The Lady of Shalott reclaims her story in this bold feminist reimagining of the Arthurian myth from the New York Times bestselling author of Ash Princess.
Everyone knows the legend. Of Arthur, destined to be a king. Of the beautiful Guinevere, who will betray him with his most loyal knight, Lancelot. Of the bitter sorceress, Morgana, who will turn against them all. But Elaine alone carries the burden of knowing what is to come–for Elaine of Shalott is cursed to see the future.
On the mystical isle of Avalon, Elaine runs free and learns of the ancient prophecies surrounding her and her friends–countless possibilities, almost all of them tragic.
When their future comes to claim them, Elaine, Guinevere, Lancelot, and Morgana accompany Arthur to take his throne in stifling Camelot, where magic is outlawed, the rules of society chain them, and enemies are everywhere. Yet the most dangerous threats may come from within their own circle.
As visions are fulfilled and an inevitable fate closes in, Elaine must decide how far she will go to change fate–and what she is willing to sacrifice along the way.
“Arthur is like a brother to me. Of course he matters,” he says, his voice low. A secret spoken in the dim woods, lost to the trees. “But you, Shalott . . . you’re the sun. Without you, nothing wakes. Nothing grows. It’s just darkness.”
And the award for the book I’ve highlight the most goes toooo *drum roll* 🥁 Half Sick of Shadows 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻
Euphoria. That is the feeling I get when I think back on the experience of reading this book.
Let’s just start with the first line:
“I will die drowning; it has always been known.”
Hook, line, and sinker *LOUD, aggressive clapping*
You know a fantasy book is about to be spectacular with an opening line like that, and spectacular ‘twas was.
What makes a fantasy book great? Technically I do not know but whatever formula it is this book did it correctly and then some.
If I were to pick a book that was the very definition of everything that I love about reading, the definition of the plethora of emotions that reading causes me, it would be this book. This is a tale told unlike any other I’ve read. Mesmerizing, enchanting, an Arthurian legend retelling that contains all the elements of a fantasy that I adore. And yet unlike anything I’ve read. Laura’s idea of retelling the Arthurian legend through the eyes of Elaine of Shalott as an oracle was the best thing to happen to the fantasy book world in ages.
I don’t think I could truly express just how much this books means to me, just how perfect it is for me. I read King Arthur retelling after King Arthur retelling but not a single one has buried itself into my heart like this one.
The story is told in past/present/future intervals that you sort of are thrown into blindly BUT it’s genius because it gives you a daunting sense of a foreshadowing doom that keeps you immersed into this world. It fills you with questions that leave you awake at 4 am anxiously biting your fingernails and wondering if sleep will ever come. It makes you think that the story of King Author and all who surround him could not have existed any other way. It consumes you and sets you aflame with the desire for this book to never end. My gosh, this is, and I say not lightly, my new favorite book of all time.
Also just please, I need Laura to write more retellings in this manner, no other retelling will ever be the same, no other possibility of a retelling will come close to the love I have for Half Sick of Shadows.
Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a review copy in exchange for an honest review.