Once again, I want to thank Netgalley for allowing me to read this book in exchange for an honest review. Rise of Knight and Sword was definitely an interesting take on the Arthurian legends surrounding The Knights of the Round Table. To be completely honest, this book wasn’t really my cup of tea, but the storyline was intriguing and the characters were also pretty good. It didn’t have my full attention, in fact, I kind of just wanted to finish it to move onto something better, but I suppose it was nice to get back into a (sort-of) Arthurian type story.
This book follows Guinevere as she finds a map to lead her to the legendary sword, Excalibur. Finding this map caused Guinevere to be a crime against the crown, and she stows away on a ship, where she finds Arthur and Mordred, two bounty hunters, that end up helping her on her hunt for the mythical sword. Along the way, we encounter a few of our favorite and beloved Arthurian characters, such as Lancelot and Merlin, but with a few twists.
This book has way too much going on. I always love a good fantasy, but this was too much. First of all, what’s with the dinosaurs? I honestly cannot understand where and why they’re in the book. It makes absolutely no sense. They had little to do with the storyline and it felt like they were just there to try and make this book unique, but they’re so unnecessary. This entire concept could have been done so well. Dinosaurs in an old-age, medieval setting? Yes, please! But the way that they were written in just bothered me. There was no real purpose for them in the book.
Along with all of this, it was hard to follow along with the story. It got incredibly confusing at times, and it kind of felt super vague, but was somehow super descriptive at the same time? Honestly, this story was just okay. The plot could have been improved, and I felt like it was kind of unfinished with how everything was portrayed.
“My warrior Queen,”
The characters were kind of…weird. Arthur was probably my favorite character in the book, but his obvious infatuation with Guinevere as soon as he saw her just made it so annoying. He barely knows the girl! Arthur genuinely seemed like a nice guy, but I feel like his love for Guinevere was based solely on looks so then I was second-guessing how I felt about him as a character.
Speaking of Guinevere’s looks, everyone in the book seemed to think she was incredibly beautiful! Guinevere was supposed to be a super fierce and noble heroine, but she’s just kind of there. Yes, she solved the map to get to Excalibur but I kind of feel like anybody could’ve done it, not just her. She’s just not the character I envisioned for this book.
It was nice, however, to see some of our favorite Arthurian characters, such as Merlin and Lancelot. Lancelot was exactly how I pictured him and he added a lot of funny dialogue into the book. Merlin was kind of mysterious though. Merlin is actually a female in this retelling, and she isn’t a wizard, but a fortune teller who can speak to dinosaurs. A little weird in my opinion, but she was an interesting character.
Another honorable mention is Mordred. I don’t really know what to say for Mordred because he was on and off in my opinion. He always seemed to have something going on, and there’s obviously something in his past we don’t know about. Along with that, it seemed like he had a soft spot for Guinevere, but I honestly don’t know. He was such a weird character, and he didn’t really give me any substance to keep reading for.
The setting was definitely something I did enjoy in the book. The city was described beautifully and it was pretty easy to understand where we were and at which time. Along with that, I could picture most of the settings easily, so that was nice, but I still don’t understand the purpose of the dinosaurs.
It was definitely clear that this book is a debut novel. It was obvious. I mean, why start with Guinevere in her apartment grabbing an apple to go? Why not start the book in the Library, finding the map.
I also feel like this book needed a thorough proofread. I know that this copy of the book was probably still in the editing phase, however, the book comes out on the 17th of November this year, so I’m not expecting too much from it.
Overall, the book wasn’t what I wanted in a retelling. The author seemed like she put a lot of work into the descriptions, and it was clear from the huge description paragraphs that she really tried to put in the details. It just wasn’t what I wanted.