The Excalibur Curse

Delacorte. (Camelot Rising Trilogy). Dec. 2021. 368p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780525581758.
Gr 9 Up–This epic conclusion to the fantasy-based “Camelot Rising Trilogy” picks up right where the previous book left off. Guinevere, surrounded by various enemies of Arthur, makes the decision to go with Morgana and Mordred; she mistakenly believes they were going after Camelot and realizes too late they wanted her. Despite Mordred’s warnings not to trust his mother, Morgana, Guinevere takes the opportunity to have Morgana sift through her memories and connections to the people in her life to figure out who she is. This leads to Guinevere feeling more confused than ever as her love, passion, and other connections to people aren’t tied to whom she expected. Additionally, Morgana has learned powerful and dangerous magic from Guinevere’s memories. Female warriors, referred to as Picts, are introduced, giving Guinevere a look at what freedom to make her own choices might be like, as they are not forced to listen to husbands or dress modestly. Previously Guinevere was trying to survive and help Camelot thrive, but for the first time she starts thinking about what she wants and needs. More plot-driven than the previous books, this story becomes more introspective as it looks to the future instead of the past. An enchanting end to this female-led Arthurian tale, it will leave readers satisfied, yet sad to leave these vibrant characters behind.
VERDICT Thought-provoking inspiration behind the lives of the women of Camelot, a must purchase where the series is popular.

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