Tuesday, April 01, 2008
Guinevere's Gift by Nancy McKenzie
McKenzie, Nancy. 2008. Guinevere's Gift.
"Move over, Gwen. It's my turn." Elaine tugged at her cousin's sleeve. The two girls lay flat on their stomachs on the cold stone floor of the parapet. Guinevere had one eye pressed against a break in the mortar low in the castle wall."
Guinevere's Gift is the story of Guinevere's childhood. She's twelve and living with her aunt, uncle, and cousin. Her uncle is King Pellinore. Her aunt is Queen Alyse. And her cousin is a rather spoiled and bratty Elaine. Guinevere is the ward of her aunt and uncle since the death of both of her parents.
Life isn't easy for Guinevere. King Pellinore is out fighting or marching with his soldiers. And Queen Alyse is strict on a good day, downright severe and cruel on a bad one. Elaine, likewise, can go from nice companion to whiny, spoiled brat in a few seconds. She's used to getting her own way and manipulating people. You could say that she's a mini-Alyse.
But that's not the only problem (difficult people) Guinevere faces. She's the child of prophecy. "On the night of Guinevere's birth, a prophecy foretold she would one day be the highest lady in the land, wed to a great king." (So the jacket reads.) But Guinevere's problem is that some believe it, some fear it, and some would do anything to keep it from coming to pass. Among those who despise Guinevere just-in-case-the-prophecy-proves-true is Queen Alyse. The thought of Guinevere becoming higher than Elaine or higher than herself angers her tremendously.
In her twelfth year, Guinevere faces the most difficult challenge of her life. Lives hang in the balance. Can she be strong enough, brave enough, resourceful enough to save the day?
© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews