Guinevere: At the Dawn of Legend is the second book in the Tales and Legends for Reluctant Readers series.
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