Sword in the Stars

Sword in the Stars
Once & Future Book Two
Once & Future Review
Written by Amy Rose Capetta and Cori McCarthy
Space Opera, Fantasy, Historical, Retelling, LGBT
368 Pages
Publishing June 16th 2020
Thank you to Bloomsbury Australia
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★★★★
Once and future collide when Ari, Merlin and the Knights of the Rainbow attempt to steal a magical chalice from Earth's medieval past in order to save humanity's future, irreparably entangling our spaceage heroes with the original King Arthur.

Ari plays a risky game of lies and chivalry and Merlin confronts his nemesis, his older self, while all the time they must preserve the time continuum to eventually return to their own future. When the Lady of the Lake interferes, Merlin and Ari realise how much their future has been manipulated by her exquisite machinations of the past. Nin offers a way to release King Arthur's spirit from Ari's body, to end the cruel cycle that keeps them all prisoner and allow them home. But at what cost?

This galaxy altering conclusion unravels the dark truth of Merlin's origins and inspires a new hope for the Once & Future universe.

Every generation, the legendary King Arthur is reawakened and for Ari Helix, she's the first female Arthur and destined to become the heroine that previous Arthurs have forsaken. After withstanding the onslaught from the Mercer Corporation, the group of unlikely companions are travelling back to the middle ages, when King Arthur was an adolescent boy courting the effervescent Guinevere in Camelot. It's imperative that the new residents of Camelot adhere to the original tale as they find themselves enacting the roles of Guinevere, the royal knights and Lancelot, King Arthur's champion, in order to pilfer the chalice and ensure that Arthur is placed upon the throne. 


Sword in the Stars is a brilliantly diverse and vivacious narrative exploring capitalism and genocide. In the world envisioned by A.R. Capetta and Cory McCarthy, the Arthurian legend blossoms and although Once & Future is a wonderfully entertaining read, Sword of the Stars is a fantastical adventure and superbly written finale. Journeying to the historic Camelot, our characters arrive in the midst of King Arthur courting Guinevere, the young King besotted with Gwen who is fatigued and heavily pregnant. Ari gallantly arrives on horseback, assuming the role of Lancelot, the King's champion and who was rumoured to have romanced Guinevere, befalling the young King and Kingdom. Merlin arrives in Camelot rapidly aging in reverse, he must avoid the senior and forbidding Merlin who exists in this world, Merlin being an advisor to a young Arthur. 


Britannia Camelot is a lively and spirited community, intrigued by knight Lamarack. Lamarack is genderfluid, using they / them pronouns and polyamorous. They see the beauty of the Arthurian legend and Camelot and although the Britannia kingdom appears to be conservative, the community are surprisingly accepting and receptive of gender identities and sexuality through their fondness of the treasured Lamarack. Although Lamarack has adapted wonderfully, Jordan is seething and incredibly uncomfortable in her lavish garments. Masquerading as the gallant knight Lancelot and to conceal her gender, Ari binds her breasts. 


The Once & Future duology demolishes gender stereotypes and celebrates sexual and gender diversity throughout the narration of own voices authors. Simply superb! 

5 comments

  1. I do love a diverse novel. That's great it handles that so well. I don't know much about Arthurian legend, but a retelling/new version sounds exciting. Thanks for sharing. I hadn't heard of this one.

    I hope you are doing well; staying safe and healthy!!

    -Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.net

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  2. Hooray for a good finale! I don't think I have ever read a King Arthur retelling. I have enjoyed McCarthy's contemporaries and am not surprised to hear they did diversity well in this book.

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  3. Glad to hear the finale was such a satisfying read. I still need to read the first book but was very intrigued by the premise.

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  4. I like the sound of this. Mixing an Arthurian re- take with modern sensibilities is a great idea!

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  5. I am glad you could enjoy this sequel so very much! And I really like the sound of it smashing through gender stereotypes and it being such a great celebration and inclusion of gender diversity. I am always intrigued by books which explore capitalism thematically as well, so that catches my eyes.

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