very realistic and she does a great job of bringing you into the story. I was really pleasantly surprised by this book. I mean, it's still middle brow, comforting fiction, but its a pretty good example of it. I wasn't motivated to read the other ones, somehow, b...more
Stefanie
If you think you know the story of Camelot, think again! Rosalind Miles will have your head spinning as she weaves her own tale of love and betrayal. Who is right? Who is wrong? Perhaps Guenevere is not so innocent, Lancelot not so shallow, and Arthur not so saintly as we have let ourselves believe. Perhaps the villainess is not the one The Mists of Avalon has proposed, but another whose evil is rooted in her dark and damaging past. Perhaps this legend's true tragedy lies in its utter lack of vi...more
Karen
Well, only made it halfway through. Although the concept was cool with Gwen being the pagan instead of her usual role as Christian, and the evil uncle, I just didn't like the writing style. It took forever for anything to happen, and the overuse of the exclamation point really got to me. Merlin should not be yelling all the time!!!!! So there. I also didn't like the use of italics for everyone's thoughts and the changing of perspective got to me. It wasn't even every other chapter from a differe...more
Amelia
I love Arthurian legend and I so wanted this to be a proper sweeping epic, a beautiful retelling, fleshing out the ancient stories. This is what you'd hope for from a historian-turned author, isn't it? Based on my admittedly limited readings of the "original" (for want of a better word) texts, this does draw significantly upon the legends. The scene between Lancelot and Guenevere at Dolorous Garde, for example, has clearly been lifted from de Troyes' Lancelot: The Knight of the Cart, which I am...more
Robin
I picked this book up while I was browsing in a bookstore in London. I can't get enough of the Arthurian legend and this certainly was told from a different perspective. It does paint Guenevere in a different light. I thought the book (and the two that follow it) are a good read; probably not the best Arthurian material I've read, but still good enough to re-read. =)
Michelle Merriman
This is one of the very few books I couldn't manage to stomach all the way through. I gave it a shot and plugged away long past the point where I *wanted* to give up, but found myself more than annoyed with both Guenevere and Arthur and, honestly, any unfortunate figure unlucky enough to be named or given dialogue in the 250+ pages.

Guenevere is entirely self-absorbed and I can only imagine was meant to be admirable and wise beyond her years, but she just comes across as a know-it-all who takes...more
Obisbooks
I've been an Arthur fan for years, a bit of a crush on him, so never really considered Guenevere or any of the others. This story is a great telling of the tale from Guenevere's point of view, her early life and meeting Arthur, the beginnings of their kingdom, the clash with the Christians, the arrival of Lancelot. Wonderfully written.
Meg
This book was so slow in the beginning--- and awkwardly written. I was ready to put it down, but I love stories about King Arthur, so I stuck with it. Nothing thrilling. Nothing new. I would not recommend the book unless you enjoy the story.
Nadine Anne
Well, what can I say? People can always find things to rationalize vile despicable behaviours such as Guenevere's adultery. The thing is I actually sympathize (just a little bit) for her whoring ways. Well if you've been groomed all your life that you can have whoever man you want and regardless of how many of them you can bed then being monogamous will really be an issue.

She did try to be monogamous though despite of all her efforts she gave in to the call of flesh. haha. Funny thing about this...more
natalie
Let's see. Christians hate women and sex and believe life is about suffering. Women should rule the world. I get it. What else? Merlin is a pimp. I can't read anymore.
Sara Giacalone
This book delves a bit too much into feminine "goddess worship" bs and has some historical inaccuracies, but it was okay. Very much light reading.
Mary
If I could give it half a star, I would.
Marit
In many ways this book felt like something I'd read before, likely because I read several Marion Zimmer Bradley books about the same topic, plus other assorted Guenevere-Arthur re-tellings along the way. While I know how the story goes, it's always interesting to see how someone else tells the tale (which is the power of epic story-telling). The biggest drawback to this novel is its hyperbolic nature. The women are extremely beautiful, the men are extremely manly, and the emotions are always tur...more
Melissa Conner
When she met a young man named Arthur who was destined to be king, Quenevere was simply smitten with him. After the very recent death of her mother and the overwhelming responsibility to take her crown as Queen of the Summer Country, Quenevere found stability in Arthur…comfort in his firm stance, passion in his tender hands and loving heart. He loved her wholly and completely and would stop and nothing to win her affections…that is until infidelity got the best of BOTH of them.

In this first book...more
Meagan
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Rosalind Miles is an author born and raised in England and now living in both Los Angeles and Kent, England. She has written both works of fiction and non-fiction. As a child, Miles suffered from polio, and had to undergo several months of treatment. After being accepted to a junior women's college, Miles acquired a working knowledge of Latin and Greek, along with developing her life-long love of...more
More about Rosalind Miles...
I, Elizabeth Isolde, Queen of the Western Isle (Tristan and Isolde, #1) The Knight of the Sacred Lake (Guenevere, #2) The Child of the Holy Grail (Guenevere, #3) The Maid of the White Hands (Tristan and Isolde, #2)

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“She loved your mother', Taliesin said gently. 'This is her farewell.'

As he spoke, a chanted melody began inside the chamber, a song without words. Yet it spoke of the beauty in the heart of the flame, of the passing glory of the white bird on the wing, and the blossom of the sea spray under the shining prow. It sang of a mother with her baby, of the hard love between men and women, and the gentle rest that comes at last to all.”
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