Wednesday 10 November 2010

Review: Child of the Northern Spring - Persia Woolley

 Book 1 of the Guinevere trilogy

Genre: Historical fiction
Pages: 512
Published: November 2010 Sourcebooks Landmark

The story of a queen who deserves to become a legend-a startlingly original tale of Arthur & Guinevere

Often portrayed as spoiled, in Persia Woolley's hands Guinevere comes alive as a high-spirited, passionate woman. When she is chosen by Arthur to be his wife, Guinevere's independence wars with her family loyalty. As the wedding approaches and hints of rebellion abound, she learns that the old gods are in revolt against the new Christian church, and that scattered kingdoms are stirring from their uneasy peace. This is Arthurian epic at its best, filled with romance, adventure, authentic historical detail, and a landscape alive with the mystery of Britain in the Dark Ages.

The story about Queen Guinevere, her childhood, and how she met and married her king Arthur.

My thoughts:
This story felt a bit truer than some as the author tried to keep the real facts in mind. The Romans have left, Saxons are invading, England, and Wales are made up from different kingdoms and under Ambrosius, Uther and no King Arthur they have a high king. Old Ways are meeting the new Christian church.

This first book was not really about Arthur yet, instead she grew up and had flashbacks, and while riding to her wedding a friend of his explained recent events, and from that the reader learnt what has been going on. They do meet at the end of the book and marries. But that is it for now.

Gwen then, well I did like her, but one thing annoyed me and that was how people constantly mistook her for a page, first, if that happened to me I would get upset, but even Arthur laughed it of.f I guess he liked having a woman who can be mistaken for a boy. Nice that she was no spoilt princess but still, even in pants a woman can look like a woman. As for Arthur, I did not get to know him so much in this one so can't say much about him. But there was some other nice characters, Bedivere, and her childhood friend Kevin, I still wonder what happened to him.

Not much happened here, it was more a prelude to bigger things to come. The book felt ok, and there was no magic, and I do like reality when trying to understand the myth.

Recommendation and final thoughts:
For Arthur fans, and those who enjoy HF. Will I read more, well that is the question, I could, but as it is now I like where it ended. With them happy and married. And I can imagine them getting babies and living happily ever after. Instead of no babies, Lancelot, torment, agony and death. Here I got my happy ending. True fans can muster on.

I liked the beginning, the second part may have struggled on a bit since not much happened. And I may have been hoping Lancelot would show up ;) Still a nice start to a series, and an easy book to read. A good book for you Arthurian fans.

Reason for reading:
I was curious about this ever so depressing story.

Cover: meh


  1. I do like the sound of this book, even if it was just ok it still captured my interest. Nice review, B :)

  2. Great review! I like the Arthurian legends very much and it's great that in this book, the story has a true historical background. I don't like Lancelot, so yes, they should just stay happy.:)

  3. A lack of action would probably drive me nuts, too. I'm glad to see it's a prelude to the next book, but it should be able to stand-alone, as well, in my honest opinion. Great review! :)

  4. I appreciate your review. I've seen this book featured on other blogs so I was curious.

  5. I had this book in my TBR pile for about a 100 years, and I ended up giving it away before I read it. It sounds like I'm not going to miss much though. No Lancelot, huh?

  6. I like the idea of a King Arthur story with a happy ending. It always makes me sad to read about her affair with Lancelot.

  7. Haven't read many Arthurian books but I like that Guinevere is no spoilt princess. But don't see the point that everyone sees her a a boy...
    Maybe I should move this up on my TBR list...

  8. A book with little the times of torment, right after the Romans had left Britain, there was plenty of action and dramatic events. It seems as if the author wrote a book and then divided it into two (or three) because the publisher thought it would be a wise and more profitable option...I am not sure I would like to read this one. There are plenty of other books based on Arthurian legends. Guinevere without Lancelot is like an eclair without cream filling.

  9. ladybug
    It was nice, and sure I said I'd like more action, but honestly I think I am in some sort of action frenzy now. Sometimes slow is nice

    Well he will show up, and I do like that, but then Elaine comes, and oh then all goes to hell

    It does work as a standalone without the action, since this is focused on Gwen and not Arthur. And how many battles did she see

  10. Mary
    I am still curious about the next books, but alas, I am a romantic, I feel the perfect ending has come in this one

    Lol, well it has been out for 20 years so ;) And hehe he will come, I mean he can't come and show up on their wedding night can he...thought I must say that would be awesome.

  11. Simcha
    In that aspect you could read just this book. But then the story has not ended..thins will happen

    It felt it was pointed out so we would get she is a tomboy..I was one, still no one mistook me for a boy

    Things happened, just not through her eyes. She is the story so she could not be with Arthur as he fought. Therefore the drama and action is there but still not.
    Lol, I should not have mentioned dear Laneclot, fear not he will come

  12. This sounds like a good start to the series. I always felt like Arthur got the short end of the stick.

  13. Sometimes reimaginings of books in time periods from this long ago don't work for me. I can see it didn't really work for you either. Luckily there are plenty more books in the sea!

  14. I've read my share of Arthur novels and I don't think this will add something new to that. Great review, though! :D

  15. Barnes & Noble is giving it as a freebie for the Nook. I wasn't going to get it, but after reading your review, I decided to give it a try.

  16. 2.75??? I'm scared to read to read this one now. I loved Mists of Avalon and will try not to compare the two while reading it!!

  17. I'm not sure I'd enjoy this one. I'm not a fan of Guinevere. Never have been unless her character is really overhauled and she is almost someone completely different. Doesn't sound like she is hugely different. Oh well. Still, it's a great review.

  18. Excellent review, but not sure that I am up to a depressing read at the moment.

  19. Hi B!

    I don't know, I want more of the mythology, the magic, and I know this book is the lead in to another, and the bigger story will be better. I don't know if I could have made it through this one to find out though, lol, fickle reader than I am.

    Great review B!

    Dottie :)

  20. Naida
    Yes why do I not feel more sorry for Arthur, so strange, have never thought about that

    It does work sometimes for me, I guess it has to have that extra little spice in it

    There are sure a lot of Arthur books out there

    Ohhh cool, do that and see if you like it

  21. Staci
    Oh Mists, could not get across the first page with that one. Do not fear the 2,75, that is still good in my book. I am sure you will enjoy it :)

    I never like her either, but here..I liked her, she just felt normal i guess

    Chris :D

    This one was actually not depressing, but fear the next one will be

    I do confess to loving that too, but I also like when they try to find the real story :D

  22. I like the idea of this book. Too many times, stories have been told with a man's point of view.


  23. After reading your review, I think I'll pass this one up... got a million "have to read" books in my TBR mountain! Thank you for sharing your views!!

  24. Carol
    So true, it is nice to see it from a woman's POV

    Aye I know about that, I kind of wish my books were thinner ;)

  25. I hope you got this for free on Barnes and Noble since I did last week. Darn shame it was boring!

  26. Shellie
    Can't since I do not live in the US, what a shame, but I hope you like it



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