Please welcome my good friend Kendra E. Ardnek as she visits us to talk about her new release and the world of Bookania:
Greetings one and all, and thank-you, Rachel, for having me over to your lovely blog. As some of you may already know, the Bookania Quests are fairy tale retellings, and this newest volume, as you can probably guess from the cover, is a retelling of King Arthur.
However, while with the fairy tales I’ve used previously have suffered very little changes (the most drastic being the fact that I made Puss in Boots a chinaman), I actually took quite a few liberties with Arthur’s story. And since I’ve not actually sat down and wrote a post with what liberties I’ve taken, when Rachel suggested the topic to me, I jumped at the opportunity to share.
Arthur knows who he is. Unlike in the original legend where Arthur was taken from his parents at birth to be raised in ignorance by Sir Ector, my Arthur is perfectly aware that he is the rightful heir to the throne, he’s just powerless to take it. He’s also now an only child, with no older half-sisters to cause trouble for him.
Ector and Mordred are combined. And renamed Mordreth. Mordreth is Arthur’s uncle and regent, and despite the fact that he has no true claim to the throne, wants it anyways. You see, I also switched up which of Arthur’s parents was the one born royal – Ygrain was the young queen, and Uthur one of the lords. Mordreth is Uther’s younger brother.
Merlin doesn’t have magic. Indeed, his name isn’t even Merlin it’s … wait, no, that’s a plot spoiler. While there is magic in Bookania, Merlin himself is not a wizard. He’s … well, that’s a spoiler too.
Arthur gets Excalibur before the one in the stone. This one sneaked up on me, as did the identity of the Lady of the Lake. I’d already planted the sword in the stone (well, column, actually) in the previous book, but about halfway though Kingdom, I realized that Arthur would need a sword before we got to the scene with the stone, so his cousin took him aside and provided. One of my favorite chapters.
No Guinevere love triangle mess. Instead, we have Shira, who is the strongest person in the world, despite appears quite small and delicate. She did have another love interest other than Arthur, but she’s not going to tear apart the kingdom over him. And it’s not Lancelot.
Lancelot and Gawain are Arthur’s servants, not knights. Renamed Leo and Gavin, they were quite an interesting pair to work with. True to the legend, Leo does come from Fronce (Some of the countries have differently spelled names in Bookania), but his heart belongs to a girl back home. Also, I changed Kay’s name to Kew.
The Round Table isn’t round.
About the Author
My Kingdom for a Quest
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?
Snippet from the Book
“Only twelve hours! Leo, there is no way to escape Briton Dungeons. No way!”
“That’s what they said in the dungeons of Fronce, too,” said Leo absentmindedly, taking a sip of his gruel. “Now be quiet while I think. And eat up. We’re going to need our strength!”
“Dungeons in Fronce!” Gavin squeaked.
“Yes, now those were dungeons! Now be quiet.”
Gavin fell silent and simply stared in the direction of his friend, the look on his face (had it been visible in that dark cell) a mixture of confusion, awe, and horror.
“You wouldn’t have happened to have fallen in love with any young lady who would be able to arrange for a soldier to play traitor and get us out of here, now would you?” Leo suddenly asked.
“Ah, well, I suppose that not every young lady can be so obliging. And now that I think about it, it’s as good a way into the dungeon as out. Now where was I … No, bribing the guards is out of the question. All we have is gruel to call our own, and I’m sure they have much better food in the soldier’s quarters.”
“We’ll never get out of here!” Gavin moaned.
“That’s what you think. That’s what everyone thinks,” said Leo. “But I tell you, there’s a way out of every sticky situation. You just have to be observant and look for it.” Leo frowned as he set his now-empty bowl to the side. “It’s too bad Mordreth doesn’t have any daughters for us to charm. Only that good-for-nothing Kew, and I really don’t see him helping. And Arthur’s gone, so that’s out of the question.”
“If Prince Arthur was here,” said Gavin, “we wouldn’t be in the dungeon.”
“Good point,” said Leo. “As I was saying, we could always try to steal a key and unlock the door, but that can be a very tricky business, and it’s very easy to get caught. And then where would we be? Probably talking about death sentences some more. Honestly, they don’t bother me, just all this talk about them. It’s enough to drive a man mad.”