Aliana Fagan spent her childhood traveling the world, dreaming of legendary heroes and mythical lands. But after the sudden death of her parents, she hides behind the safety of her camera and her art until a vivid recurring dream compels her to dig into her father's research about Avalon and Camelot. When she is hurled into a magical realm by forces she thought were only the stuff of fairy tales, she finds herself thrown into an adventure she could never have imagined. Nearly everything she thought she knew about Arthurian legend was wrong.
The independent eighteen-year-old is shocked to find that the people of Avalon think that she is the Destined One, the only person who can summon King Arthur back to life from his hidden chamber. Most surprising of all is that it's up to her to lead the Knights of the Round Table on an epic quest—an adventure that will transport them across the seven magic realms to reclaim all that has been lost so they can defeat the evil Mordrid for good. But first, she must bring the ancient warriors into her world and reunite them with their lost brothers. Chaperoning the legendary knights-with-a-chivalry-complex as they navigate the modern world is a constant challenge, and she certainly never thought she'd be caught between her intense feelings for the noble Sir Galahad and her growing friendship with the King.
To fulfill the prophecy, Aliana will have to discover the meaning of friendship, bravery, loyalty, true love, and forgiveness. But can she do it all in time to save the realms from Mordrid's impending Armageddon?
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Let me preface this review by saying that I am not much of an Arthurian legend girl. My interest in the legend pretty much stops at Sword and the Stone but something about the description for this book really piqued my interest. I think it was the combination of a noble kingdom, magic, and the modern world. Regardless of what drew my initial interest, it effortlessly held my interest and I am seriously impressed with how the author effectively wove together the various elements.
The story begins with a rather sad girl who is almost completely alone in the world and is still struggling with some uncovered deceptions from her past. She has a vivid dream and sets out on her journey as a result. I appreciated the fact that she took some basic precautions in her journey and that she is an experienced solo hiker. She is not perfect, as she has certainly been reckless in the past, but I appreciated the fact that her excursion didn’t raise my “she is too dumb to live” hackles. The remainder of her journey is filled with wonder, fear, and danger as she uncovers her role in the legend she thought she knew everything about. After a successful romp in Avalon, she returns to the modern world with new friends in tow to take the next step in their journey.
This is the part that I enjoyed the most as I loved how she introduced them to the modern world and how her previous life integrated with her new life. We get the perfect mix of overprotective alpha males, independent modern females, and a little humor when some new technology is thrown in the mix. I really loved the heroine and the fact that she was the perfect balance of strength and weakness. She struggles to overcome her fears and the emotions that result from only being seen as a “key” for her new companions. There is definitely some romance but it was relegated to the end of the queue as there were bigger items of concern. The villains are quite frightening and the consequences for failure are certainly extreme so the stakes are definitely high. Our heroes manage to test themselves in battle before the book concludes at the ideal pause point. Overall, this story can be summarized in one word, epic. This was a delightful ride that I can’t wait to continue when the next book is released.
*A copy of this book was provided in exchange for an HONEST review*
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