Guinevere: On the Eve of Legend

Young Adult, Middle Grade, Children's Books

By Cheryl Carpinello

Publisher : Beyond Today Educator

ABOUT Cheryl Carpinello

Cheryl Carpinello
I am a retired high school English teacher. A devourer of books growing up, my profession introduced me to writings and authors from times long past. Through my studies and teaching, I fell in love with the Ancient and Medieval Worlds. Now, I hope to inspire young readers and those Young-a More...


2011 Finalist Global Ebook Awards for Pre-Teen Lit.


At the dawn of Camelot, one young girl is about to take her place beside the greatest king in England’s history….


She is a mere child of twelve. But in these medieval days, this is the age when childish things must be put away and greater responsibilities accepted—all in preparation for a betrothal of marriage.


For young Lady Guinevere, on the advent of her thirteenth Birth Day, the whole idea is quite unbearable. After all, what could be better than spending her youth playing with her best friend Cedwyn, roaming the grounds around the castle looking for mythical creatures or hunting rabbits?


However, the wizard Merlyn—her teacher and friend—knows that destiny has a way of catching up with a person.  His arrival sets in motion a series of events that will lead Guinevere to her destiny whether she is ready for it or not.

For over 15 years, I taught The Once and Future King to my high school honors freshmen. When I would ask what they knew of Guinevere, many had heard nothing about her. For those students who had heard of her, all they remembered was that she cheated on Arthur with Lancelot and brought down Camelot! I searched for stories of Guinevere, but found nothing that I felt did her justice. So, I decided to write her story myself: Guinevere: On the Eve of Legend tells the story of a twelve-year old girl who finds herself promised to an older man, King Arthur.

Guinevere: On the Eve of Legend
Reviewed by Galia Popov (age 11) for Reader Views (8/09)

Guinevere: On the Eve of Legend by Cheryl Carpinello is about the childhood of Queen Guinevere from the legendary Camelot....Guinevere: On the Eve of Legend by Cheryl Carpinello informs the reader about what it would be like to be a princess in an early medieval castle. Specifically, a princess who is about to be betrothed to the most legendary king in England’s history: King Arthur. The afterword, glossary, additional reading, and the other extra notes in the back are a helpful addition to the story. This book would probably be best for ages seven though ten, but could be enjoyed by older or younger kids. This book is an appealing new take on an old legend.

Guinevere Comes Alive as Thirteen-Year Old Prospective Bride in Children’s Novel— Tyler R. Tichelaar, Ph.D., author of the award-winning novel Narrow Lives and King Arthur's Children.

There is no end to the number of novels being written about the Arthurian legend, and exciting new children’s author Cheryl Carpinello can now be added to the number of writers recreating the legend for new generations with Guinevere: On the Eve of Legend. ...Guinevere: On the Eve of Legend is not a long or complicated story. It is just over one hundred pages, but it is a pleasant reading experience. It does not try to accomplish too much, but rather it is one of those rare books where the author understood that less is more and fully delivers in making each page valuable and interesting. The sighting of a unicorn in the book is an example of this—the delicate handling of the scene leaves the reader as much in awe as Guinevere over the magical beast. ...Carpinello manages to create a unique and original version of Guinevere’s childhood.

Carpinello is obviously enthusiastic about sharing the Arthurian legend with young readers. Her biography states that “The focus in her writing is on reluctant readers.” I felt she provided enough magic and detail to appeal to readers of all ages, especially in her realistic portrait of Guinevere coming of age. I also appreciated her short, educational section at the book’s end, including a discussion of the King Arthur Legend, a glossary, discussion questions, and some additional reading. The book is suitable for readers, depending on their reluctance or proclivity to read, from about third grade through middle school, although as an adult, I enjoyed the book thoroughly.

...Guinevere: On the Eve of Legend is a novel sure to win readers’ hearts and add to the many fans of the King Arthur legend.

BlueInk Reviews, May 2010

In this sweet introduction to the lore of Camelot, a
spirited young Guinevere struggles to accept her destiny. Just before
her 13th birthday, as she prepares to become a queen, Guinevere slips
off into the forest with 7-year-old friend Cedwyn to hunt for a rabbit
she hopes will bring her luck. She stumbles into mischief instead, and
by day's end, her father King Leodegrance is beside himself, fearing
that she will one day rule as brashly as she plays. Then at night
Guinevere sees a unicorn in the forest and is told by an enchantress
and wizard Merlyn that the unicorn has come to die so that its blood
can be used to heal the sick. Guinevere’s heart goes out to the
unicorn, and she longs to be as selfless. But when her father later
tells her she must wed King Arthur for the greater good, she struggles
to be as altruistic as the unicorn and accept the fact that her life
is no longer her own.

As author Carpinello spins this tale, her writing often sparkles, and
Guinevere and Cedwyn endear with their sincerity and spontaneity.