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Queen of Camelot

(Queen of Camelot #1-2)

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  2,589 ratings  ·  214 reviews
On the night of Guinevere’s birth, a wise woman declares a prophecy of doom for the child: She will be gwenhwyfar, the white shadow, destined to betray her king, and be herself betrayed. Years pass, and Guinevere becomes a great beauty, riding free across Northern Wales on her beloved horse. She is entranced by the tales of the valorous Arthur, a courageous warrior who see ...more
Paperback, 623 pages
Published January 2nd 2002 by Del Rey (first published January 1st 2002)
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Alice It's not technically part of a series. This book is actually the books "The Child Queen" and "The High Queen" combined into one edition. It is, howeve…moreIt's not technically part of a series. This book is actually the books "The Child Queen" and "The High Queen" combined into one edition. It is, however, followed by the book "The Grail Prince," which is followed by "Prince of Dreams." Each book is about a different character of the Arthurian legend. You can find more information on the author's website, Hope that helps answer your question. :)(less)

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Average rating 4.07  · 
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 ·  2,589 ratings  ·  214 reviews

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Jul 26, 2011 rated it did not like it
Every once in a while a book comes along so satisfying and beautiful that you savor every passage, lose yourself in the story, and at the end closing it with great reluctance, sorry the tale has come to an end. This isn't one of them. I was elated to be finally finished with this. This Arthurian tale is narrated by Guinevere and this Guinevere claims to deeply love both Arthur and Lancelot wishing the best for them and their honor while never completely relinquishing her hold on either man; then ...more
Nov 02, 2012 rated it did not like it
good god, this book is awful. arthur is PERFECT. lancelot is PERFECT. and above all, guinevere is PERFECT: beautiful, honorable, humble, and most importantly, not like those "other women." god, if i had a nickel for every time someone in this book compliments her for not being like those horrible other women, i'd be a koch brother. i spent the whole time waiting for someone to have an emotion that was human in any way--or an actual flaw that would make these characters even a bit believable. i d ...more
Stacia (the 2010 club)
Magical vag strikes again.

3.5 stars. Fion. Lancelot. Arthur. Mordred. Spin the wheel of fortune, and hope you pick the right man. I probably would have taken Fion right off the bat and would have never gotten a chance to meet the others because I thought he was pretty awesome. The very first guy who takes an interest is a hot, nice, witty guy with an accent, who is also a king? Sold. Story over.

Actually, since Gwen didn't sleep with all of the men, she must have a magical aura instea
Feb 11, 2009 added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Elizabeth by: Abby
Shelves: arthurian
'Aaaaa!' I screamed, and swooned.

yep, that pretty much sums it up. WAAAAAAAY too many "a's" in this book overall.

I'm a sucker for a sympathetic Mordred, as anyone who knows me knows, and that is surely what kept me going through this 867 page tome, which incidentally I can't believe I didn't read when it was first published... although I suppose, in my defense, I have never been a fan of Guinevere.

I just felt like it was written by a ten-year-old. The "Aaaaah!" writing style is typical of my 6t
Jan 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Combines the two brilliant works by Nancy McKenzie about Arhur's Queen Guinevere and one of the best reteallings of the Arthurian legend.

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, b
Feb 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Arthurian legend
Recommended to Jillian by: Katie
Edit 4/10/2014: In my first review of this book in 2011, I noted that they left out the epilogue that appears in the The High Queen. However, upon reading this book (again) this year (love it so much!), I realized that what they did with the epilogue that seemed to be missing was they turned it into a prologue when they put The Child Queen and The High Queen together into this set. So, I was wrong that it wasn't included at all (I must have somehow skipped the prologue the first time I read this ...more
Jul 23, 2012 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 10, 2014 rated it did not like it
Having read reviews of this book, and always interested in a tale of Camelot told from Guinevere's perspective, I looked forward to reading this. I am quite disappointed in the result. First, although I love Mary Stewart's Arthurian cycle, McKenzie's reliance on Stewart went well beyond inspiration. Not only does she track most of Stewart's plot developments, but, at particular moments, she either closely paraphrases or plagiarizes Stewart's description of certain events.

Second, McKenzie's Guine
A great retelling of the Arthurian Saga. Wonderful book. The Arthur legends as told from the viewpoint of Guinevere, a beautiful, strong, courageous woman and her heartbreaking love of two men - Lancelot and Arthur. We see Guinevere grow from a young girl to the most beautiful woman in England.

