- Paperback: 150 pages
- Publisher: Beyond Today Educator (11 June 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 194622944X
- ISBN-13: 978-1946229441
- Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1 x 22.9 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 281 g
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
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Guinevere: At the Dawn of Legend Paperback – 11 Jun 2017
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"Guinevere: At the Dawn of Legend is the sequel to Cheryl Carpinello's first Guinevere story, Guinevere: On the Eve of Legend. Both books take the fascinating Arthurian legends and create stories that will entice even the most reluctant of readers. With realistic characters and an exciting plot full of adventure, the reader will be pulled along to an unexpected conclusion. Young readers will certainly easily associate with Guinevere and Cedwyn, who, at their young age, take risks and disobey their parents, while at the same time they reach out to help others. A great way to entice readers, even reluctant ones, to follow the adventures found in legends. "
2017 5-Star Review from Readers' Favorite
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In this book Guinevere and Cedwyn sneak out to visit the wizard’s stones. They are eager to see the magic they have heard Merlyn talk about. When their horses are spooked by a piercing scream they flee afraid for their lives. The closest place is the Abbey and they know the monks will take them in. However they will not be safe there when the renegades attack. And what danger awaits Cadbury Castle whilst the men are away fighting?
Guinevere and Cedwyn’s fun adventure turns into a fight for their lives and what they will see and endure will cause the youngsters to grow up fast and take on grave responsibilities.
“Cedwyn’s voice did not crack as it had a day ago. He was no longer a boy on an outing with his best friend. He had become their leader, their protector.”
Books for reluctant readers need to be fast paced and the plot uncomplicated and easily visualised. Guinevere: On the Dawn of Legend delivers on all these aspects.
The two main characters are likeable. Cedwyn has made a vow to protect Guinevere for life and he takes this very seriously. Guinevere is headstrong and determined although she still has a lot to learn about her future role as Queen.
There are themes of decision making, responsibilities and ruling with your head not your heart. The story has plenty of action, danger and breath-holding suspense with a splattering of light humour.
I didn’t agree with all the characters’ decisions and I think this leaves scope for good discussions.
The story is open ended and will leave many readers eager for the next instalment.
If your young reader loves stories filled with adventure, magic and mystery, heroes, strong women and good prevailing over evil then I recommend this series.
The book also has discussion questions at the end, ideas for further research and a rundown on the King Arthur legend.
My rating 4.5/ 5
Suitable for ages 8-12 years
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Set in a time of warfare, the story follows the escapades of the young Princess Guinevere and her friend Cedwyn. After leaving Cadbury Castle on a poorly conceived trip to visit the mysterious standing stones, both are forewarned of great danger by the Goddess of the Stones. However, it may be too late to rectify as events have already been set in motion and a ruthless group of renegades is intent upon capturing the princess. Unfortunately, both her father, King Leodegrace, and her betrothed, King Arthur, have gone away to fight in battle. It is up to young Cedwyn to protect the princess and truly reveal his mettle. Sadly, their impulsive nature quickly catches up to them as those they turn to for help are abruptly killed. Even worse, Cadbury Castle itself is ransacked and all the children are stolen by the renegades to be sold into slavery. Guinevere and Cedwyn vow to save the children. Do they really have what it takes to pull off such a feat? Can two fresh-eyed youngsters really outwit a band of cunning and ruthless renegades?
I found the plot of this story to be quite exciting and engaging. It was written with reluctant readers in mind and as such it quickly travels from one adventure to the next in an effort to keep the reader actively invested in the story. There are also a number of themes in the novel such as loyalty and friendship, as well as taking responsibility for one's own decisions. These are key concepts for all people, but particularly for younger readers. While the plot was certainly exciting and engaging, I did find a few gaps. For instance, even though it takes place during a time of warfare, Cadbury Castle would not be left undefended. It is highly unlikely a small band of renegades would be able to overtake it quite so easily. That being said, the book is primarily action based and does not spend an exorbitant amount of time on explanations.
In regards to character development, there are two main protagonists who are developed in sufficient depth. Guinevere comes across as a strong female presence who attempts to help others despite facing very cumbersome obstacles. She reveals herself to be a very "human" princess who is susceptible to making mistakes and then having the strength of character to try and remedy them. Cedric is also developed in detail throughout the story. He comes across as very "childlike" at the beginning of the tale. Nevertheless, by the end we can see the beginning of his emergence into a man who may just have his coveted Knighthood awaiting him in the future.
Overall, I found this to be a very good book which will appeal to its intended reader base. It has a strong plot and well developed characters. It also very capably illustrates how difficult life could be during this era. An important point when writing a piece of children's historical fiction!
Many authors think they can write for reluctant readers, but this text really shows Cheryl Carpinello's finesse with such writing. Her teaching experience shines through the pages as she draws in the readers. The text is great for boys and girls, and there is nothing too feminine about the story and appeals to all children.
Author Cheryl Carpinello brings the legend of King Arthur’s heroic wife Guinevere to life in the exhilarating and emotional middle grade historical fiction novel Guinevere: At the Dawn of Legend (Book 2). Here is the synopsis:
“Think before acting,” her father always warned. But Princess Guinevere is ruled by her heart. Her betrothal to King Arthur has not changed this. When Guinevere and Cedwyn’s latest adventure takes a dangerous turn, they find themselves embroiled in a life-or-death struggle as foretold by Merlyn’s Goddess of the Stones. Renegades—foiled in their attempt to kidnap the princess—steal the children of Cadbury Castle to sell as slaves. Guinevere and Cedwyn vow to rescue the children, but a miscalculation puts them all in more danger. The plan quickly unravels, and Guinevere’s impassioned decisions come crashing down as Cedwyn chooses to turn his dream of becoming a knight into reality. Will their courage be strong enough to survive, or will one make the ultimate sacrifice?
Now as someone who has come into this book series without any previous knowledge of the first book, this novel does a great job of creating a narrative that allows readers to jump head first into the story. Not only is the legend of King Arthur, Guinevere and Merlyn all well known to many, but the story of Guinevere and Cedwyn is natural and comes across in a way that is both familiar and new all at once.
The author does a great job of skirting that line between mythology, history and middle grade storytelling as readers get a glimpse at the brutal nature of medieval warfare, while giving an intimate look at a close friendship between a future queen and her future knight. Meanwhile, we get to see the birth of the woman who rivaled Arthur in both legend and heroism, Guinevere. Her character arc showcased the growing bravery and need to save others that few people possess, making her historical and mythological status feel current in this day and age.
This is the perfect middle grade, historical fiction story to bring a strong and heroic female protagonist into the children’s book mainstream audience. A fantastic play on the origins of one of history’s greatest iconic figures, the legend of Guinevere runs deeper than you could have ever imagined. A fast paced read filled with memorable characters and an emotionally pulling story, Guinevere: At the Dawn of Legend (Book 2) by Cheryl Carpinello is a must read. Grab your copy today!