The Dragon Ring

Romance - Historical
312 Pages
Reviewed on 02/01/2022
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Fil Reid lives on a canal boat in the south of England with her husband. She has Asperger's Syndrome and her obsession since childhood has been King Arthur, so she's been researching this story all her life. She's very keen to portray the Dark Ages as they might really have been, but can't resist stirring a touch of magic into the brew - after all, there is Merlin.
She decided to write the story from the point of view of a modern young woman after she visited Glastonbury Tor with her husband and he took some photos in which the tower on the top vanished. She wondered if she'd been given a glimpse back in time, and what would have happened if she'd been inside the tower when it vanished.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Leonard Smuts for Readers' Favorite

The legend of King Arthur continues to provide a delightful tale of life and adventure in a different era. In Guinevere, The Dragon Ring, a modern-day Guinevere visits the Glastonbury Tor on two separate but fateful occasions. As a child, she finds a bracelet adorned with dragons, given to her by a man in strange attire. On a later visit in adulthood, she finds a gold dragon ring, which transports her back to the fifth century and a meeting with the wizard Merlin – the master planner of the events which were to follow. She learns that she is destined to become Arthur’s wife and queen and thereby fulfill an ancient prophecy. Fil Reid paints a vivid picture of the action that takes place in the vacuum created by the withdrawal of the Roman legions from Britain. The land is plagued by civil unrest as local kings vie for position. The death of Arthur’s father, Uthyr, precipitates a meeting of the remaining kings to determine who will assume overall authority. In order to take charge of Britain and restore stability, Arthur and Merlin must outwit their rivals, led by Arthur’s half-brother Cadwy and his other siblings. In this epic, Guinevere from the future must adapt to the medieval past, leaving behind her loved ones to assume the role of queen. She is forced to question her real feelings for Arthur. The dilemma then arises as to whether she can, or even desires, to go back.

There are many different versions of the Arthurian legends, which provide Fil Reid with ample scope to re-tell the story from a new and unique perspective. The Dragon Ring is a masterful description of life in early Britain and its warlords - real or mythical. The primitive agrarian lifestyle, with its lack of basic hygiene and medical care, plus differing moral standards, come as a shock to Guinevere. She has to assess her new role against what she has left behind. These dilemmas are intriguingly portrayed, along with the familiar and colorful characters. The legend of Arthur contains much archetypal material that readers will readily identify. There are kings, queens, wizards, knights, soldiers, and ordinary folk. The more noble aspects of courtly love, chivalry, and defending the weak are contrasted with greed, power, violence, and subterfuge. The story of King Arthur has a timeless quality and its essence has been beautifully captured. Those familiar with the legend will be enthralled by the richness and originality of this version, with all its drama and subtleties. This is the first of a series and the story is far from complete. The follow-up is eagerly anticipated. An original and enjoyable look at a story of which I have never grown tired!

Cassandra Leighton

I didn’t expect to be drawn to an historical romance, since I never studied history. How would I make sense of a story without an understanding of the real events on which it is based? However, it seems everyone knows a little of King Arthur. No one can say for sure what is real and what is myth with this legendary figure, so a story can go in any one of several directions without bending the ‘facts’ too far out of shape.
Fil Reid’s exciting romance, “Guinevere”, introduces us to Arthur’s fifth-century world via a time-slip. The reader sees Arthur’s exploits through the eyes of a twenty-first century young woman, Gwen. This clever use of a modern-day heroine has the potential to draw in a wider audience, who otherwise, may not imagine a Dark Ages romance is for them! And this story is so much more than a romance.
Using events in Gwen’s childhood, Fil Reid builds a sense of mystery so that when the time-slip occurs, the reader accepts the ‘magic’ of it and is carried along with Gwen, fifteen hundred years into the past. Even when you think you know Gwen’s thoughts – comparing the safety of her comfortable life in the future to the perils of life in the past – you feel her uncertainty and trepidation.
Gwen finds Arthur as many of the legends portray him: a charismatic figure who garners respect and admiration from many sides. Of course, young Arthur just happens to be ‘easy on the eye’, as well. But Gwen already has a very nice young man, far off in the future, if only she can get the time portal to send her back to him…
I read a variety of genres, but enjoy well-written romance novels that are based on complex plots. I also have a soft spot for time travel stories. “Guinevere” exceeded my expectations for being a most entertaining read. It was definitely one of those books that can’t be put down until finished. If anything, the story was too short! Just as well there are other books in the series. I can’t wait to read more

I received an advance review copy of this book, and this review is a frank evaluation of its merits.


