Saturday, May 31, 2014
The Three Damosels - Vera Chapman
This is actually an omnibus containing three books: The Green Knight, The King’s Damosel and King Arthur’s Daughter. They retell the Arthurian legends from the points of view of the women in the stories: the first is Merlin’s granddaughter Vivian (granddaughter of Morgan and Morgause’s sister Vivian-Nimue), the second is the story of Lynett, who in the legends, along with Sir Gareth, rescues her sister from the Red Knight, and finally, of Ursulet, the daughter of Arthur and Guinevere.
The stories are interwoven – Vivian marries Lynett’s nephew, and their son eventually marries Ursulet. The second one is definitely based on the legends, while the first takes a great deal of liberty to reinterpret the Green Knight legend. The author owns at the very beginning that the third book is entirely of her invention, but she’s tried to keep it as true to how the events following Arthur’s death would have worked.
I really liked these stories. It’s nice to see a female perspective, and the author has tried to keep the stories true to the legends and the time frame. These books are imports, and it did take me a while to get my hands on this one (there’s also The Enchantresses, which tells the stories of Morgan, Morguase and Vivian-Nimue, that I’m still trying to get my hands on), but they’re worth seeking out, especially if you like reading different takes on the Arthur legends.