My Kingdom For a Quest – Cover Reveal!

Today I’m joining in the cover reveal for the third book in Kendra E. Ardnek’s Bookania Quests series: My Kingdom For a Quest!

But first, Kendra joins us to answer some questions about the books and writing…

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Your Bookania Quests series seems to be basically a big glorious fairytale-and-legend retelling mashup… How much of a part would you say the Arthurian legend plays in this book, and what other tidbits of stories come into play the most?

Yeah, big glorious mashup. That’s Bookania. I haven’t even gotten to the books that involve Shakespeare and Mary Poppins.

Arthurian Legend is pretty much the focus of My Kingdom for a Quest, the main POV is Arthur himself, and most of the characters are there to play some role or another in the legend. However, I have taken more liberty with Arthur than I have any other fairy tale or legend to date (the exception being, perhaps, Puss in Boots).

The other fairy tale that is important is Sleeping Beauty. Most of the characters who aren’t directly connected to Arthurian legend are part of that tale, and some have a foot in both stories.

What advice would you give writers interested in trying to re-imagine and twist old stories in new ways? (i.e.: what challenges have you faced and overcome in writing these books?)

I have guest posted on this topic twice, so I do have quite a bit of advice.

However, I think the most important part is to make the Fairy Tale yours. Sure, a thousand people have told this story before you a thousand different ways, but the moment you decide to set about retelling a fairy tale, you make it yours. Own it.

How many books do you have planned for this series?

I have a notebook with 21 titles written in it, and I have half a dozen vague plots and bits of history planned beyond that. Not only that, I have three or four full-length prequels planned and dozens of short stories that take place within and around the series. So, yes, this is a world that will keep me busy for quite some time to come.

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Aaand, here at last we have the cover that has been waited for!

*drumroll*

Isn’t it just scrumptious??

My Kingdom Cover front image (4)

Arthur is the rightful king of Briton, but his Uncle Mordreth refuses to give up the regency. Arthur and Grandfather are now returning with allies to wrestle the kingdom from his uncle’s grasp.  But not all is as it seems among his allies, and everyone has secrets.  New loves, old loves, lost loves, kingdoms conquered and kingdoms stolen. Who is the real “rightful heir” and will the nearly forgotten sword in the stone finally answer this question?

Find My Kingdom For a Quest on Goodreads here!

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I don’t know about you, but I love a good Arthurian and/or fairytale retelling… I’m very much looking forward to visiting Bookania myself in Kendra’s series!

My Kingdom For a Quest will release February 14, 2015, so keep an eye out for that!

In the meantime, you can read the first two books in the series (as I plan to)!

Sew, It’s a Quest (book 1)

Do You Take This Quest? (book 2)

100_1992Kendra E. Ardnek loves fairy tales and twisting them in new and exciting ways.  She’s been practicing her skills on her dozen plus cousins and siblings for years, “Finish your story, Kendra”, is frequently heard at family gatherings. Her sole life goal has always been to grow up and be an author of fantasy and children’s tales that also glorify God and his Word. You can read more about her on her blog, knittedbygodsplan.blogspot.com.

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Merlin’s Nightmare

Time for a book review! For “Merlin’s Nightmare”, book 3 of The Merlin Spiral by Robert Treskillard.

The author is running an awesome contest to promote the series, with neat prizes including a kindle and a sword (!), so be sure to go check out his website!

KingArthur.org.uk

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Merlin’s Nightmare (book 3 of the Merlin Spiral)

by Robert Treskillard

Stupendous – Five Stars!

I’ve never had such a case of review-writer’s-block before, because I couldn’t figure out how to express how much I enjoyed this book.

The Story:

Merlin’s Nightmare, book 3 of The Merlin Spiral, takes place about 16 years after the first two books. It follows an older, 30-something year old Merlin, and a now-grown Arthur, who at 18 is full of liveliness and is ready to take on the whole world, seemingly. Together with various other characters, both new ones and re-imagined figures of legend, they must face overwhelming odds and perils from all sides in a desperate fight to save Britain from destruction.

Here is the Arthurian legend reborn.

I’m not sure how Treskillard managed to make it so original and fresh while simultaneously drawing so many parts of the old King Arthur stories into it so well, but he did.

