Guinevere: At the Dawn of Legend

Tales & Legends for Reluctant Readers

Children - Fable
150 Pages
Reviewed on 06/07/2017
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

I’m a retired high school English teacher. A devourer of books growing up, my profession introduced me to writings and authors from times long past. Through my studies and teaching, I fell in love with the Ancient and Medieval Worlds. Now, I hope to inspire young readers and those Young-at-Heart to read more through my Tales and Legends for Reluctant Readers set in these worlds.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite

Children are attracted to adventure and they don’t see the risks that adults do, refusing to accept many of the limitations and rules enforced for the sole purpose of keeping children safe. Guinevere and Cedwyn are close friends and Cedwyn, although still very young, has pledged his life to protect the princess who will one day be his queen when she marries King Arthur. Being children, they have their adventures. And one such adventure to the mysterious standing stones results in magical visions and then a race for their lives. There are people intent on kidnapping Guinevere. When she out-foxes their intentions, they take the castle children instead to be sold into slavery. Guinevere insists on chasing after the kidnappers and rescuing the children. The adventure intensifies as they risk their lives and become heroes. But are they totally successful in rescuing the children? Or do they just manage to create more problems in the process.

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, one that demands another book to complete the series. 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 and become heroes. A great way to entice readers, even reluctant ones, to follow the adventures found in legends.

Tyler R. Tichelaar

Guinevere: At the Dawn of Legend

New Young Adult Novel Continues Guinevere’s Intriguing Story

At last, Cheryl Carpinello has published her long-awaited sequel to Guinevere: On the Eve of Legend, and even better, Guinevere: At the Dawn of Legend—Cedwyn’s Story ends with a cliffhanger, suggesting yet another book will follow.
The first book in the series was charming, complete with a unicorn and Merlyn, but this second book shows us just how much Guinevere is growing up quickly due to the situations surrounding her. When the first book ended, Guinevere was affianced to King Arthur, though still just a girl. Arthur is himself new to the throne and seeking to make alliances, hence his desire to wed Guinevere, but Guinevere has more important concerns.
As this second novel opens, Guinevere and her best friend, the almost-eleven-year-old boy, Cedwyn, decide to leave their home at Cadbury Castle on their own and go visit the Wizards’ Stones. While they know the adults wouldn’t want them to leave, they are anxious to see the stones that Merlyn had told them about. It sounds like a fun afternoon adventure, but it quickly turns into more when an ancient goddess appears and utters a prophecy about the two young friends’ futures.
The prophecy has barely ended before Cedwyn and Guinevere hear strange sounds, and spooked, they ride to a nearby monastery to seek shelter. There they learn some renegades are out to kidnap Guinevere, and fearing the monastery will be attacked, they flee again, but once they feel it is safe, they return, only to discover the monastery destroyed. By the time they return home to the castle, it has also been sacked. The renegades were searching for Guinevere, but since they couldn’t capture her, they decided not to leave empty-handed, so they kidnapped several children.
I don’t want to say more and spoil all the fun of reading this book. I’ll just say there is plenty more adventure, but what I most appreciate are the story’s pacing and the care Carpinello takes with her two main characters. They are children, they are having adventures, but they feel like real people, frightened, trying to do what is right in the face of danger, and they are also headstrong, not always believing that the adults know what is the right thing to do so sometimes they have to act on their own. They are heroic children with all the idealism and foolhardiness that come with first adventures.
Anyone who enjoyed the first book in this series will equally enjoy the second and look forward to the third. The characters are well-drawn and realistic, the events plausible, and the story well-plotted. I’m eager to read the next book and see Guinevere grow up a little more and mature into a queen worthy to sit at King Arthur’s side.
Cheryl Carpinello is also the author of a non-related young adult Arthurian novel, The King’s Ransom (Young Knights of the Round Table), as well as Sons of the Sphinx and Tutankhamen Speaks. To learn more about her and her books, visit www.cherylcarpinello.com
— Tyler R. Tichelaar, Ph.D. and award-winning author of The Children of Arthur series

Naila Moon

Great to see that you liked Cheryl's book. I have yet to read this one but certainly, will have it on my TBR pile.