This is an engrossing time travel romance. It's impeccably researched, and feels as if the author is an expert in the history and legends that are woven together. I personally don't have any sort of special fondness or interest in Arthurian legends, but I do love history, and it definitely leans into interesting historical and cultural details of life in this era, and that was more than enough to interest me. From a romance perspective, I'd classify it as a bit of a slow burn, as I think the MCs meet around the 25% mark, but there is plenty of other interest to keep a reader occupied, and I appreciated the time spent establishing the setting and other characters. The MCs did have chemistry and it was great to see how their relationship developed. I would recommend this to fans of well-researched time travel stories!

Jamie Malone

The book is an excellent combination of romance and historical fiction, comparable to the likes of Diana Gabaldon and the Outlander series. Fil is not only an excellent novelist, but also an authority on Arthurian lore and ancient British history in her own right. I put Fil Reid into the ranks of today's best historical romance writers. I can't thank her enough for her contribution to fiction and to the historical romance genre. I can't wait to see more from her in the years to come.


Hooked me from sentence one and didn't fail to deliver.

A delightful tale of romance, adventure, woman-strength, knights, political intrigue, and heart-warming moments delivered in an engaging and accessible way. Reid's expertise in history and folklore shines throughout, making you truly feel you're in the Dark Ages alongside our stoic yet relatable Gwen. Twists and turns will not let you put this book down until it's over, and, if you're like me, you'll be racking your brains trying to predict what happens next based on common knowledge of King Arthur's tales. I utterly failed to predict it, which made the experience so much more thrilling.

Stacey Sweeney

I thought Fil Reid's book was excellent. It was a brand new look at King Arthur and his wife Guinevere. I loved that she came from our time, and I loved that the rest of the book took place in the Dark Ages, with Gwen trying to decide if she wanted to stay and be the famous wife of a man she barely knows or return home. The book was extremely well-written with engaging characters and a lot of humor woven in. I was hooked from the first page!

Just an average reader

This book was excellent! It's hard to find new authors to love, but Fil Reid is one to follow! Her book drew me in from the first page, and I couldn't put the book down until I finished it.
Both Guinevere (Gwen) and Arthur (King Arthur) were wonderful characters. I love that they had flaws instead of being perfect. It was funny and entertaining to watch a 21st-Centruy woman educate a Dark Ages Alpha male! And it was rewarding to watch the two as they overcame their own obstacles, doubts, and problems and learned to love each other.
I can't wait to read more novels from Fil Reid as she writes them!!

Casey Robb

A delightful story! The plot is intriguing with time travel, childhood memories, the modern boyfriend she left behind, and her yearning to go home. The Arthurian era has been well-researched and brought to life with rich details and colorful characters. As Gwen surveyed Dark Age village life, she described the structures, the clothing, and the food, plus all the aromas, both good and bad. I felt like I was right there with her. Arthur’s background was presented in lively dialog and the story never slowed.

Definitely recommended!


Guinivere is a historical novel set in the time of King Arthur, as most will already have realised. Written in first person, it features a strong female lead character, Gwen, who travels into the past where she becomes the Lady Guinivere.
The story begins with a great opening line: “When I went to scatter my father’s ashes, I didn’t expect to get kidnapped.”
The author uses present tense when recalling memories, and the tale has plenty of emotional impact.
The author ramps up the tension very quickly and even by chapter 2, the heroine is in deep trouble.
This reader felt very grounded in the Dark Ages because there’s lots of detail, some of it distinctly weird., EG fish sausages. I’m a bit unsure whether I like that idea, in fact, I think I’ll pass. The active descriptive prose shows a talent for scene setting: Below, the plain lay scattered with farms, and in the far distance, beyond the darkness of winter forest that began where the farmsteads finished, the little hump of Glastonbury Tor rose out of a sea of mist.
Here, the prose is active: We didn’t take the road I’d hoped for, through the forest toward Ynys Witrin. Instead, we followed a track that branched northwards, across open grassland where sheep grazed in little groups, and smoke rose from village rooftops.
This makes it easy to lose yourself. The story takes the reader under its wing and only when the reader decides on a break, does it let go of its reality. The characters stand up off the page and have real emotions. Even though many main characters take part in the story, they’re distinctive; this reviewer didn’t lose track. Each plays a clearly defined role that makes the tale come alive.
There’s some nice use of metaphor: Torches, already lit on the wooden pillars that held up the first-floor balcony, made the night rush headlong in on us.
I wasn’t quite sure what to expect as the ending, and in fact, the story evidently continues.

