Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Once & Future” as Want to Read:
Once & Future
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Once & Future

(Once & Future #1)

3.54  ·  Rating details ·  1,356 ratings  ·  531 reviews
I’ve been chased my whole life. As a fugitive refugee in the territory controlled by the tyrannical Mercer corporation, I’ve always had to hide who I am. Until I found Excalibur.

Now I’m done hiding.

My name is Ari Helix. I have a magic sword, a cranky wizard, and a revolution to start.

When Ari crash-lands on Old Earth and pulls a magic sword from its ancient resting place,
Kindle Edition, 369 pages
Published March 26th 2019 by Oneworld Publications
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Once & Future, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Courtney Tobin YES. LGBTQA inclusiveness is a baked-in, implicit part of the universe, to the point that anything else is jarring to the characters.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.54  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,356 ratings  ·  531 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Emily May
He apologized for breaking his promise not to use magic as he took down the guard with the needle. Then another apology -- "sorry, quite sorry" -- as he zinged the one holding Hex.
"Why are you being so nice to them right now?" Hex asked.
"I'm British!" Merlin cried.

It's times like this when I really wish I'd never started leaving star ratings for books because it just doesn't adequately express all that I want to say. There were some moments of comedy gold in this book, and so much wonderful di
شيماء ✨
If you aren’t someone an evil capitalistic corporation wants dead for being the on-the-run refugee who ignited a galactic revolution with the help of a cranky wizard, a mythical sword and a group of knights.... are you really living?

So, what’s this book about?

When Ari, a refugee from an Arab-settled planet, draws Excalibur from a tree on Old Earth and an ancient cycle shudders to life, that was only the tinder. The spark comes when Ari is dubbed the 42nd incarnation of king Arthur by Merlin, t

ARC provided by Hachette in exchange for an honest review.

“Buried in the trunk of the thousand-year-old oak was a sword.”

I have a very big soft spot in my heart for Arthurian legend and I will never turn down a retelling of the epic tale. And when I heard that we were going to get an ownvoices series, written by a couple, I knew I wouldn’t be able to resist. Also, Morgana is one of my favorite villains of all time, and I actually think Once & Future is one of my favorite interpretations
Ok, so this book was hilarious. I had a stupid grin on my face the entire time. I was literally laughing out loud while reading, a very rare thing for me.

And maybe that was the problem?

This book was extremely funny and I absolutely loved that. I also really loved the writing. I honestly didn't expect to like the authors' writing this much. It was fluid and fun and just felt good to read. Another thing I really liked was the characters, especially Merlin. Seriously though, Merlin deserves a hug.
Charlotte May
Apr 05, 2019 marked it as library-loans  ·  review of another edition
Library copy available for pick up

Heck yes!!!!
However I did promise myself I wouldn't read this until I finish The Once and Future King which has been on my currently reading since last November? And I'm about half way through but haven't picked it up in like 2 months because I suck.
Alana • thebookishchick
A Gender-bent King Arthur reimagining set in space with a cast full of LGBT+ rep, what more could we possibly need in 2019?

Not a damn thing.

When I received an e-mail from the publisher asking if I would be interested in a receiving a copy of this book the screech I let out would have been loud enough to send my neighbors into a panic that there was a serial killer in my house. But alas, no one was home so no need for anyone to lose their minds EXCEPT ME, because King Arthur has always been one o
full review to come

This book was................not as good as I hoped

There was so much representation. Gender rep (fluidity, they/them rep), Merlin is gay, King Arthur is a girl + she's *****PAN!!!****** (feels the feeling of being represented in a book c: c: c: c: c: ) and this book basically flips off capitalism with a magical middle finger. I mean. The MC is an undocumented immigrant ready to defeat evil or die trying.

And that's just. I felt like whooshing into outer space with my love for
Kristi Housman Confessions of a YA Reader
I never knew I needed a queer feminist King Arthur retelling in space until I read this book!

I only know the basics about King Arthur.  I haven't really read anything to compare this to, but this book makes me want to learn more now.  Now I worry that it won't compare though.  This book is so modern and has such amazing rep.  I don't know that  I can handle the original story now.

