Del Rey, Jul 2003, 25.95, 470 pp.
In the Highlands, the Queen of the Dragon People Guinevere believes she must attack the Saxons before they overwhelm her country though she expects little help from her subordinate chiefs. She knows that only her childhood friend Black Leg would truly support her. However, to prove that he deserves to sit along side his beloved, Black Leg continues his quest somewhere in the south where he meets the Lady of the Lake. The queen receives exactly what she anticipated when her subordinate chiefs sham loyalty by giving her a force of losers that have no chance of success. Still Guinevere realizes that doing nothing concedes control of the North Sea and the land to their enemy.
Guinevere's first excursion as a warrior queen is against experienced pirates who have the home court advantage. Knowing that her motley crew has no chance, she dives into the realm of dark magic to enlist the spirits to abet her force though Guinevere knows she may being a high cost by being tainted by the power of dark magic.
Alice Borchardt is earning the reputation as the twenty-first century Arthurian bard with tales like THE DRAGON QUEEN and now THE RAVEN WARRIOR. The action-packed story line is mostly told from the perspective of Guinevere though readers also follow the adventures of the shapeshifter Black Leg. Other key charcaters from Camelot play pivotal roles. Though it is better to read the previous tale to gain greater understanding of Guinevere and Black Leg, this book stands alone as a fresh novel filled with many fantasy elements yet much of the same magic that makes the Round Table still a legend to the Harry Potter crowd.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner