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In the eyes of Arthur Pendragon, everything Lin, his daughter, does is wonderful! His praise is all she yearns for and through most of this very original novel it is all she gets. Only her foster-brother, Davydd, as well encourages her as she struggles to move beyond her terrible days of slavery endured under Morgause's hands. Those memories are so vivid that they haunt her through most of the novel. But they never daunt her to the point of failure, and in one sense they give her a passion for mercy and compassion in the face of cruel punishments meted out for both just and unjust reasons.
Lin's not your ordinary princess! Initially, it's easy to see Arthur's love after he frees her from captivity, but at the same time it's difficult to understand Queen Gwenhywfar's animosity toward Lin, even outright hostility. But that doesn't stop Lin from pursuing her dream of sitting at the Round Table as one of Arthur's knights, and so she vigorously pursues the training Arthur allows her.
Through the discipline of her classes and being mentored, she learns not only the physical skills but also the diplomacy, grace, wisdom and integrity behind being true royalty - "championing those in need."
Can one ever escape the scars of abuse? Lin Pendragon certainly struggles to do so and becomes a stronger, wiser woman through the amazing effort depicted in this gritty, cruel, kind, violent, gentle, haunting and freeing novel of what it takes to become a true heroine!
Reviewed by Viviane Crystal on June 21, 2007