Monday, January 27, 2014

Goddess of Legend

The title: Goddess of Legend
The author: P.C. Cast
Publication: Berkley, 2010
Got it from: SC, 2010

Middle Age(s) Romance

There was a time, when I was in my late teens/early 20's when I was all about the Arthurian legends.  I read The Mists of Avalon when I was 17 and it blew my mind.  In university I took a whole class about the women of Arthurian legend.  As a result I have read virtually every version of this story.  So back in 2010 when I saw P.C. Cast was going to set her latest Goddess story in Camelot, I was curious what she was going to do.

Here is my quick review:  I enjoyed it.  But leave your brain at home.

Here is my long review: Isabel is a 42-year-old photojournalist who's seen it all.  Back home in Oklahoma after a traumatic experience in Afghanistan, she comes close to death when her car plunges into a lake.  Back in Camelot, Vivienne, the Water Goddess, is in need of help.  Her beloved Merlin remains in eternal sleep unless things are righted in Camelot.  And Camelot is in a mess because Guinevere and Lancelot are having an affair.  So Vivienne needs a lady to seduce Lancelot so Gwen can return to Arthur.  Isabel is given a second chance at life to complete Vivienne's mission.  Only it's Arthur she falls hard for, not Lancelot.

I had mixed feelings about this book.  I was happy to read about an older heroine and I liked that Isabel and Arthur were able to handle things like grown-ups.  It's nice to read about middle aged romance that's actually sweet and sexy, unlike so many other "literary" books that portray it as warped and dysfunctional.  Arthur was such a sweetie, so kind and good-hearted, it would be impossible to dislike him.  

But oh my word, this book is so silly.  I mean really, really, unbelievably silly.  All of the residents of Camelot pick up on Isabel's 21st century slang and begin talking like her, quoting lines from Jeopardy and wanting pedicures.  Let me put it in this analogy:

If Mallory's Le Morte D'Arthur = Camelot


Goddess of Legend = Medieval Times dinner banquet

or how about:

If Mists of Avalon = Game of Thrones


Goddess of Legend =  Monty Python and the Holy Grail

In other words, don't expect much actual serious Camelot stuff.  Almost nothing happens in this book that isn't  relationship-based.  Even the "big battle" that you expect at the end doesn't really go anywhere.  At times the book felt repetitive and there was a feeling that it had been rushed to press.  With a little tweaking, it could have been a better story.  

Rating: Three Spamalots out of Five

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