Lailoken is half-mad with battle sickness, and Languoreth must hide her allegiance to the Old Way to survive her marriage to the next Christian king of Strathclyde. Worst yet, the new King of the Angles is bent on expanding his kingdom at any cost. Now the exiled Lailoken, with the help of a young warrior named Artur, may be the only man who can bring the Christians and the pagans together to defeat the encroaching Angles. But to do so, he must claim the role that will forever transform him. He must become the man known to history as “Myrddin.”
Bitter rivalries are ignited, lost loves are found, new loves are born, and old enemies come face-to-face with their reckoning in this compellingly fresh look at one of the most enduring legends of all time.
Synopsis from Goodreads
Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for sending me an advanced reader copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
When I first read The Forgotten Queen by Signe Pike, I completely fell in love with the world she had created (full review here). While keeping track of character names could be a bit difficult, Pike weaved an epic of a story centred around a forgotten character in the Arthurian myths: Merlin's sister (I've Anglicized names here to make it a bit easier to follow). There were so many storylines to follow by the end of The Lost Queen and I was desperate to know what happened next in Languoreth's story. Thankfully, The Forgotten Kingdom comes out this September and we can finally continue the adventure!
Strong Multiple POVs
I was happily surprised to find that we get three POVs this book: Languoreth, Lailoken, and Angharad. This was really important to the story because there are so many different plotlines to follow to fully understand what is happening in Languoreth's world. While The Lost Queen was a strong single POV novel because the story itself moved around Languoreth, The Forgotten Kingdom needed the additional POVs of Lailoken and Angharad to allow the reader to really understand what is happening since Languoreth is stuck in the capital for most of the novel. I particularly liked that we got Lailoken's POV this time because I loved getting to see what is happening with Uther (aka Arthur) Pendragon and the Dragon Warriors. Each of these characters have a strong story to follow.
Love The Different Relationships
With multiple point of views comes multiple romantic and platonic relationships for readers to enjoy. Personally, I loved getting to see Lailoken and Angharad's romantic relationships develop, although we're definitely in the early stages of Angharad's (I'm so excited for the final book of the trilogy to come out so we can hopefully see this develop further!). On the flip side, we continuing getting to see Languoreth try to manage her love for Maelgwn while trying to remain a faithful wife. It's such a hard position to be in because she has so little choice in her life until much later in it. The way each of these characters develop over the course of the novel (which covers roughly 7 years, although there are some time jumps) and the different relationships each of them develops with other characters is wonderful!
Some Missing Moments?
There were some moments where the story changed character POV and it felt like there was some moments missing in between. A specific moment that confused me is at the very end when Languoreth's POV has us waiting for everyone to return home and the next chapter is Angharad's POV when everyone is together in the great hall. Did I miss a chapter? Should we just assume that the characters all casually came home? This didn't happen often, but every so often this jump would happen that left me flipping back pages to see if I'd actually missed something...
Overall, this is a great second novel in the Lost Queen trilogy and a strong standalone novel. It doesn't fall into the dreaded "middle book" category, but instead continues Languoreth's journey to becoming a queen, as well as introducing the strong storylines of Lailoken and Angharad. Pike has done a wonderful job writing this book and I'd highly recommend it to anyone who loved The Lost Queen, to those interested in a strong historical fiction series, or those looking for novels with excellent female heroes in the midst of Arthurian history.
The Forgotten Kingdom comes out September 15, 2020, which means the wait is almost over for this book to hit shelves! Are you excited to read this sequel?
FINAL RATING: 4.5/5
Hi, I'm Alexandra! I love reading (largely YA fiction, but sometimes I'll read "adult" books), playing board games, Nutella, and binge-watching TV shows on Netflix with my husband.
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