An exciting tale and the love she bears for both Lancelot and Arthur - and the love they both return to her made for an engrossing book.Don't pick this one up in the middle of the night thinking you'll re
Terry (Ter05 TwiMoms/ MundieMoms)
Feb 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone who loves a beautiful historical romance
Recommended to Terry (Ter05 TwiMoms/ MundieMoms) by: Goodreads friend but can't remember who
Beautiful beautiful telling of the story of Guinevere, Arthur, and Lancelot. I loved Mists of Avalon and The Crystal Cave and the rest of Mary Stewart's series, but this is my favorite of all. The love these three had for each other is so tenderly but powerfully told by Guinevere herself and for the first time I felt I came to know her. This time it was not as a sad victim, an unfaithful wife, or a woman destroyed by her circumstances. This time she was brave against extreme adversity, loyal to ...more
Feb 23, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: group-read
3.5 stars...

In this retelling of Camelot by Nancy McKenzie we are thrust into the world of King Arthur, Lancelot and Guinevere. This story follows Gwen growing up and how she finds herself to be married to Arthur. I was wrapped up in this story from the moment I knew it would come from Gwen's point of view. Along the way I was shocked to see the devotion she was given from both Arthur and Lancelot.

Never before has a woman been so deeply loved by both these men. In fact Gwen has many admirers an
Caitlín (Ink Mage)
Mar 15, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: new-adult, camelot
Since the night the old woman spoke the prophesy at Guinevere's birth, people have looked at her a little strangely, for it was told that she will be a great queen and that her fate will be one no one will envy. This is hard for Guinevere to believe, since she is just the daughter of a lesser king, and besides, it's her cousin Elaine who constantly dreams over the young King Arthur, though she has never met him. But when people are beginning to look for a new wife for Arthur, an old friend of Gu ...more
Jun 18, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: those who love the legend of King Arthur
I've always loved the legend of King Arthur...the Holy Grail quests, the Knights of the Round table, etc.

Over the years, I've especially come to love the books that tell this story from the women's perspective. Queen of Camelot tells this story from Guenviere's eyes.

Of course, every Arthurian tale takes a slightly different slant - there's a ton of inconsistency, even in the more classic literature. This version is interesting because it portrays Gunivere as a traditional woman - not really inte
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: lovers of legends and strong women.
“Take what comes and live without complaint. What will be, will be. Life is a woman’s gift; death is God’s.” Merlin’s litany heard so many times by so many people. This time it is heard by King Arthur’s son, Mordred, and Queen Guinevere is witness to this event. The Queen comforts Mordred as he is at Camelot because of her suggestion to her husband, King Arthur, to bring Mordred and his four half-brothers from The Orkney Islands and the evil influence of their mother, Queen Morgause, who is King ...more
I'm ambivalent about Nancy McKenzie's The Child Queen and The High Queen (recently reprinted as Queen of Camelot); they're reasonably good retellings of the Arthurian legends, with Guinevere as the viewpoint character, but they have some serious flaws.

McKenzie does a good job making Guinevere into an appealing character in her own right, and she gives us a strong Arthur to go with her, creating a passionate and compelling relationship. At the same time, McKenzie spends so much effort on showing
This novel of the Arthurian legend is told strictly from Guinevere’s point of view. Being relatively new to the Arthurian legend, I greatly enjoyed the twists and turns and good and evil aspects running throughout the book. The way the novel is told is haunting and eloquent, without being pretentious. In the end, the novel is about individuals trying to fight fate and ultimately failing, perhaps because they fight fate.

The love between Gwen and Arthur is heartfelt, as is the love between Gwen a
Apr 06, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
This volume comprises two books: "The Child Queen" and "The High Queen". I found this to be an engaging and richly imagined interpretation of the Arthurian legend. It is firmly set in a Britain that still retains some influence from the relatively recent Roman occupation, and is also peopled by Celtic Druids and early Christians. It is a time that is struggling for order and civilization in the face of man's instinct toward savagery. Told from Guinevere's point of view, the prose is evocative wi ...more
Dec 10, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arthurian
Well, I quite enthusiastically give this book 4 stars. Another Arthurian novel told from the viewpoint of Guinevere (I've read a few this year) and I really liked it. Probably my only complaint is that the characters often come across as too good to be true. It is a little over the top and gets a bit annoying. I would like them a little more flawed I suppose. But otherwise I loved the spin on the story and I loved, LOVED Mordred in this one. You'll recognize all the characters and see much of th ...more
Apr 06, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-2011

This book started out very enjoyable, but faltered in a big way about halfway through. I enjoyed the sympathetic Guinevere, and I was looking forward to the sympathetic Mordred, but this book is not good. Guinevere is pretty clearly an authorial stand-in, and the book in many places reads like wish fulfillment fan fiction. Nearly every woman in this book is two dimensional, or stupid, or evil. Guinevere has no female friends, and though her relationship with Arthur makes sense, the constant draw
This is in my top five favorite books ever. It is completely amazing and I can't praise it enough. I would give it more than five stars if I could.