My favorite thing about this book is the characters.  These friends who are a found family.  That's something I love
Madalyn (Novel Ink)
Okay, wow, this was SO much fun and SOOOO very queer. Love.
Ellie (faerieontheshelf)
> 3.5 stars

Full review to come, but this was essentially a really fun novel with incredible diversity (an almost entirely queer cast, a central sapphic romance, an enby character, PoCs) but rather haphazard plotting with irregular jumps in the narrative that weren't easily overlooked, and twists towards the end that I didn't like as much. (But either way, some of these things might be fixed in the final copy and it was a brilliantly diverse book with interesting worldbuilding & I would
Apr 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
* I read this as part of the OWLs readathon as the Arithmancy prompt *

This book is one I picked up based almost entirely on cover and blurb alone as there were nearly no reviews about it when I saw it in the bookshop. However, I am so very glad I did pick it up, because although retellings aren't usually my thing, and although trying out new authors can be good or bad, I think both of the things I was skeptical about really paid off for me here. This is a queer space-based gender-flipped retelli
I've put off writing this review for a long time because I feel so painfully disappointed by this book. You only have to look at my excited squeeing below to know how much I was looking forward to reading this. Seriously, a gender bent, sci-fi King Arthur reimagining should be a winning book for me so it pains me to say I was so bored I couldn't even finish reading it.

To start with the positive I love what the authors were trying to do by creating such a diverse cast of characters, we people of
Mar 24, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Once & Future, a retelling of the legend of King Arthur and set in space, is a great read, although it wasn't quite as gripping as I'd hoped. I feel this will be a book you'll either love or hate with little to no middle ground. It certainly has a lot going for it - magic, romance, love, corruption, the obligatory evil corporations and a diverse and wonderful LGBTQ+ cast. All the famous characters from the original tale are here but are given a makeover - for instance, Merlin is gay and King ...more
That was somehow even queerer than I dared hope?? Fun and adventurous and sexy and sometimes just weird, and I'm so looking forward to the next one.
Danika at The Lesbrary
I’m not even sure how to approach writing about this book, because it is so ambitious. Once & Future is a queer, sci fi retelling of the Arthur myth, with a female Arthur. It’s somehow simultaneously dystopian, sci fi, and fantasy. Also, it's SO QUEER. Almost the entire cast is queer! m/m and f/f relationships, a non-binary character (they/them pronouns), and an asexual character!

I loved this book. It is epic and feminist and queer. It’s about resistance and survival, making connections and
Max Baker
Thank You Netgalley for providing me a free review copy in exchange for an honest review

Amy Rose Capetta and Cori McCarthy are HUGE voices in LGBT+ YA and looking at this book from a purely objective standpoint I can appreciate what they did here. This is a Sci-Fi book that incorporates multiple sexualities and gender identities into a story without relying on the "we're all oppressed" or "it's there but in a vague sense" tropes you see in the genre. This is a wide cast of characters with their
Mohammad Ganaim
Mar 29, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Literally No One
I feel this will be more rant than review, I was so hyped for this book. I held so much hope that there was going to be a good story on Arthur and Merlin, a story I love so much, a story I've followed through books and the TV Show.

Having waited for this book for a while, before the cover was even released I loved the goodreads description, going around telling everyone about this SCI-FI FANTASY. Alas we get to the book and we are already hating it within the first few chapters. We are introduce
Jan 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition


“Hope is the food of the foolish. Eat up, kiddos.”

While Once & Future was definitely a space opera, it wasn’t constrained by its setting. Everywhere from funky moon bases to planet-wide renaissance fairies to dusty post-apocalyptic wastelands were featured, each new environment unique and compelling. Amy Rose and Cori’s universe feels real, and while I wasn’t always clear on its rules, I knew just enough to believe in its magic.

The unapologetic and jo
Mogsy (MMOGC)
3 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

Lots of interesting and unique ideas are happening in young adult sci-fi and fantasy right now, and when the author can pull them off while being diversity-minded and still nail the trifecta of characters, story, and world-building, it can be incredible thing to see. However, I’ve also found these cases to be extremely rare. To wit, I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve come across a book with amazing representation
Tori Kiersten Frost
Do you wish BBC's MERLIN had been a lot gayer? Do you wish there were ten more seasons of Netflix's SHE-RA? Do you want a squad of LGBT+ knights to go on epic quests IN SPACE? Then this book is for YOU!

A wildly entertaining LGBT twist on Arthurian myth smashes headfirst into fun, stellar science-fiction in ONCE & FUTURE.

