For Camelot's Honor
For Camelot’s Honor is the second book in a series featuring brothers from King Arthur’s court. Although the novel is a bit predictable and mundane in the beginning, soon enough it becomes an emotionally packed and suspenseful book that is well worth the read.
As the daughter of a Welsh chieftain, Elen leads a rather ordinary life within the protective and loving circle of her family and friends. But times are changing and new rulers are coming into power who put Elen’s family in the perilous position of having to choose sides between pledging their alliance to their nearest neighbors ruled by a man called Urien or combining their strength with a new king named Arthur. But when the mystically gifted Elen disappears into another realm to help birth an elf, unbeknownst to her, the home she loves is destroyed. Elen returns to find Urien has attacked her village and killed most of her people, including her mother. Only a small group is left alive and Elen is the only one who can travel to Arthur for help. But Urien has powerful friends – in particular, the sorceress Morgaine – and they plan on putting a stop both to Arthur and Elen.
Morgaine will do whatever it takes to stop Arthur’s advance and help her lover Urien. Elen does not understand the strength and power she possesses, but Morgaine does, and she plans on stopping Elen before she realizes her capabilities and aligns with Arthur. In disguise, Morgaine imprisons Elen, taking the girl’s heart and placing it in a hawk – whoever holds the hawk holds Elen in their power. As if things could not get worse, Urien holds the hawk and, much to Elen’s horror, she will be given as a gift to one of Urien’s men. There is only one way out – for one of Arthur’s soldiers to come to her rescue.
When Elen calls for help, it is the quiet and thoughtful knight Sir Geraint who comes to her aid. In disguise, Geraint blends into Urien’s camp and enters the tournament to win Elen’s hand. Although Geraint wins the hawk and marriage to Elen, he knows he does not have the power to free her heart. Before they have time to savor their victory they are discovered and must escape into Elf land. It is while they are in this mystical land, that they are told how to win Elen’s freedom and justice.
I really was not sure if I would like For Camelot’s Honor when I begin to read the book. In the first few chapters, the writing seemed a bit wooden and mundane and the plot development a bit predictable. When Elen is handed over to Urien, we know she will somehow escape and it is pretty obvious how. Because of this, the beginning chapters are not as exciting as they could be. But when Elen and Geraint get together, the book takes off into a poignant and gripping read.
Stories about King Arthur have been done to death, but this book takes a new approach since we do not focus on Arthur and his court as much as we do outside of his realm. For Elen and her family, Camelot is not a place of wonder and greatness, but a place of which to be leery. It is rather interesting to read about Camelot from an outsider’s point of view and this makes the story unique – as are the characters of Elen and Geraint. Elen is a great heroine; strong and sweet, a person who only wants her freedom and justice. Geraint is quiet but strong, a character who loves deeply – and always believes in honor. Although the romance is secondary to everything else, Elen and Geraint have a sweet, fairytale kind of love.
Even though the writing is a bit stilted in the beginning, after a few chapters the words begin to flow in an almost mystical way. It is towards the end, as Elen becomes more crazed and begins to lose her own sense of self that the book really pulls the reader in to a strange, dream-like horror of what can happen to a person with no freedom. I look forward to reading the next books in the series and recommend this book to anyone who enjoys King Arthur or novels of historical fantasy.