Chris Kershaw

An engrossing, well-constructed and finely written take on the familiar trope of inadvertent time travel, but with an original slant. Like the heroine of this tale, the author is a King Arthur buff who creates a story true to the wonderful riches of the Matter of Britain as the tales of King Arthur and his knights are known, interpreted by the theory that Arthur was a fifth century Romano-British cavalry leader or Dux Bellorum (Duke of Battles) who stemmed the invading Anglo Saxon tide for at least a time. It is also grounded solidly on a sound knowledge of archaeology of the Dark Ages and brings the savagery and cruelty, dirt, disease and above all the smell, vividly to life. The uncertainties created by knowledge of the stories, what is truth and what is legendary accretion, is well and intelligently used and the romance that lies at the heart of the book ends in a finely balanced conclusion. The first book of the series, I can only look forward to the forthcoming volumes with happy anticipation.

Michelle Godard-Richer

Take the adventure!

This is a brilliant adaptation, written by an amazing new author, of the Arthurian legends leading you on the adventure of a modern girl’s lifetime. You won’t be able to put this book down as you fall in love with Guinevere. Adventure and danger are around every corner. Highly recommend! If you don’t buy this book you’re missing out on something special.

Quincy Bragg

I received a prerelease copy of the book. This review honestly expresses my thoughts after having read it.

High drama in a mythic setting. I strongly recommend this book.

King Arthur lives again in this exciting adventure and romance. British librarian and historian Gwen is mysteriously transported from our twenty-first century to late fifth century Britain. The Romans are long gone and the current rulers are a quarrelsome bunch scuffling endlessly for power. Arthur is an ambitious minor prince ruling a backwater kingdom in southwest Britain.

Gwen struggles to understand her new surroundings and the expectations people seem to have of her. Merlin, Arthur’s chief advisor, is bent on presenting Gwen as the long-prophesied Lady of the Ring whose husband will become High King and save Britain from the Saxon invaders. Shortly after her arrival the imminent death of the High King forces Arthur and his supporters into action. Arthur and Merlin contrive what we would call a shotgun wedding and Gwen has no choice but to marry Arthur.

She misses her real home, her family and boyfriend, but being a queen is not all bad, especially with handsome, manly, and compassionate King Arthur. When Gwen thinks there is an opportunity to go back she hesitates.

Among the best elements of the story is the strong sense and detail of what the time period must have been like: Roman ruins mixed with low, thatch roofed houses, barns, and other buildings in ramshackle towns; remnants of Roman roads are the good way to travel, everything else is a narrow dirt, or mud, track; superstitious farmers thinly populate a wild countryside; tribes and warrior bands fight over scraps and territory in the ever-present shadow of invaders from the east. It is gritty and harsh but Arthur makes Gwen feel desired and important to him.

Quincy Bragg
Author of Prescient and the ant farm.


Romance is not normally my thing but I do like history, and Reid's book is a good exploration of what it might be like to travel back to Dark Age Britain. She paints a vivid picture of a time gone by. I'd recommend her book to anyone interested in this exciting period of British history.

Kevin Chilvers

Review – Guinevere

A compelling read. The clever blend of historical facts, legends and fantasy makes this unique story more than a historical romance. I particularly liked the way the book avoids the cliche views of the characters, especially Merlin and King Arthur, and the small details that bring Guinevere’s Dark Ages to life.
When I first came across this author on a writer’s critique website, I knew her stories would be something special. I haven’t been disappointed. This review honestly expresses my thoughts after having read it.

Edward Rickford

Generally speaking, I stay away from historical fiction involving time travel. Nonetheless, I decided to give this book a try and enjoyed it a great deal. I should say upfront that I am not all that knowledgeable about this particular era of British history. Consequently, there are probably many readers who can connect with this material on a deeper level than me. Having said that, I think it's still possible to enjoy the book even without having a deep knowledge of Arthurian history. After all, the author has clearly done a lot of research regarding the book series so it's pretty easy to follow the story. And when I say a lot of research, I mean a lot of research. She even researched oral hygiene in Arthurian England! Dental matters aside, there's quite a bit to enjoy with the story. The combination of magic, palace intrigue, and sword fights will be more than enough to keep most readers engaged, not to mention the romantic sub-plot involving Guinevere and the hunky King Arthur. Readers should keep in mind the novel is at times violent. However, the violence is never gratuitous in my opinion and plays a fairly minor role in the story. All in all, I think the book is a strong read and recommend it to anyone interested in the Arthurian era.

