Throwback: Guinevere’s Gift by Nancy McKenzie

by Hope G. Hanson
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Nancy McKenzie Guinevere's Gift cover

On the night of Guinevere’s birth, there was a prophecy that foretold she would one day be highest lady in the land and wed to a great king. But 13 years have passed, and the prophecy couldn’t be further off. Guinevere is now an orphan and a ward of her aunt and uncle, the king and queen of Gwynedd. Tomboyish and awkward, Gwen is no great beauty, and nobody takes the prophecy seriously–especially not Gwen.

But then one day Gwen meets a strange young man in the woods who claims to be part of an ancient tribe whose missions is to guard and protect her. Then she stumbles across a sinister plot brewing within the castle walls–one she alone might be able to prevent. Guinevere is beginning to realize her destiny is more complex than it seems–and this is only the beginning.

–from the back cover of Guinevere’s Gift
Rating: 3.75/5

The combination of college apps and the holidays means finding the time to read a book and write a review is slightly more difficult than it usually is. So, today I’ve dug one of my old favorites out for a quick throwback review!

Review

I’ve mentioned before how much I love Arthurian legends. So, it’s no surprise that I adored Nancy’s McKenzie’s take on a young Guinevere. I found both the voice she gave Guinevere and the story she wrote for her compelling. The main plot itself was great, but it was Guinevere’s struggling with growing up that added a layer of depth that made the overall book so amazing. Because I was around the same age as Guinevere is meant to be in the story when I was reading it, there was a sense of relatability. (Honestly, there were some great points made in the narrative that I probably (read: definitely) didn’t appreciate back then.) 

I can also remember finding McKenzie’s world-building and her representation of Arthurian aspects captivating. That’s something that I found still holds mostly true now, when I went back through the book. Of course, there are obviously some inconsistencies, but that’s to be expected in all (or at least most) historical fiction. 

TL,DR Recommendation

All in all, looking at Guinevere’s Gift now, it’s definitely an excellent work of children’s fiction. It’s one I would without a doubt recommend for those in the 10-14 age range, especially those with a budding interest in Arthurian legends or just European history in general!


Find and get a copy through Goodreads here!

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