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Daughter of Camelot (Empire of Shadows 1)

3.53  ·  Rating details ·  60 ratings  ·  28 reviews
“Debut author Cooney offers up an intriguing coming-of-age adventure set in the waning days of Camelot, presented with an eye toward historical accuracy and gritty detail.” (Publishers Weekly)

Filled with terrific suspense and budding romance, Daughter of Camelot is a fast paced adventure set against the turmoil at the end of the Arthurian era.

Raised in the shadow of a fort
Paperback, 421 pages
Published September 24th 2013 by Mabon Publishing (first published September 19th 2013)
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3.53  · 
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 ·  60 ratings  ·  28 reviews

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Josephine (biblioseph)
Feb 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Originally posted on aurora lector.

In 6th century Wales, a Chieftain’s daughter longs to distinguish herself and serve the High King, Arthur of Camelot. She plays at fighting with her twin brother, Rhys, and their groom, Ronan. Her older sister Nia is a lady at the nearby castle of Deganwy and a constant reminder of what is expected of Deirdre. When a close friend of her father’s, Merrick, tells of trouble in Camelot,  Lancelot and Guinevere having run away, Mordred, here Medrawd sees his chance
Sep 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, read-in-2013
Filled with terrific suspense and budding romance, Daughter of Camelot is a fast paced adventure set against the turmoil at the end of the Arthurian era.

Raised in the shadow of a fort dedicated to training Knights of the Round Table, Deirdre thirsts for adventure.

Instead, at 14, she is sent to court to learn the etiquette and talents of a young woman.

Court life, however, is more fraught with danger than she expected, and Deirdre finds herself entangled in a deadly conspiracy that stretches dee
Oct 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
Originally posted at

Daughter of Camelot by Glynis Cooney is the first book in the Empire of Shadows series. I was immediately tempted by The DoC when I saw it was based in the time of Arthur and Merlin, a time which allows magic, bravery, courage, honour, battles, love, and fantasy to roll into one: providing a breathtaking backdrop for any novel.

Cooney delivers; her world is well developed with various forts and courts all differing slightly or greatly, but s
Oct 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
Actual rating is probably around a 3.5, but I'm happy to round up. I was expecting a standard King Arthur tale (which is perfectly fine with me), but I was pleasantly surprised to find instead an original story set in Arthur's time, with the High King himself making only peripheral appearance. Dierdre is a headstrong girl on the cusp of womanhood, unable to accept the standard female role and longing for adventure like the knights trained at her home. As Arthur's and Mordred's forces join up, sh ...more
Feb 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
At first I was worried everything was going to be too transparent in this book where a girl thirsts for the adventure boys have... No, please no breeches and a haircut!

I was pleasantly surprised as the author took the main character, Deirdre, through several stages of growing up. Her life simply demands it, in the shadows of impending war. The kind of war that might just end the reign of peace King Arthur, King of Kings, has established. Deirdre's family is loyal to King Arthur, but there is a
Sep 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: twitter
This book was given to me free in exchange for review

Great book! Fast pace and plenty of action!

This is a girl who so much wants to help her king, but as you can guess that is just not ok for a girl! She sets off on the adventure of her life, meets new people and grows up quite a lot!

She finds she must make a choice and not sure if she should follow her heart or what's best for her country!

This was a great read and I look forward to the next book!
Lots of characters to keep your interest each wit
Nov 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
This book was very good, it had a few problems withwhat seems to me the start of a side story and then the author would drop it without much explanation such as talks of prophecies and secrets held by little princesses. I'm assuming these things will be explained further in future books. All in all VERY enjoyable and I would recommend this book!

Uncorrected Arc provided by Netgalley

DNF at 40%

This seems to be turning into a habit. But here it is, another netgalley book that I just couldn't convince myself to finish.

As it is, the beginning turned out to be the "best" part of this story. We are given some vague glimpses into middle age (Arthurian time frame) life. Costumes, ideas, prejudices... like twins being seen as a bad omen. And normally drowned.
Let's say the word "witch" was thrown around a little too casually.

