Review – The Daughter of Destiny by Nicole Evelina plus GIVEAWAY

Today I am quite pleased to be hosting a stop on the Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tour for Nicole Evelina’s first book in her new Guinevere’s Tale series: Daughter of Destiny. I’m really excited to be a part of this special event.

 

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Daughter of Destiny (Guinevere’s Tale, Book One)
By Nicole Evelina

Publication Date: January 1, 2016
Lawson Gartner Publishing
eBook & Paperback; 326 Pages

Genre: Historical Fantasy

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Before queenship and Camelot, Guinevere was a priestess of Avalon. She loved another before Arthur, a warrior who would one day betray her.

 

In the war-torn world of late fifth century Britain, young Guinevere faces a choice: stay with her family to defend her home at Northgallis from the Irish, or go to Avalon to seek help for the horrific visions that haunt her. The Sight calls her to Avalon, where she meets Morgan, a woman of questionable parentage who is destined to become her rival. As Guinevere matures to womanhood, she gains the powers of a priestess, and falls in love with a man who will be both her deepest love and her greatest mistake.

 

Just when Guinevere is able to envision a future in Avalon, tragedy forces her back home, into a world she barely recognizes, one in which her pagan faith, outspokenness, and proficiency in the magical and military arts are liabilities. When a chance reunion with her lover leads to disaster, she is cast out of Northgallis and into an uncertain future. As a new High King comes to power, Guinevere must navigate a world of political intrigue where unmarried women are valuable commodities and seemingly innocent actions can have life-altering consequences.

 

You may think you know the story of Guinevere, but you’ve never heard it like this: in her own words. Listen and you will hear the true story of Camelot and its queen.

 

Fans of Arthurian legend and the Mists of Avalon will love Daughter of Destiny, the first book in a historical fantasy trilogy that gives Guinevere back her voice and traces her life from an uncertain eleven year old girl to a wise queen in her fifth decade of life.

 

Amazon (Kindle) | Amazon (Paperback) | Barnes & Noble

My Thoughts

I was really happy to be included on this tour as I have always been a student or fan, of Arthurian history and legend. When people compare new books to classics such as the Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley I usually take it with a grain of salt. There is so much depth and intertwining of threads in that story that I am left wanting in a big way when I am expecting something of its caliber. I am thrilled to report that this new book only left me wanting for it to never end. Ms. Evelina has done a masterful job of creating her own version of a much-told tale and making it new and gripping.

 

It was very easy to delve right into this story and become engrossed in Guinevere’s early life. While this is a completely different view on Arthur’s queen than I’ve been used to, it is a very interesting twist. I like that we learn of the rivalries and intrigue that the young girls live with on Avalon as they are training to be priestesses. It gives the reader an insight to why these women might have turned out as they did. Once Guinevere leaves the island and returns to her home, a whole new realm of issues and possibilities opens up to her. The world she left is gone along with the home she knew.  I enjoyed that the author wrote from her perspective as you could feel the varying emotions Guinevere went through as she grew.

 

Many threads in the story aren’t keeping with the “standard” that most people know of Arthur, Gwen and Camelot. The religious aspect with the Paganism and Christianity is intriguing. The fact that she had a love affair with Aggrivane at an early age and loved him throughout is fresh. It puts a different spin on her marriage to the King. Her early,ongoing rivalry with Morgan and deep friendship with Isolde was quite interesting. They are both such fascinating women. The author has developed a healthy cast of strong women who can think for themselves and not be pigeonholed into their expected roles.

 

I think that Nicole Evelina has started a series that will easily sit on the shelf by the classic versions of these tales. Her writing style is very easy and her painstaking, in-depth research has obviously paid off in a story that feels as authentic as it can be. I’m sure that her foresight in working with the expert that aided Marion Zimmer Bradley with her tales has helped to make this such a well crafted book. I’m a fan!

 

Out of 5 Jewels I give this one ALL 5 out of 5!

