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Daughter of Camelot: Empire of Shadows Book 1 by Glynis Cooney: A Book Review


Daughter of Camelot: Empire of Shadows Book 1
Author: Glynis Cooney
Genre: YA
Publisher: Mabon Publishing
Release Date: September 24, 2013
Pages: 425
Source: NetGalley/Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: Filled with terrific suspense and budding romance, Daughter of Camelot is a fast paced adventure set against the turmoil at the end of the Arthurian era.

     Raised in the shadow of a fort dedicated to training Knights of the Round Table, Deirdre thirsts for adventure. 


     Instead, at 14, she is sent to court to learn the etiquette and talents of a young woman. 


     Court life, however, is more fraught with danger than she expected, and Deirdre finds herself entangled in a deadly conspiracy that stretches deep into the very heart of Camelot. 


     All Deirdre thought she knew and believed in—loyalty, love, bravery—is challenged when she embarks on a quest to defy Fate and save the King.


      
     My Review: This novel is a fictional story whose plot surrounds the mythical tale of the fall of King Arthur. The protagonist is Deirdre, a spoiled daughter of a chieftain who has grown up on the glorious conquest and adventures of the Knights of the Round Table. However, when the fatal prophecy of King Arthur is starting to unravel Deirdre fears that not only does it involve King Arthur’s death, but the death of her world. In an effort to prevent King Arthur’s prophecy, Deirdre embarks on a quest to save the king and her world.

     The setting of the story shows a vulnerable, broken, and divided kingdom. Across the northern borders of Britain are their enemies of Pictavia. Yet within Britain, after the fall of Lancelot, most of the chieftains begin to doubt King Arthur. The realm is torn apart, with some being loyal to King Arthur and others plotting to depose him and put his nephew on the throne. Not only are the political factions divided, but also religion is too. Some are for the old pagan religions, while others are for the new Christian religion. Because of these divisions, the kingdom of Britain was weakening, and may be creating their country’s downfall.

     Deirdre’s character is spirited, bold, and romantic. She is a tomboy and dreams that she will also have a romantic adventure as the Knights of the Round Table. However, she is quick to anger; she sometimes does mean actions and says hurtful things, and she is prone to jealousy. Sometimes she is naive and can act childish. However, she does grow up and tend to make smart decisions.

     Overall, this book is filled with  suspense, adventure, humor, love and loyalty. It is also about friendship and family. However, what I don’t like about the book is that the author needs to work on character development. It is unclear what Deirdre’s gifts are, and most of the characters’ actions are based on telling rather than showing. For instance, Deirdre’s female companion is given a spear and has some training sessions, yet she does not use any of her skills. The romance in the book is forced, for we see none of their actions of their love, but are instead told that they love each other. There are details that are mentioned but never explained. For instance, we learn that a mad monk has killed a dwarf’s father, but we are never told how or why he killed him. The subject is never brought up again, and the reader can just as well forget that it was ever mentioned. Most of the characters are one-dimensional. However, this is a fun novel and is good for light reading. I recommend this book to fans of King Arthur legends.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

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