The twins are Deirdre
Katie Hamstead
Sep 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, arc, own-it
Note: This was a Netgalley. I received this free for an honest review.
So, the cover on this is pretty boring, but the story isn't. It starts off slowly. The main character, Deirdre, is very young, sheltered and naive. As a result, she comes across a little bratty to begin with. But, as she faces the real world and struggles with what it means to be a lady in a world ripping apart at the seams, she is forced to grow up very quickly. In the end, she has grown ad developed enormously.
Her sister, N
Sep 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: net-galley
This is a story about a girl named Deirdre who is swept up in the happenings of Arthurian times. Against her will Deirdre is sent to court by her father and it soon turns out that court is not the kind of place Deirdre thought it was.

Dangers lurk everywhere and Deirdre has to find her way in a difficult world without losing sight of who she is. There is a love triangle involved so be prepared. I personally could not feel one of the possible relationships at all, but the other one was very sweet
Dec 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
highly enjoyable read, kept me engaged to the very end and feverishly awaiting part 2.

I thought this book was truly fun to read. A different spin on other Arthurian books, with the main character being a girl, who wants nothing more than to be a knight and save the world.
Her adventures develop in a way she never anticipated and at the end she realizes that her desire has been fulfilled but in a way completely different than what she imagined.

Jan 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
A very nice book. I love how they fight. The plots are interesting. I was so into the book that I finished it in two days!
Feb 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, 2014
I very much wanted to like this book. The plot premise was good, and I wanted to get to know the characters better, as they were quite compelling. However, numerous issues with tense, switching from past to present and back again over and over made it such an uneven read that I have to set it aside.

*** Update on this review: publisher is providing me with an updated version of the book, which might have been provided for review before editing was complete. I am happy to give this one another sho
Sep 08, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: net-galley
Daughter of Camelot has some good ideas as far as the Arthurian legends. I like that the author didn't focus on the usual characters, like Lancelot and Arthur. If you like medieval times and reading about King Arthur, you might like this. Unfortunately, for me personally, I just didn't like it. I could not connect with the main character at all, and I caught myself skimming. I felt that some scenes were too dragged out, whereas others were completely rushed. I received this book courtesy of Net ...more
Got this from NetGalley. The writing was easy to read and made me smile a couple times, but when the first chapter ended with no sign of a plot, I had no interest in continuing. I think part of the problem is that I don't read a lot of slow-moving fantasy. That, and I can't think of a more overdone/tedious opening than a sword fight.
Yzabel Ginsberg
(I got this ebook through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.)

I usually like stories revolving around Arthurian legends, and there were good elements in this book, but I had a hard time getting into this one. I think it was a combination of weird happening and incoherences regarding the main character, with some editing problems in the middle. (NB: I'm not sure if the copy I got was an ARC or the finished product, considering when I got it and the officiel publishing date. If it wasn't
Thank you to the publisher for providing me with a copy of Daughter of Camelot via NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

My Review of Daughter of Camelot:

Daughter of Camelot was pretty good, falling squarely in the middle of my ratings scale. The characters were pretty likeable, didn’t irritate me, and the plot and developments were entertaining.

Deirdre was a good heroine, a 14-year-old girl living in Arthurian times who prefers horses and swordplay to embroidery and etiquette lesso
Sep 24, 2013 rated it liked it
a slow start but clarity emerges