Sheila Bateman

This book is brilliant. I couldn’t put it down.

After reading the Dragon Ring , I was taken back in time. I found the detail of the writing brought the story to life. I can’t wait for the next edition. The wording is excellent and imagination is amazing. I will definitely look forward to reading the next book.

The Blue Iris

What I loved about this lighthearted story was that it brought together a modern woman and history. A modern day librarian is thrust into the legendary world of King Arthur - a world dominated by men, war, and magic. It is the tale told from a woman's perspective, complimented by the author's extensive research into the historical lore of Camelot, driven by a gripping plot and characterization. Move this book up your queue now - you'll find it fun and fascinating!

Diane wilkinson

Lovely story. Fantastic historical account of England in our bygone era. Can’t wait for the next one

Martha Leonard

Was King Arthur real or just a mixture of tangled myths from a shadowy era? Author Fil Reid seeks to answer that question when she pairs meticulous historical research with multiple legends. The resulting fictional story allows the reader to decide.
Reid creates a unique twist to this well-told story. She uses the voice of Guinivere, a twenty-first-century woman who’s traveled back to the fifth century to become Arthur’s wife and Queen. Through her eyes, the people, the country, and the setting take on a wonderful reality and authenticity.
I was fascinated from the first page to the last, and look forward to the next book in the series.


Guinevere: the Dragon Ring by Fil Reid
Another take on the legend of King Arthur and his queen Guinevere - this one depicts Arthur as a Dark Ages chieftain in a Britain invaded by Saxon raiders. Guinevere is a young woman from present-day Britain who, like her deceased father, is a keen student of the Arthurian legends. This is a time-travel historical romance.
In fact this novel concentrates more on the historical background, with detailed descriptions of the Dark Ages settings and the people. The book is clearly very well reaearched and to immerse oneself in it is almost like being in the Dark Ages.
The storyline is mostly concerned with Arthur's struggle for ascendancy against his half-brother Cadwy as their father, the High King Uther Pendragon, lies slowly dying, and there is plenty of dramatic action.
Guinevere (named by her father after the Arthurian queen) is witness to all these events while struggling to adjust to the (well-described) privations of Dark Ages life and society. The descriptions of how Gwen feels about all this are very well done.
If you are looking for a fast-paced historical adventure I recommend you read this - it's really good.

Rick Ellrod

Even in the wide and wonderful field of Arthurian tales, Guinevere: The Dragon Ring stands out. This story of a contemporary woman who finds herself paired with the legendary Arthur is a vivid evocation of fifth-century Britain, a passionate romance, a gripping adventure, and a tale full of well-drawn and fully-realized characters.

Reid knows her sources and deploys the historical background adroitly. But the focus is always on the people: the strong and engaging Guinevere, the Arthur she gradually comes to know, a down-to-earth but mysterious Merlin, and many more.

I strongly recommend this first volume in a series that promises to be a bright addition to the Arthurian tapestry.


TWO THUMBS UP!!! A beautiful and thoughtful telling of King Arthur and his lovely, Guinevere, bridging the gap between the past and present. Rich in historical accuracies, stimulating all five senses, this story honors the magical aspects of Camelot and the wizard Merlin in a new and fascinating way. Well written and smart, the storyteller pulls us back to the England of yesteryear, weaving a new and fascinating tale to the epic love of two iconic figures from history. A wonderful and enjoyable read.

Laura Holt-Haslam

This novel presents a unique imagining of King Arthur’s legends as seen through the eyes of a 21st century woman. When Gwen visits Glastonbury Tor to scatter her Arthur historian father’s ashes, she is snatched back in time to the Dark Ages through Merlin’s magic. She’s the bearer of the dragon ring, fulfilling a prophecy that she will marry Prince Arthur and help him become the High King. Gwen does not want to be trapped in the fifth century for the rest of her life. She wants to return to her modern life and her boyfriend, Nathan.

Fil Reid masterfully portrays life in Arthur’s time. While the book is placed in the historical romance category, it does not romanticize the starkness and dangers of Dark Age Britain or trivialize the brutality of competing kings and political agendas. Gwen’s relationship with Arthur is nuanced and refreshingly realistic. Unlike some romances, I think this story will appeal to men as well as women.

I loved this book and look forward to the others in the series.

Mary Davis Nowell

The Dragon Ring pulled me in on Page 1 and held me all the way to Gwen's heartbreaking choice after she slips through time. With an intriguing plot, unforgettable characters, and gorgeous descriptions, this book is a stellar accomplishment, sure to appeal to fans for years to come. Read it. You'll love it.