Ari is an undocumented teen on the run from the brutal galactic corporation that tore her away from her planet. When the wizard Merlin - now a teen, too - dubs her the next K
Nov 15, 2018 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
lmao “crash-lands on Old Earth” “the newest reincarnation of King Arthur” “Merlin, who has aged backward over the centuries into a teenager” this synopsis just got wilder and wilder ahahahah count me in
Elise (TheBookishActress)
hi!! i love amy rose capetta and arthurian legends!! that's it thank you!!
Sophie Elaina
Feb 24, 2019 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019-releases
A sci-fi fantasy retelling of King Arthur where Arthur is a badass woman?!!! GIMMEE! This book sounds like everything I've ever wanted in life.
Vicky Who Reads
Mar 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4 stars

I came into Once & Future with as few expectations as possible. And I walked out with so many high expectations for the next novel (!!!).

Before starting this, I saw some mixed ratings floating around, and made the wise decision of scrolling past them on Goodreads as quickly as I could to stop that from harming my reading experience. (My mood is very impressionable, unfortunately.)

And although I think Once & Future had its flaws—it was also pretty damn good. I had fun, and there
This book is not without its flaws, but it is so lovely that I forgave all that immediately.

First of all, the DIVERSITY and REPRESENTATION in this book is incredible. I have never read a book like this. And the best part is that it is not forced in any way and it feels completely natural. Bravo for that.

Second, the characters are super cute and to die for, I want to hug them and become their best friend. Especially with Merlin, who became one of my all-time favourites.

And at last, ok, the fla
Oh. My. God. I loved this book so much. I'll review it properly soon, but for now all I have to say is: SUPER QUEER SUPER AMAZING ABSOLUTELY HILARIOUS FUTURISTIC KING ARTHUR RETELLING WITH A FEMALE KING ARTHUR.

And if that doesn't make you want to pick this up I don't know what will.
DNF 1/2 of the way through. This was such a cool concept but the overbearing romance ruined the story for me. I really liked the worlds and the diversity that was included but it would be really nice if the characters could think with something other than their sex drive for five minutes.
Dec 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
YOOO SOO THIS BOOK WAS SOOOOO FREAKING GOOD. First off, this cast is full of LGBT+ rep, especially with the two main characters. From my understandings of definitions & sexualities, I’ve done my best to conclude this as the list of rep (but anyone else who has read the book, please feel free to correct me if I am wrong or add something in!): there is non-binary rep, gay and lesbian rep (m/m relationships, f/f relationships), pansexual / bisexual rep, and ace rep. There is only one straight c ...more
Apr 12, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, science-fiction
I'm going to preface this review by saying that I have been waiting for this exact book, a queer, genderbent, space fantasy/science fiction retelling of King Arthur for over two decades. I have wanted it so badly that I've tried to write it myself a few times. I was the key target for this book. This book is my dream book. The moment I heard about it I preordered it. And I am so disappointed to say that it was kind of a train wreck.

Spoilers below.

The characters were flat, filling their stereot
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Never Tilting World (The Never Tilting World, #1)
  • A Court of Miracles (A Court of Miracles, #1)
  • A River of Royal Blood (A River of Royal Blood, #1)
  • The Pioneer (The Pioneer, #1)
  • The Last 8 (The Last 8, #1)
  • Castle of Lies
  • Unconquerable Sun (The Sun Chronicles #1)
  • House of Salt and Sorrows
  • Last of Her Name
  • The Magnolia Sword: A Ballad of Mulan
  • Sky Without Stars (System Divine, #1)
  • The Tiger at Midnight (The Tiger at Midnight Trilogy, #1)
  • The Beholder
  • Guardians of Dawn (Guardians of Dawn, #1)
  • Nocturna (A Forgery of Magic, #1)
  • Spin the Dawn (The Blood of Stars, #1)
  • Incendiary
  • Aurora Rising (The Aurora Cycle, #1)
See similar books…
Amy Rose Capetta, the author of Echo After Echo, holds a master of fine arts in writing for children and young adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She lives in Vermont with her partner, author Cori McCarthy, and their young son.

Other books in the series

Once & Future (2 books)
  • The Sword in the Stars (Once & Future, #2)
“It's true, I'm no murderer. But I do have an impulse control problem. And a sword.” 3 likes
“The path humans took through time was less the mythical arrow of progress, and more of a squiggle that doubled back on itself, curling and looping. A roller coaster designed by a drunkard.” 0 likes
More quotes…