Who were the real people behind the Arthurian legends? Signe Pike weaves historical fact with fiction to tell the story of Languoreth. Languoreth is the daughter of King Morken and twin sister of Lailoken. When her brother Lailoken is chosen to become a Wisdom Keeper, Languoreth has keep her kingdom intact by becoming the wife of the son of the high king, a man she doesn’t love. Lailoken will one day be known as “Myrddin” or Merlin in myth. Languoreth’s foster brother is Gwenddolua who will one day be known as Uther Pendragon.
The story is set in early Medieval Scotland. I really liked that the book had a map and a list of characters. I referred to both often, especially the map to try to figure out the many small kingdoms and where travels were taking place. The story starts when Languoreth is a youth, focuses on her older teen years when she falls is love and has to deny her love for family duty, and then visits her again when she is a mother of four children. The story ends on a cliffhanger with a battle between family about to begin. Luckily, I have the next novel, The Forgotten Kingdom on my Kindle so I can see what happens next.
The overall story arch shows the changing tides in Britain as Christianity starts to take root and battles with the ancient beliefs of the people. It also shows how the many different kingdoms were always in conflict with each other as well as invaders. Languoreth is a strong woman who wants to be a healer like her mother but is not able to. She has a great love and is unable to be with him. Although she has many trials and disappointments in life, she is able to use her position to try to help her family.
I really enjoyed the author’s note at the end that went over her inspirations and the real history involved. I saw that this book is referred to as Outlander meets Camelot or a new Mists of Avalon. After reading it, I think a new Mists of Avalon is the most accurate.
“We may not always have the choice we would like. But we always have a choice.”
Overall, The Lost Queen is a riveting look into a forgotten piece of history and how it inspired our Arthurian myths. Languoreth is a great heroine.
Book Source: Borrowed from my best friend Jenn and a gifted e-copy from Simon & Schuster. Thank-you!