Sunday, January 17, 2016

Review of Gwendolyn's Sword by E.A. Haltom

Read for: Requested Review/ Netgalley
Synopsis: "Cornwall, England, 1193. Eleanor of Aquitaine, the indomitable dowager queen, has ordered all of England onto a war footing while her son King Richard languishes in a German dungeon. When Gwendolyn de Cardinham happens upon mercenaries from Prince John's rebellion, she draws her sword and defends her home as well as any knight could have. But more of John's mercenaries are coming, her sister-in-law claims Gwendolyn’s husband has died on crusade, and the local prior has absurdly informed Gwendolyn that King Arthur’s fabled sword is destined to be hers. Self-educated and martially trained, Gwendolyn gave her husband her oath to guard and protect their estate of Penhallam while he fought in the crusade. Gwendolyn travels to London with her constable to present herself to the dowager queen. But Gwendolyn has a secret that could put all of Penhallam—and herself—at risk if the queen discovers it."

My Review: I received this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. I have always loved any Arthurian Legends and especially new twists and re-tellings. This one had a very historical feel, like it almost could have been real, this was due to the diligent research by Haltom and the use of actual events and real historical people (this was explained in an afterword in the book which was great, I love seeing what was actual truth). I did find the name choice for the heroine to be a little clich√©, almost to blatant of a nod to the original story, but I was able to get past it. The story moves rather slowly and may discourage some readers but it was worth it for me. I really did like picking out the various plot lines, events and characters that hint back to the original legend, for the most part they were woven nicely into the story. It was definitely a unique take and expansion on the legends and was entertaining to read.
My Rating: Like I said it is a little slow moving but I really enjoyed that aspect, it gave me time to acquaint myself with the characters, time period and setting. It is my understanding that the author is in the process of writing the next book so I am really curious as to where she takes the plot line.  I give this one a rating of Three Paws and a Stump Wag.


  1. I'm always impressed when writers really do their research. As long as it doesn't bog down the story.

    1. It is great when they use actual history in their stories, it makes it so much more believable and you can really sink in to the story. This one was great because it didn't bog things down at all.