Update: I just finished reading this for a second time and I still loved it. My only small issue with the novel is that I wish McKenzie had turned the prologue into an epilogue. I would go so far as to say that I recommend reading the prologue last.
Sep 07, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ancient-era
I highly recommend this book about Arthur's Queen.
I'm not saying a word about the plot other than it was hard to put down and did not go along with the legends thought of, of that time.
The heroine emerges as a very human woman.
May 17, 2017 rated it it was ok
I had a really hard time finishing this book. I lost interest about half-way through but felt guilty for already wasting so much time on it. I wanted to like it a lot more than I did.
Nov 07, 2014 rated it it was ok
Two-and-a-half stars. Nancy McKenzie puts an interesting spin on a well-known legend. This is Guinevere's autobiography and there is no doubt she is the true hero of this tale. McKenzie does a smart job of entwining the mythical and believable to create the story that is the basis for the legend that will evolve. The feminist heart will delight to find that "Gwen" is a woman ahead of her time who has power in her own right to match Arthur's. And then it will fall to find Guinevere subject to att ...more
Jennifer Ross
As a child, I couldn't fathom ever sympathizing with Guinevere. As I grew older, I began understanding some deeper emotions by which she might have been led. This book brings an interesting and thought-provoking twist on the entire Arthurian legend; Guinevere's love triangle being only part of it.

From a witch's foreboding prophecy at her birth, to her childhood as an orphaned princess, to her rise to High Queen, I was enthralled by this tale. Although sometimes annoying (her constant weeping an
Jun 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing

Queen of Camelot was my introduction to the world of King Arthur and Guinevere and have since can not read anything else about it in fear that my beloved characters in this book might be changed in some way. I had to read this on assignment and I read it twice in two days. Then again, a month later. Then again a few months later.

The story's pace is one other writer's should envy because it is such a perfect balance that it isn't overwhelming nor too slow, it just is. The story, wh
Jan 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I haven't enjoyed a book this much in a while. I love Arthurian legend and this novel adds a few interesting twists to the traditional stories. There were a few flaws (e.g. completely anachronistic feminist attitudes abound) but I overlooked them happily because I was having so much fun.

My only real complaints are that (1) Arthur is so accepting of Guinevere's and Lancelot's relationship, and (2) though they don't consummate their love, these two are more than happy to approach and sometimes cr
Eva Rose
This book made me angry, from Guinevere, who plays victim to everyone and is all the time trying to avoid being label a slut, to her cousin Elaine who hates on her because Guinevere is prettier than her.

When it comes to Arthur I can't remember much of his character but Lancelot was Guinevere's dog and Elaine's bitch as she makes him marry her by getting pregnant through some magical wine.

It is kind of soap opera style and Guinevere tries with all her might to be a good angel but all the time it
Jan 03, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Arthurian fans
Shelves: arthurian, own
This is a Guinevere that can be admired. She's strong, intelligent, and isn't afraid to speak her mind. I guess since my first love in Arthurian books is 'Mists of Avalon', I often compare the characters to what they are in that book. Anyone who's read 'Mists' knows that Guinevere, well... she's kind of a spoiled, pious bitch. LOL This is the exact opposite.

She's probably one of my favorite Guinevere's. And while I feel the ending is a bit rushed, it is an excellent book. It's slightly different
Lisa Brown
Sep 10, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. It is the story of King Arthur and Camelot from Guinevere's perspective. It begins with her childhood, and takes you through her life, including her marriage at 16 years old to the High King, Arthur, and continues until his death.

I loved everything about this book. I loved the perspective of the story coming from Guinevere, I loved the main characters, especially Arthur and Gwen and their relationship. I love the way the author fills them with honor, and how although they are
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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)
  • The Child Queen: The Tale of Guinevere and King Arthur
  • High Queen

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