General Review:

I enjoyed this book SO MUCH. From the very beginning I was completely spellbound – I couldn’t stop reading and finished it in a few days. It was basically everything a book should be: gripping, epic, and just a lot of fun. I kept coming across bits of hilarity and general awesomeness that I would excitedly quote aloud to whatever family member happened to be around. I found myself laughing several times, and the action, adventure, journeying and battles were all awesome.

A lot of things near the end had me nearly squealing with excitement, and it’s killing me I can’t talk about them due to spoilers. Let’s just say it does NOT disappoint in the realm of epic Arthurian-ness. *SQUEAL*

I feel like Merlin’s Nightmare forms the core of Treskillard’s retelling of the Arthurian story. Everything comes together and explodes into this sweeping epic tale, with the first two books providing excellent background so that everything makes sense and you know where it all came from, while also anticipating the continuation of the saga. It was the perfect third book to a trilogy. Anything that bothered me about the first two was swept away because it all makes sense now. I can see the whole. The story arc of Merlin is complete in a way, while at the same time beginning a new one that will focus on Arthur himself.

Merlin:

I loved Merlin in this book, seeing his journey through the first two books, into this one, and with a hint toward becoming the Merlin of legend. I can see his faith from the first one, his fighting spirit from the second, and a measure of caution and wisdom brought on by both and the years since, as he continues to struggle toward who he needs to be, before his earthly lord, and his King on high.

Merlin is in his 30s and has a family of his own by the start of the book (can I just say how much I love his whole adorable family?). I was worried about this, because I normally don’t like stories where the young hero grows up, but Treskillard pulled it off impressively. If anything, I liked the grown up Merlin even better, and could only think “Here indeed is the great Bard of Britain.”

Arthur:

Arthur is without a doubt the number one thing I loved about the book. He was perfect – both original, and also measuring up to the Arthur of traditional Arthurian legend. All King Arthur figures have a lot to be compared to, and I wasn’t sure if he would be able to compete. I need not have worried. Treskillard’s Arthur was absolutely AWESOME. I loved his boundless energy, his dashing recklessness, his courage and natural leadership qualities, and all-around epicness. He was strong and kingly and downright fun, and overall just stupendous and KING ARTHUR. ❤ I really REALLY liked him and can’t wait to see more of him in later books!

Cons:

In the interests of being balanced, I’m trying to think of any downsides to the book, which is actually difficult. I will say that some of it is a bit scary and/or violent for younger readers, though it didn’t bother me for the most part. It also ended more suddenly than I would have liked, but that’s mainly because I wanted to savor it all and didn’t want it to end.

Overview:

Book 1, Merlin’s Blade, was great. Book 2, Merlin’s Shadow, threw me for a loop because it was so unexpected and different, so I was startled into not enjoying it quite as much, though it was still good. Book 3, Merlin’s Nightmare, simply knocked me over with its awesomeness – as a re-imagining of the Arthurian legend, as its own story, and drawing all the threads from the first two into it to complete the epic tapestry of this story.

I say complete, but there are some threads left over to lead into the next three books, The Pendragon Spiral, which I’m absolutely dying to read. Treskillard had better get those books out pronto before I expire of anticipation. 😉

Bottom Line:

Read this book, people! If you like Arthurian stories, action/adventure, fantasy, YA, Christian fiction, or just a really good, well-crafted story, or all of that rolled in one. Just read it!

Disclaimer:

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher (Blink YA Books) in return for an honest review. It was in no way required to be positive. These opinions are entirely my own.

Find Merlin’s Nightmare at:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Goodreads

Find the author, Robert Treskillard:

Website: KingArthur.org.uk

Blog: EpicTales.org

Twitter: https://twitter.com/treskillard

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/treskillard

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I’ve also reviewed the first two books in the series. You can see my reviews on Goodreads here: (Click the pretty covers)

Merlin's Blade by Robert Treskillard

Merlin’s Blade

Merlin's Shadow by Robert Treskillard

Merlin’s Shadow

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Thanks for reading!

Do you like Arthurian stories? Do you have a favorite retelling?

I’d love to hear, if so! I’m always looking for good retellings. 🙂