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Praise

 

“A gripping read that brings a wonderfully depicted Guinevere tumbling out of the shadows of myth.” – Anna Belfrage, author of The Graham Saga

 

“Nicole Evelina shows a deep and passionate love for the Arthurian world, and her re-weaving of the story of Guinevere and Arthur makes for enjoyable reading. With more volumes to come, if you like stories of Camelot, ancient priesthoods, magical Avalonian dreams and embattled romance, this is for you.” – John Matthews, author of ‘Arthur of Albion’ and ‘The Camelot Oracle’.

 

“Colorful and exciting…love all the characters. You will have a ball with this book.” – Serena Scott Thomas, actress and audio book narrator

 

About the Author03_Nicole Evelina

Nicole Evelina is St. Louis-born historical fiction and romantic comedy writer. Her first four books are coming out in 2016:

1. Daughter of Destiny (January 1 – This is the first book of an Arthurian legend trilogy that tells Guinevere’s life story from her point of view)
2. Camelot’s Queen (March 23 – The second book in the trilogy)
3. Been Searching for You (May 23 – a contemporary romantic comedy that won in the single title romance category of the 2015 Great Expectations Contest (sponsored by North Texas RWA) and the 2015 Gold Rose Contest (sponsored by Portland RWA) and is a finalist in five others.
4. Madame Presidentess (July 25 – Historical fiction about 19th century American Presidential candidate Victoria Woodhull, the first American woman to run for President)

 

She hopes to have the final book in Guinevere’s Tale available in late 2016 or early 2017.

 

Nicole is a member of and book reviewer for the Historical Novel Society, and Sirens, a group supporting female fantasy authors, as well as a member of the Romance Writers of America, Women Fiction Writers Association, the St. Louis Writer’s Guild, Women Writing the West and the Alliance of Independent Authors.

 

She is one of only six authors who completed the first week-long writing intensive taught by #1 New York Times bestselling author Deborah Harkness in 2014. Nicole has traveled to England twice to research the Guinevere trilogy, where she consulted with internationally acclaimed author and historian Geoffrey Ashe, as well as Arthurian/Glastonbury expert Jaime George, the man who helped Marion Zimmer Bradley research The Mists of Avalon.

 

Her website/blog is http://nicoleevelina.com and she can be found on Twitter as well as on Pinterest, Facebook, Goodreads, Instagram and Tumblr.

 

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, February 8
Review at The Mad Reviewer
Spotlight at Unshelfish

 

Tuesday, February 9
Review at Bookish
Guest Post at Let Them Read Books

 

Wednesday, February 10
Review at Curling up by the Fire
Guest Post at To Read, or Not to Read

 

Thursday, February 11
Review at Just One More Chapter

 

Friday, February 12
Review at Broken Teepee
Interview at Author Dianne Ascroft’s Blog

 

Monday, February 15
Review at Laura’s Interests
Review at Puddletown Reviews

 

Tuesday, February 16
Interview at Flashlight Commentary

 

Wednesday, February 17
Review at Eclectic Ramblings of Author Heather Osborne
Spotlight at Passages to the Past

 

Thursday, February 18
Review & Interview at Singing Librarian Books

 

Friday, February 19
Review at Book Nerd

 

Monday, February 22
Review at Seize the Words: Books in Review

 

Tuesday, February 23
Review at The Baking Bookworm
Review at The Hive at Black Tea & Milk

 

Wednesday, February 24
Review at Book Lovers Paradise

 

Thursday, February 25
Review at A Literary Vacation
Review at One Book Shy of a Full Shelf

 

Friday, February 26
Review at History From a Woman’s Perspective
Guest Post at One Book Shy of a Full Shelf

Giveaway

To win a paperback copy of Daughter of Destiny (Guinevere’s Tale, Book One) by Nicole Evelina please enter the giveaway via the GLEAM form below. Two copies are up for grabs!

 

Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on February 26th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to US residents only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

 

Daughter of Destiny

 

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**I received a copy of this book from the author and Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours in exchange for an honest, unbiased review. All opinions and thoughts are 100% my own.



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