Wales at the waning of Camelot. The High King's star is failing. Guinevere has been unfaithful, Lancelot has killed Gareth, Merlin has disappeared from court and the land is on the edge of breaking up into smaller kingdoms Arthur had bound together. Darkness is about to descend. The tide is turning against the High King. The threat of minor kingdoms devouring each looms.
The opening scene of Deirdre practicing sword play with her brother Rhys gave evidence that he
This novel is a fictional story whose plot surrounds the mythical tale of the fall of King Arthur. The protagonist is Deirdre, a spoiled daughter of a chieftain who has grown up on the glorious conquest and adventures of the Knights of the Round Table. However, when the fatal prophecy of King Arthur is starting to unravel Deirdre fears that not only does it involve King Arthur’s death, but the death of her world. In an effort to prevent King Arthur’s prophecy, Deirdre embarks on a quest to save ...more
Dec 13, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: rar
3.5 Stars. This was an entertaining adventure. I love reading about kings and their courts. This story captured my interest right from the start. However, the middle of the book was a bit slow for me. The plot was centered on Deirdre, who was determined to not be a lady. I understand that completely, especially for the times. Women’s lives back then seem rather dull. Nia’s character changed that perception slightly for me. I think the mystery and intrigue would have been fun for a while but cour ...more
Aug 17, 2013 rated it liked it
I received this book free from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Having just finished watching Merlin on Netflix, I was ready to jump into more stories about King Arthur and his knights. Glynis Cooney's Daughter of Camelot provided an opportunity to read a different kind of Arthurian story. The book follows Deirdre, a teenaged girl who'd rather be a knight than a lady, through her adventures and misadventures in Camelot and the surrounding region at the time of the fal
Kathryn Powell
Oct 15, 2013 rated it liked it
My initial impression of Daughter of Camelot was one of interest. I have always been a lover of Arthurian tales, and often find myself entangled within the pages of novels that are a spin off of these tales. And in the terms of Arthurian time era, this book was one that particularly filled that thirst.

Generally, I enjoyed the plot of the book, though parts were awkward to read and sometimes a bit unbelievable. Deirdre, the lovely narrator of the tale, is on the verge of her fourteenth birthday w
Nov 12, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, historical
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Against a backdrop of the Dark Ages and the end of the Arthurian era, author Glynis Cooney introduces fourteen year old Deirdre, who longs for adventure, despite her gender. All Deirdre wants to do is to live a life of glory, comparable to the lives of the knights who serve King Arthur, and when she is sent to a neighboring kingdom to learn how to be a lady, Deirdre is extremely disappointed. When news of Lancelot’s betrayal of King Arthur spre
Apr 04, 2014 rated it it was ok
I was pretty iffy about this book when I started. It immediately separates Deirdre from all the other female characters by putting them down, which I strongly dislike. Throughout the book though, it's clear that Deirdre grows up - so her opinions on the role of women in society changes as the book progresses. She starts respecting what they do and the different sort of courage it takes to be a healer or to find out important gossip instead of charging into battle. There's also a dwarf character ...more
Becky Soledad
Deirdre is ready to change her fate. As the daughter of a Lord in King Arthur’s court she is expected to head to court and learn the ways of a proper lady so she can find a husband. Deirdre hopes for so much more, adventure and glory, stories to share around the fire like the knights that visit her home. More than anything she wants people to look at her as more than a “simple girl.”

When I started this book I was expecting Camelot and Arthur to take center stage. I was surprised to see that Arth
Aug 17, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2014, history, netgalley
I received this book from NetGalley for an honest review.

There was talk of war against Arthur and discord within Camelot. Deirdre wanted to do everything in her power to help her country. Instead she was sent to court to learn to be a lady.

There were mystical aspects to parts that were interesting, but they were few and far between with no real explanation. The scenes would happen and then they would not be explored. Deirdre was a twin and because of that she was thought to be a witch. There was
The concept of Daughter of Camelot is truly excellent-- featuring a strong young female fighting against the constraints of society, a narrative that takes time to point out the flaws of knightly courtship/tales of derring-do, and of course, Camelot. The execution was just not there. The love interests were half-formed, the plot jumped abruptly between scenes, and there were jarring religious/philosophical asides interspersed amongst witch attacks and fears of dragons.

As I was reading, I kept t
Glynis Cooney
Oct 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
rated it liked it
Oct 05, 2013
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Madison Mega-Mara...: Daughter of Camelot by Glynis Cooney 1 2 Oct 29, 2013 05:35AM  
Glynis Cooney grew up in Brooklyn, New York, infatuated with the Arthurian legends. After graduating from Sarah Lawrence College, she lived and worked in the British Isles, making her first trip to Wales where the seed for the Daughter of Camelot was planted. She is an English teacher in Massachusetts.