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I Belong

Review: Camelot Burning by Kathryn Rose

Camelot BurningTitle: Camelot Burning

Author: Kathryn Rose

Genre: YA Steampunk

Series: Metal & Lace (Book #1)

Publication Date: May 8, 2014

Format: Paperback, 408 Pages

ISBN-10: 0738739677 (Flux)

ISBN-13: 978-0738739670 (Flux)

Reviewed by: Candy


By day, Vivienne is Guinevere’s lady-in-waiting. By night, she’s Merlin’s secret apprentice, indulging in the new mechanical arts and science of alchemy. It’s a preferred distraction from Camelot’s gossipy nobility, roguish knights, and Lancelot’s athletic new squire, Marcus, who will follow in all knights’ footsteps by taking a rather inconvenient vow of chastity.

More than anything, Vivienne longs to escape Camelot for a future that wouldn’t include needlework or marriage to a boorish lord or dandy. But when King Arthur’s sorceress sister, Morgan le Fay, threatens Camelot, Vivienne must stay to help Merlin build a steam-powered weapon to defeat the dark magic machine Morgan will set upon the castle. Because if Camelot falls, Morgan would be that much closer to finding the elusive Holy Grail. Time is running out and Morgan draws near, and if Vivienne doesn’t have Merlin’s weapon ready soon, lives would pay the price, including that of Marcus, the only one fast enough to activate it on the battlefield.

Quick & Dirty: This is a story of Camelot like you have never heard before. Add all the characters from the original story and then add alchemy and steam punk to it. Plus a wonderful heroine in Vivienne who may have to sacrifice all she has ever wanted to keep the kingdom safe.

Opening Sentence: When a mechanical falcon takes flight from Merlin’s tower, it means the sorcerer is bored or drunk on absinthe.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

This was a very unique twist to the tale of King Arthur and his kingdom, Camelot. Vivienne the handmaid to Guinevere and the secret apprentice to the one time sorcerer Merlin, must use all her skills with alchemy and machines to save Camelot from King Arthur’s sister Morgan le Fay. Morgan will do all in her magical powers to take the kingdom from her brother and put their son Mordred on the throne. Vivienne may have to give up all she holds dear, including the love of her life or her life itself to stop Morgan’s evil plans.

At first I wasn’t sure if I would like Vivienne. She never seemed happy with her life. She is a girl from a well to do family but bemoans her status because it comes with obligations. In a way I can understand, because who wants to have no control of her life and have to do whatever is asked of her. On the other hand she has a family who cares for her, a secure place as the queen’s handmaid and a secret job that she loves. As the story progressed though I came to like Vivienne. Throughout the story Vivienne wants out of Camelot and dreams of finding her way out, but when Camelot needs her she stays and fights for what she believes in even when it might mean losing everything. Also in the face of danger she did not run and hide, instead she stands her ground and fights Morgan even though Morgan wants nothing more than to get her hands on Vivienne.

I usually do not like books that deal with predefined stories but I really liked this story. Adding the steampunk made it seem new and exciting. Also the fact that King Arthur or one of the Major characters is not the main character also helps. You get to see the fall of Camelot through someone else’s eyes. I also thought that with the magic involved it was a very unique concept to add alchemy to what caused the downfall. At first I thought that would take from the story but it made the story new. I am now hoping that there is going to be a new book and I can’t wait to read it if there is one. I recommend this book to lovers of the King Arthur legend and also to steampunk lovers. If you have a fondness for alchemy this book is full of it.

Notable Scene:

“This is the birthplace of Camelot. A geographical crossroads between the old age of magic and the new era of mechanical arts. The founders lie in the caskets around these walls. Here is also the origin of the greatest weapon Camelot will ever know.” He regards the iron dragon’s skeleton.

Metal & Lace Series:

1. Camelot Burning


FTC Advisory: Flux provided me with a copy of Camelot Burning. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.


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