Child of the Northern Spring is not, strictly speaking, a retelling of the Arthurian legend. I discovered it on a used-bookstore shelf and didn’t realize that it was the first book in a trilogy, and that it only dealt with Guinevere’s early life, up until her marriage to Arthur.
Persia Woolley’s Guinevere isn’t the annoying, preachy character you might recall from Marion Zimmer Bradley’s The Mists of Avalon, but neither is she the fascinating character readers might be hoping for. She’s like many other young romance heroines: a sweet, tomboyish girl who loves horses.
I was looking forward to seeing how she developed, though, as she grew older and took on the mantle of Queen. Readers should be advised that this doesn’t happen in Child of the Northern Spring. The book ends just as the age of glory and pageantry begins. As it turned out, I did read and enjoy the two later books, but was left a little disappointed by this installment.
Child of the Northern Spring has now been reprinted, and I’m quite pleased with the new edition; not only is the cover beautiful, but it clearly states that this is book one in a trilogy. If the edition I read had made that clear, my experience might have been a happier one.