A Review of The Return of Sir Percival: Guinevere’s Prayer

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Good evening,

It’s a rainy evening here in Minnesota and I’m enjoying watching a storm from my dry and warm livingroom.

I just finished reading The Return of Sir Percival by S. Alexander O’Keefe. This book was an interesting version of what life might have been like after King Arthur’s death with Merlin still having a plan up his sleeve and hoping things will fall into place.
Sir Percival is a man haunted by many ghosts and who was sent on a journey to find the Holy Grail in an attempt to save Arthur by Merlin. That quest takes over ten years from the Middle East to Alexandria Egypt where he becomes friends with a Numidian named Capussa while serving an unjust year sentence and learning the ways of a Gladiator. When he becomes free, he journeys back to Briton to deliver his findings to Guinevere whom he is in love with though won’t admit it.
In many ways Percival is very much the reluctant but honorable hero who seeks peace and yet can’t stand seeing some of his fellow countrymen beaten down by the Norse and wicked Morgana who took over much of his former King’s lands.
Though he appears to not have the military smarts and determination to not only do what’s right but succeed to his enemies, he’s very much full of surprises.
Guinevere is portrayed in a very interesting way that shows she’s a woman of her time but is also very smart, kind hearted and fiercely protective of those she cares for. Helpless to do some things such as take back her kingdom from enemies without help and go far from the safety of her family’s lands in Wales, she doesn’t let that deter her from trying to do what she can and staying strong.

I thought it was an interesting concept of choosing to have Morgana and Merlin originally from Rome and the Roman Militia aspects. Considering how influential Rome still was in that era, it went well with the storyline.
Overall, I thought it was a complex story full of complex characters and enjoyed that it was written with words you’d expect to find when talking about the time period of King Arthur. I really liked the fact that this wasn’t about Lancelot and Guinevere being star crossed lovers nor were there hints of Guinevere or Arthur cheating on each other. While I do enjoy the occasional read about these two getting together, it wouldn’t have worked with this particular storyline.
I can see why Guinevere and Percival became very close especially during King Arthur’s reign. They are both strong, kind hearted and honorable people who want their country to be free of raiders, Morgana’s treachery and be happy.
This book was an interesting mix of myth, adventure, unexpected love and a few unexpected twists. People who enjoy different versions of King Arthur’s time with a bit of Roman thinking tossed in will enjoy this book.

So that concludes my bookish ramakings about this story. I have a stack of books to read that almost equals my height including ARCs to read before release dates. I hope you’ve enjoyed my review and feel free to drop back in soon.

Book Mentioned In This Blog:

The Return of Sir Percival: Guinevere’s Prayer by S. Alexander O’Keefe

Currently Reading:

The Black Gryphon by Mercedes Lackey

Slainte,

~M

A Review of Elite by Mercedes Lackey

 

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Good evening,

I’ve been looking forward to reviewing this book since the moment I was one of the lucky people to get approved for an ARC. Books that involve magic, a female heroine, and different cultures are a few of the things that tend to catch my attention because they are always such a fascinating mix which holds very true in this book.

Several months ago I came across a book cover in a library that had a dragon on it but couldn’t remember the name of the author nor of the book when I came back another day to pick it up and that bugged me for quite some time. Finally out of the blue, I happened to come across that same cover in an article talking about books that involved dragons and found out that it was called Hunter by Mercedes Lackey. Then shortly afterwards, I found out about an ARC of Elite which is the second book in the series and nearly squealed with joy when I was given approval and sent an e-book version. While I haven’t been able to read Hunter yet, I plan to in the future because there’s a lot of questions that I have and I’m really curious about the area that Joy came from.

So getting back to the book review, I had a lot of fun reading Elite and getting to know a variety of different people as well as creatures.Joy is a young talented woman who has spent most of her life being taught how to wield her magic and being prepared to help defend her home. She is the main gal who is part of a group known as the Elite Hunters that fight against what were once considered mythical creatures (such as Ogres, Drakken, Thunderbirds, Folk Mages and Minotaurs to name some), using magical powers and military training. These creatures seemed to come out of no where and once most of them were sent back to the Other Side, that time period became known as the Diseray and they came out of an area known as the Barrier. Once people started to develop magical powers, they were taught how best to put them to use, many bonded with mysterious creatures known as Hounds, and combat skills were taught. Some chose to form groups to protect areas and eventually were called Hunters because they hunted down creatures causing havoc and what few weren’t killed, were sent back to the other side of the Barrier. The Hounds are intelligent shape shifters from the Other World (where the mythical creatures come from), who after bonding with a human can talk to them telepathically, usually are in packs and are a very welcome companion that choose to fight at the side of humans.

There were a lot of things going on in this book that made it hard to put down and a lot of twists that I didn’t see coming. Joy may have been raised all her life how to deal with these strange creatures but even she becomes stumped over some of the entities that start showing up. She had her down moments and had a lot to deal with, particularly when the hunts went sour or people that she watched over were injured or killed. Just when I wondered if she’d be able to save the day after a particularly unexpected and nasty fight, Joy surprised me with her smarts and figuring out how to deal with the curve balls sent her way.

I really liked the mixture of fantasy with some military protocol, futuristic with the past and the I wouldn’t mind having a Hound or two of my own. Mercedes is such a talented writer and I can see why she’s so popular. Hopefully there will be another two or three books in this series because I really want to see how Joy will mature over the course of time if she’ll get a happily ever after. Looking forward to diving into the first book of this series and reading other books by Mercedes until she comes out with another book in this series. If you like books about magic, adventure, shape shifting creatures, unique mythical creatures and a very smart main character, I highly recommend picking up this book.

Book Mentioned In This Post:

Elite by Mercedes Lackey

Next Book On The List:

The Return of Sir Percival: Guinevere’s Prayer by S. Alexander O’Keefe

I hope you have enjoyed my bookish ramblings and I really enjoyed talking about this particular book. It’s a lot easier to write a review when you’ve really enjoyed the reading material and when it’s fairly easy to follow along with the story. I have quite the good sized stack of books waiting for me to dive into and I hope to do a review on all of them. As I told someone recently; you know you’re a bookworm when you have to start making a list in order of books that are soon to be published to remember which ones to read first. I’m very lucky to have that option and I can’t wait to see what other books I can possibly at to my too be read pile. Please feel free to stay tuned and I will be back soon to voice my opinions and to hopefully be entertaining.

Slainte

~M