I don't know much about Arthurian Lore – it's probably one of the only story I've never read in it's original form aside from the original Grimm Brothers' Fairy Tales (but those are horrifying, so I'm not even going to bother). I somehow doubt that Magic Tree House – who made Morgan LeFay a harmless fly – or Wizard101's Avalonian world even counts, except for maybe the latter being used as visual aid. :p
But personally that's sort of the thrill in reading a retelling without reading the original one: no judging or comparing – it's a mostly complete blank slate.
Camelot Burning follows Vivienne, a lady-in-waiting and Merlin's Apprentice, who wants a way out of Camelot's way of life. She even has a plan hatched – at least until Morgan Le Fay enters the picture and she has to stay to build a weapon that could ultimately save Camelot.
Merlin is actually a fun character – am I weird to say that I found him drunk yet wise? It's not an easy combo since most drunk people act... well, not wise at all. While I'm not exactly warm and fuzzy with the other characters yet, Merlin is a winner.
There's a very interesting way with magic Rose introduces. Usually when it comes to magic, the price is something minor or huge, depending on whatever is asked – very similar to karma (or fate or etc.). Here though... it's the ultimate price if you use magic too much: *cues ominous music* your soul. That's like selling your soul to the devil! Unless you're a creepy villain who wants to take over the world, that's not usually the ultimate price. Minor = minor payback. Major = major payback. No ifs buts or – wait, what's after that? o_O
- Too predictable – It could just be me, but I guessed that View Spoiler » Vivienne was the coordinates to Avalon and Morgan Le Fay was acting innocent as a distraction.
- Too much technicalities – I felt like I was reading a foreign language, and that was not the words used in magic. It all felt really confusing.
- It said The End.
I fully enjoyed reading Kathryn Rose's debut novel. Camelot Burning takes a refreshing and unique spin on Arthurian lore, or more accurately Arthurian + Fantasy + Steampunk.
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