Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Book review: Pendragon Legacy: Sword of Light by Katherine Roberts
Sword of Light is the first of a four book series based on Arthurian legends that imagines what might have happened had King Arthur and Queen Guinevere had a child. That child, a daughter named Rhianna, has been raised in secrecy on the magical island of Avalon, in order to keep her safe. Rhianna always knew she was different from the other children in Avalon, because she was human and they were fairies, but she never knew who her real parents were. Then Merlin comes to the island with the body of King Arthur, with hopes that if his body rests in the magical caverns of Avalon, he can someday be reborn. He also tells Rhianna the truth about who her parents are, and of the quest she must undertake in order to save the kingdom from her wicked cousin, Mordred, who killed her father.
The first task Rhianna must complete is to find her father's magical sword, Excalibur, which was thrown into a lake after his death. Only a Pendragon can wield the sword, so Rhianna must find it before Mordred, who was badly wounded in his battle with with King Arthur, recovers enough to search for it. On her quest, she faces many dangers and makes new friends, and has to prove that although she is a girl, she is brave and strong and can be a a worthy successor to her father.
Sword of Light was a quick, enjoyable read, but it's definitely middle grade and not young adult. I don't think Rhianna's exact age was ever stated, but I think she was probably around twelve years old or so, since she often seemed very young and acted quite impulsively and foolishly - but then again, so do many much older characters in other books, so at least this character is young enough to have an excuse for it! If you like middle grade fantasy and are interested in reading a new take on the Arthurian legends, then I recommend giving Sword of Light a try, I definitely liked it enough to want to read the rest of the series. This would also be a good book to give to younger readers, particularly girls, who love fantasy novels, since it's not too dark or scary and there's nothing in the story that would be inappropriate, and there's a lot that would appeal to young readers - magic, fairy horses, friendships, and a young main character who is strong and brave.