The Lady of the Lake is the true hero in this cinematic twist on the tale of King Arthur created by Thomas Wheeler and legendary artist, producer, and director Frank Miller (300, Batman: The Dark Night Returns, Sin City). Featuring 8 full color and 30 black-and-white pieces of original artwork by Frank Miller.
Whosoever wields the Sword of Power shall be the one true King. But what if the Sword has chosen a Queen?
Nimue grew up an outcast. Her connection to dark magic made her something to be feared in her Druid village, and that made her desperate to leave… That is, until her entire village is slaughtered by Red Paladins, and Nimue’s fate is forever altered. Charged by her dying mother to reunite an ancient sword with a legendary sorcerer, Nimue is now her people’s only hope. Her mission leaves little room for revenge, but the growing power within her can think of little else.
Nimue teams up with a charming mercenary named Arthur and refugee Fey Folk from across England. She wields a sword meant for the one true king, battling paladins and the armies of a corrupt king. She struggles to unite her people, avenge her family, and discover the truth about her destiny. But perhaps the one thing that can change Destiny itself is found at the edge of a blade.
Author: Thomas Wheeler, Frank Miller (Illustrator) | Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Rating: 4 / 5
If you like fantasy retellings and badass girl warriors, then my friend, this is the book for you. Especially if you’re familiar with King Arthur, Camelot, Excalibur, Merlin, and all that good stuff. Honestly, I don’t know a whole lot about those stories, and I still really enjoyed it. And the more you know, I can only imagine the better it will get.
Our main character is Nimue, who comes from a Fey village. She has a close connection with “the Hidden,” aka the source of magic in the world, and she’s ostracized for it. Then her village is razed to the ground by militant Catholic missionaries, the Red Paladins. Her mother produces a sword from a hiding place and tells Nimue to find Merlin and give it to him — and then she goes down fighting. Nimue sets off with Arthur, a sellsword she met a few days before in the nearby trading city. Together they join up with others — many of whom turn out to unexpectedly become our beloved characters we know and love from King Arthur legends — to save the rest of the Fey Folk.
There’s also a heartwarming cozy romance that buds between Nimue and Arthur, and a nice little twist midway — the most surprising character development of the book. Plus, Nimue is a badass but flawed character in the best way.
Although I read an advanced reader’s copy of this book and so didn’t get to see them all, finished copies of this book will have almost 40 illustrations by Frank Miller! The ones I did see where fantastic, and it made the reading experience even richer.
The story was fast-paced and read quickly, which is always a plus in fantasy (especially for young readers). Note that it can be a tad graphic for the target age, but it could definitely be worse. It’s billed as middle grade, but I think teens and adults will love the story too!