Thursday, November 18, 2010

Review: Child of the Northern Spring

Child of the Northern Spring (Guinevere Trilogy - Book 1) by Persia Woolley

Publication Date: November 2010
Publisher: Sourcebooks Inc.
Format: Paperback, 576 pp
Genre: Historical Fiction
ISBN-13: 9781402245220
ISBN: 140224522X

(Received for review from Sourcebooks)

Purchase: Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Borders, IndieBound

Author's Facebook Page:

Books in the Series: Child of the Northern Spring, Queen of the Summer Stars, Guinevere: Legend in Autumn

Synopsis (Publishers Weekly):

The standout opening volume of Woolley's Guinevere Trilogy, first published in 1987, describes the Celtic princess's childhood in loving, sensuous detail with an uncannily accurate historical eye for day-to-day details. As Guinevere comes of age to marry Arthur, the recently crowned high king of Britain, Woolley does a marvelous job of portraying the political upheaval of the time. Despite the struggle between Celtic and Roman culture, Guinevere finds herself working with Arthur to unify a divided country and repel the onslaughts of the Saxon invaders and rebellious kings. The sharply delineated cast will be familiar to any fan of Arthuriana, though many characters get new twists. While hardly the first book to retell these myths from a woman's perspective, this is an engrossing and satisfying addition to the canon.


I have always enjoyed the legends of King Arthur's court. From the details of Camelot all the way to the knights of the round table. Child of the Northern Spring is a different twist on an old favorite. This book is clearly closer to the original origins of the legends and deals more with the warring Saxons, than it does with magic swords and dragons.

Told from the perspective of Lady Guinevere, Child of the Northern Spring picks up Gwen's story as she journeys to meet Arthur, her future husband, the new high king of Britain. There have been many books told from the female perspective including The Mist's of Avalon one of my all time favorites.

Guinevere has been depicted as everything from the fairest of the fair to the bitterest of shrews. Woolley gives us a portrait of Guinevere as strong, intelligent and bold and worthy of Arthur and Lancelot's love. Guinevere narrates her own story and is very believable. This book is mostly geared to Gwen's younger years leading up to her marriage and dealing with the political upheaval of the times.

I really enjoyed this book and felt that it was authentic and very engaging. Once you started reading the story was so well told that it was hard to put down. All of the normal characters that surround stories of Arthur were present including Merlin and Morgan Le Fey, but most of the characters are somewhat different than we have come to expect. I thought the book was refreshing and bold and I really enjoy Persia Woolley's voice and depiction of Guinevere. I'm looking forward to the next book in the series and I believe fans of the Arthurian legends will appreciate and love this re-telling.

Child of the Northern Spring is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

(I urge you to carefully consider where you purchase your books and the companies you are supporting.)

I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!


Mystica said...

I too like the Arthurian legends and there have been lots of reviews on this triology.

Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

Sounds fantastic! I have to watch for this one!