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The Child Queen: The Tale of Guinevere and King Arthur
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The Child Queen: The Tale of Guinevere and King Arthur

(Queen of Camelot #1)

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  749 ratings  ·  31 reviews
The story of a love and a treachery that would live for all time. Guinevere and Arthur. Lancelot and Merlin and Morgan Le Fay -- all the names of myth are given flesh and blood in this Del Rey Discovery of the Year book!
Mass Market Paperback, 307 pages
Published July 2nd 1994 by Del Rey
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Average rating 4.07  · 
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 ·  749 ratings  ·  31 reviews

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Erin Germain
I read this when it first came out. For as long as I can remember, I've been a fan of Arthurian tales, but other than Marion Zimmer Bradley's masterpiece The Mists of Avalon, they don't really tell much about the women of Camelot. This is nowhere near the scope of Bradley's book, but it was still enjoyable. The Guinevere portrayed here is young, shy, but courageous and determined. In love with two men, she does her best to hold to what is right, while dealing with the pain and shame of not being ...more
Jan 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
An extremely engaging book, full of adventure, passion, intrigue and emotion.
Engages the reader evey step of the way.
It traces the early life of Gunievere , who would be Arthur's bride, from her birth to the king and young queen of the Kingdom of Northgallis, where a witch predicts the night of her birth that she would live to be the greatest lady in Britain, but also that she would betray her king and herself be betrayed.
What is unique about this retelling of the Arthurian legend is the deep
Sep 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
More of a 3.5, but I liked it enough for a round up.

What I dug most about this book was the maturity of it. Adults acknowledging the emotions of other adults, accepting them and choosing to trust one another. SPOILER ALERT: I'm talking, of course, about the immortal Arthur/Guinevere/Lancelot love triangle. In this version, Arthur is not only aware of the romantic love between his wife and best friend, he acknowledges it and trusts them enough to not act inappropriately. The 3 of them speak of
Feb 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Fans of Arthurian legend
Recommended to Jillian by: Katie
I first read this in high school and was completely enthralled. The world that McKenzie painted was so thrilling and magical, colorful and beautiful that I read this book over and over and just lost myself in it. I really cared about the characters and what happened to them, and I adored how Guinevere was portrayed and how her struggles were thought about and discussed. One of the best books I've ever read, done in a writing style that complimented the subject matter perfectly--a true work of ...more
Mar 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Definitely the most fun version of the Guinevere/Arthur legend I have read. If you are looking for a sweeping Arthurian epic or historical accuracy, this is not it. If you are looking for a Guinevere who is someone you can cheer for, this is your book. All the characterization in McKenzie's tale is excellent; the characters seem real and the author paints a very strong, likeable Guinevere and delivers a highly entertaining story. I picked up the sequel to this a couple of weeks ago and am ...more
Jul 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
This book is a favorite from my early high school days. It focuses on the life of Guinevere. The characters are well-developed and wonderfully human, despite the fact that the reader knows they are going to become a part of extraordinary events. One of my favorite parts of this story is how it provides such a strong foundation for how Guinevere could end up in love with both Lancelot and Arthur. The book has some very poetic passages and scenes while always keeping in mind that these amazing ...more
Jul 31, 2007 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Arthurian lit fans looking for a light read
Meh. Even at the young age I read this at, meh. It was fine. Nothing really stood out to me. Except maybe that Guinevere wasn't the horrid bitch that I thought she was before that. Nothing special, but it's there. It read pretty quickly. I can't remember enough to say if it was on the good side or bad side of meh.
Jan 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
First of all Guinevere is by far the most believable, human version of this character. Though her you fall in love with Lancelot. Then you fall in love with Arthur. A beautiful, heartbreaking tale from the round table.
Nov 28, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Historical Fiction lovers
Shelves: arthurian, favourite
This is a book I picked out on a whim at the library when I was in high school. It is the book that got me intensely interested in the King Arthur myths.
Feb 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I've read this book about half a dozen times, but it's still great.
Aug 11, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A slow start but once the story picked up it was very intriguing although I think the ending was rather abrupt. Looking forward to reading Part 2.
Sarah Bedwell
Jan 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
My all time favorite fiction book (along w sequel The High Queen). Phenomenal character development, excellent writing, great plot with twists. Wish I could find more like this.
Summer Malik
Feb 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book used to be two books and was merged into one. Called The Queen of Camelot. I personally liked the separate books better.
The sequel is The High Queen.
This is my favourite version of the Arthurian legend.
Aaron Carson
Jan 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
I was a huge fan of The Mists of Avalon, but this series has something that my holy book has not; a believable Guenivere. The sort of Tom Boyish, heroic girl featured in these books, struck a chord in me, and I felt something like a pang of recognition. McKenzie packs a lot of vivid imagery into two smallish volumes, which will inevitably be compared with Bradley's mammoth work. Considering that the herione of the piece is the Queen and not an enchantress (enchantresses being much more popular ...more
Apr 02, 2008 rated it liked it
This was a recommended reading back for my high school Freshman English class. It tells the story of King Arthur from Guinevere's perspective. Since it was recommended back in high school, it is not a challenging read, but fun nonetheless. I believe it is a hard book to find, so if you would like to read it, let me know.
Fiona Mccrea
Apr 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
I read this when I was in junior high. At the time it was my second favorite Arthurian tale (The Crystal Cave was first).

I tried it again in college. It didn't really hold up. But I can't help but have a soft spot in my heart.
May 15, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: literature, fantasy
This was a fun read. The story of Arthur told from Guinevere's perspective. I think the love-triangle between Arthur-Guinevere-Lancelot is treated really well and as I have always wanted to imagine it.
Jun 15, 2007 rated it really liked it
The single work of Aurthurian fiction where I have ever liked Guinevere. For that reason alone, I think it's worth a read. It's fun, if you're feeling like an afternoon of King Arthur.
Sep 09, 2015 rated it it was ok
Read it ages ago, and since it popped up on my GR recommendations, I thought I'd shelve it.
Diane in Australia
2 Stars = Blah. It didn't do anything for me.
Feb 21, 2012 added it
The Child Queen: The Tale of Guinevere and King Arthur by Nancy Mckenzie (1994)
Oct 10, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: arthurian legend
I read this a while ago. It's a great, easy read, especially for those who like Arthurian legend and Guinevere in particular.
Jul 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite series of all time!
Apr 30, 2008 rated it really liked it
This is an absorbing tale told from Guinevere's perspective. And what a heart wrenching tale! I really love this book and it's sequel.
Connie T.
Jan 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
I read this a long time ago (17 years) and never completed the series. I should begin again.
Aug 29, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: hist-fic
On the night of Guinevere's birth, a wise woman prophesizes her fate. Story of how her destiny plays out.
A different version of the King Arthur Story. It led me to the Mists of Avalon. I did enjoy it very much.
Feb 05, 2008 rated it really liked it
I love books from this time period. Plus it was an interesting twist on the Guinevere - Arthur love story.
Sep 02, 2012 marked it as to-read
omg i can't wait to read this book!! hopefully i can get it asap
Kristen Kellick
Feb 20, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: fans of Arthurian legend variations
Definitely a comfort book for me, which is why I re-read it earlier this year.
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Nancy McKenzie is the author of several novels based on Arthurian tales. Guinevere’s Gift is her first novel for young adults. She lives in Danbury, Connecticut.

Other books in the series

Queen of Camelot (2 books)
  • High Queen