My rating: 5 of 5 stars
A very interesting twist on the Authurian legend. Author is not the hero that we are used to but a power hungry war lord that a storyteller has high hopes for uniting Briton. Gwyna is found by Myrddin who ‘transforms’ her into a boy, back to a girl, and a spy.
Myrddin is convinced that Author will unite Briton and has been spinning and spreading embellished tales of his actions and character to create the legend as he still lives. It seems like Mryddin expects Author to become the character is portrays in his stories. Gwyna is turned into a boy by Mryddin, by cutting her hair and dressing her as such. He takes her under is care to save her from the same fate as her family, namely being killed by Author’s men. Gwyna also is turned into the Lady of the Lake by Mryddin through misdirection and playing on the superstitions of Author and his followers.
It seems to the reader, and Gwyna, that Mryddin is single minded in his quest to raise Author to more than just a war lord, but we discover that he does indeed care for Gwyna.
I am much enamored with the Arthurian Legend and enjoyed the alternative perspective Reeve presents. This is the first Reeve novel I read that was not in the steampunk genre and I was happy to find it as good as those novels.
Themes: Truth vs. Perception, the power of words, family, unity, violence