The Child of the Holy Grail: The Third of the Guenevere Novels

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The Child of the Holy Grail: The Third of the Guenevere Novels

by Rosalind Miles

Crown Publishing Group | July 17, 2001 | Hardcover

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Guenevere ...
Last in a line of proud queens elected to rule the fertile lands of the West, true owner of the legendary Round Table, guardian of the Great Goddess herself . . . a woman whose story has never been told - until now

Brokenhearted at her parting from Lancelot and anguished over the loss of the sacred Hallows of the Goddess, Queen Guenevere reconciles with Arthur, although the fragile bond between them is threatened by a new presence at Camelot. Prince Mordred, Arthur''s son by Morgan Le Fay, has come to stay and to be proclaimed heir to Guenevere and Arthur''s kingdoms. Arthur has even designated for his son the Siege Perilous, the one unoccupied seat at the Round Table - the seat reserved for "the Son of the Most Peerless Knight in All the World."

But at the knighting, when Mordred takes his seat, the great Round Table, owned by the Queens of the Summer Country since time immemorial, cracks down the center. A terrible darkness falls over Camelot and in the midst of the chaos appears a new knight, Sir Galahad. Barely fourteen, he may hold the key to the mystery of the stolen Hallows, which the Christians believe to be the Holy Grail. The scene sets into motion the final brilliant cycle of the Arthurian legend-the Quest for the Grail and the fall of Camelot-which brings Guenevere to the brink of the most dreaded tragedy of all . . . and may ultimately complete her destiny as the greatest and most powerful Queen of the Isles.

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 448 pages

Published: July 17, 2001

Publisher: Crown Publishing Group

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0609606247

ISBN - 13: 9780609606247

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– More About This Product –

The Child of the Holy Grail: The Third of the Guenevere Novels

by Rosalind Miles

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 448 pages

Published: July 17, 2001

Publisher: Crown Publishing Group

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0609606247

ISBN - 13: 9780609606247

Read from the Book

The bitter rains of March beat on the hillside overhead. But deep in the heart of the rock, it was warm and dry. Inside the high-domed underground dwelling-place, the light from many candles played over walls swagged in blood-red velvet, looped and tied back with ropes of silver-gilt. Bright rugs from the East covered the stony floor in amber and indigo, garnet, rose, and black. A low fire glowed and murmured on the hearth, its slender plume of smoke lost in the void above. In the center of the chamber, Merlin lay on a curiously made couch, staring at the ceiling through tightly closed eyes. A wand of golden yew lay within reach, humming softly to itself in a high, beelike whine. His hands lay loosely at his sides, palms upward, fingers reaching, ready to catch his dreams as they came down. A ring of candles shone around his head. The flames quivered and changed color, and he knew the time was near. “Yes, yes,” he muttered tensely. “I am ready–come–” Suddenly his thumbs began to itch. For a second his mind turned to milk, warding off the ancient sign of impending evil and danger ahead. He crushed his thumbs in his fists to drive it away. The itching intensified. “No!” he moaned. No, he was Merlin still; it could not be. Feverishly he composed himself again for waking sleep, the magic sleep of the Druids he had learned long ago, preparing to send his spirit from his body as he always did. Once he had made the long hard leap of fa
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From the Publisher

Guenevere ...
Last in a line of proud queens elected to rule the fertile lands of the West, true owner of the legendary Round Table, guardian of the Great Goddess herself . . . a woman whose story has never been told - until now

Brokenhearted at her parting from Lancelot and anguished over the loss of the sacred Hallows of the Goddess, Queen Guenevere reconciles with Arthur, although the fragile bond between them is threatened by a new presence at Camelot. Prince Mordred, Arthur''s son by Morgan Le Fay, has come to stay and to be proclaimed heir to Guenevere and Arthur''s kingdoms. Arthur has even designated for his son the Siege Perilous, the one unoccupied seat at the Round Table - the seat reserved for "the Son of the Most Peerless Knight in All the World."

But at the knighting, when Mordred takes his seat, the great Round Table, owned by the Queens of the Summer Country since time immemorial, cracks down the center. A terrible darkness falls over Camelot and in the midst of the chaos appears a new knight, Sir Galahad. Barely fourteen, he may hold the key to the mystery of the stolen Hallows, which the Christians believe to be the Holy Grail. The scene sets into motion the final brilliant cycle of the Arthurian legend-the Quest for the Grail and the fall of Camelot-which brings Guenevere to the brink of the most dreaded tragedy of all . . . and may ultimately complete her destiny as the greatest and most powerful Queen of the Isles.

About the Author

Rosalind Miles is a well-known and critically acclaimed English novelist, essayist, and broadcaster. Her novels, including Guenevere, Queen of the Summer Country and The Knight of the Sacred Lake, the preceding volumes of the Guenevere Trilogy, have been international bestsellers.

Bookclub Guide

Guenevere -- last in a line of proud queens elected to rule the fertile lands of the West, true owner of the legendary Round Table, and guardian of the Great Goddess herself -- is a woman whose story has never been told. Long relegated to a passive role on the arm of King Arthur, Guenevere finally springs to life in this lavish retelling of one of the richest and most enduring epic tales of Western culture: the Arthurian legend. Rosalind Miles's bold, magical interpretation re-creates the stirring pageant of love, war, heartbreak, jealousy, revenge, and desire from Guenevere's perspective, capturing as never before her formidable power as a queen and her full-blooded passion as a woman. Rich in historical detail, the Guenevere Trilogy draws us into the inner life of a courageous and beautiful heroine, torn between the fires of her own heart and her devotion to her husband and her people. This guide is designed to help direct your reading group's discussion of Rosalind Miles's new perspective on a woman you only thought you knew.

1. The Guenevere Trilogy
The pervasive subtext of the Arthurian legend tells the story of Christianity's hostile attack on an older, female-centered religion. In fact, the Christians are as much Guenevere's enemies as is Morgan, if not more so, as they attempt to destroy the succession of queens and usurp Avalon's sacred relics for their own use. How does this underlying battle affect your reading of the story? Does Miles do a good job of setting the historical record straight? Why or why not? What do you make of the Lady?

2. Throughout the Trilogy, we watch the fascinating and terrifying development of Morgan's character: the defenseless, frightened creature sobbing in Arthur's arms; the evil, hypererotic seductress; the havoc-wreaking shape-shifter, who appears at various times as a cat, a raven, a snake, a murderous knight, and a nefarious nun; and the bodiless, tormented spirit hovering in the trees, endlessly torturing Merlin. Are you ever able to sympathize with Morgan? Which is her most frightening guise? Are you able to accept her radical transformation at the end?

3. Greed is a powerful motivating force for many characters in the story. The Abbess Placida covets an authoritative position at Canterbury; Sylvester lusts for Arthur's soul and Avalon's treasures; Malgaunt wants control over Guenevere; Mordred wants to be king; Agravain wants undue power and recognition; Merlin wants his Pendragon bloodline to rule the world. Is Arthur greedy? Is Guenevere? Is greed a punishable offense in the universe of this story?

4. The theme of children separated from their parents seems to run throughout this story: Morgan and Morgause are wrested from Igraine; Arthur is taken from Igraine and Uther; Amir is lost by Guenevere and Arthur; Mordred is removed from Morgan; and Galahad is hidden from Lancelot. How do these separations, some more painful than others, mold each character? Why are they necessary? Do you think this theme symbolizes a larger issue?

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