Review of MS. PENDRAGON by Michele Lang (see her website)
Triskelion Publishing, September 2006
Being a New York City lawyer has prepared Gwen Dulak for a lot, but when someone proclaiming himself to be Mordred shows up in her refrigerator, she runs to her new age friend for help. Her friend's help turns out to be as dangerous as the refrigerator-man. Joining up with Merlin, waking Arthur from a thousand years of sleep, and replaying the last days of the Round Table, with every knight there knowing that Gwen (AKA Guinevere) had betrayed her king. It didn't help that Gwen had recently broken up with Lance (AKA Lancelot)--who just happens to join them in Camelot.
Life would have been a lot easier if Gwen could just run off with Lance, leaving Arthur to take care of his own problems, but Gwen falls for Arthur, despite his disaproving glares and his feeling of betrayal for adultery Gwen hasn't even committed--yet. Things probably would work themselves out if Gwen and Arthur could just spend some time together, but Mordred has gathered every disloyal and embittered knight and he doesn't intend to let anything stand in the way of his revenge. He'll make Gwen his Queen, and he won't let anything stop him.
With Merlin trapped, Gwen has to rely on herself, on the ancient magic of women and the Goddess, and create a solution that doesn't destroy the kingdom the way she did in the old legends.
Author Michele Lang creates a cute take on the King Arthur legend. Sassy Gwen demands to be taken seriously as a person, not just as a role stuck in the middle of a love triangle. Claiming her full power, ultimately, makes her responsible for what happens--for better or worse. Unfortunately for Gwen, she can't see a way that will let her have it all--the love of a hunky king and saving the kingdom. But lawyers learn to make deals and sometimes the deal means someone gets hurt--someone like Gwen.
While I would have liked to see a bit more explanation for the attraction between Arthur and Gwen, and Gwen's lingering feelings for metro-sexual Lance are a bit hard to understand, but for all of us who've been frustrated by the bitter ending of the Arthur tales, Lang delivers an intelligent do-over. Lang's writing holds the reader's interest and who wouldn't enjoy the fantasy of both fixing history and ending up with the hunky king?
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