Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Review: AT THE DAWN OF LEGEND

Today I am reviewing a new historical novel for children, At the Dawn of Legend: Guinevere Book Two, by Cheryl Carpinello. Like me, Cheryl is a former teacher who understands the importance of hooking kids on history through fiction.

The history in this story is a long way from the American history that inspires my writing, but it hooked me due to my own interest in the Arthurian legend because of the musical, "Camelot." I was fourteen when it came out on Broadway. This was the perfect age to fall madly in love with the characters (not to mention Julie Andrews, Richard Burton, and Robert Goulet) which, of course, I did. Needless to say, it was a huge disappointment when the film was made years later, and didn't include any of these gifted actors!

I must insert here that I saw the movie when I was in the Peace Corps in Brazil, which did not have a tradition of musical theater. Most of the audience went to "Camelot" thinking they would be seeing a "spaghetti western" (like "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly") because Lancelot was played by Franco Nero, a star in that popular genre. Therefore, when Franco opened his mouth and sang (or lip synced) "C'est Moi", half the audience stood up, shouted "horrĂ­vel" (horrible) and stomped out of the theater. The rest left soon after that. I must admit that I felt like doing the same.

At any rate, I enjoyed reading Cheryl's story of Guinevere as a 15-year-old girl. (I have not read the first book, On the Eve of Legend, when Guinevere was younger still.) She is depicted as courageous, impulsive, and loyal to her best friend, 11-year-old Cedwyn, son of the woman who raised her after the death of her mother. It was very satisfying to see the young Guinevere come to life on the page, and I look forward to reading more of her "backstory" in Cheryl's books.  There are dangers and adventures (not to mention unicorns) galore in this book, and I think young readers, especially girls, would find this story quite appealing



Guinevere Dawn o
f Legend Cover 
FINAL Apple & B&N 

Title: Guinevere: At the Dawn of Legend Book Two
Author: Cheryl Carpinello
Publisher: Beyond Today Educator 
Publication Date: June 21, 2017 
Number of Pages: 121 Genre: Children's Historical Fiction 


“ Think before acting, ” her father always warned. But Princess Guinevere is ruled by her heart. Her betrothal to King Arthur has not changed this. 

When Guinevere and Cedwyn’s latest adventure takes a dangerous turn, they find themselves embroiled in a life-or-death struggle as foretold by Merlyn’s Goddess of the Stones. 

Renegades — foiled in their attempt to kidnap the princess — steal the children of Cadbury Castle to sell as slaves. Guinevere and Cedwyn vow to rescue the children, but a miscalculation puts them all in more danger. The plan quickly unravels, and Guinevere ’ s impassioned decisions come crashing down as Cedwyn chooses to turn his dream of becoming a knight into reality. Will their courage be strong enough to survive, or will one make the ultimate sacrifice?


Links to Cheryl's Online Information: