"…an outstanding job detailing the escapades of the Princess and her young friend, Cedwyn. Carpinello keeps you turning those pages with her descriptions of the dangers and adventures that are ribboned throughout the entire story. Wizards, unicorns, and dragons are a few of the mythical creatures you will encounter in this enchanting book. I am excited to give this to several of my grandchildren to read! - Penny Estelle, Amazon
Finalist Pre-Teen Literature: Dan Poynter's 2011 Global Ebook Awards
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.
The Legend Within
Arthurian stories are steeped in legend. While perceived as fiction, legends often contain elements of factual happenings. It is left up to readers to decide if they believe or not.
In the Arthurian tales I write, I always add one or two of my own legends. Guinevere: On the Eve of Legend contains one of my favorites: The Legend of the Red Deer and the Unicorn. I’ve recited this story at readings and at Medieval Festivals where I have been the storyteller. Here it is:
The Legend of the Red Deer and the Unicorn
A long, long time ago when the forests were young, the unicorns roamed the land of what is now called England. They numbered in the thousands. One day a red deer washed up on a sandy shore during a violent storm. Not knowing the land, the red deer soon became lost, unable to find fresh water and enough grasses to eat. The unicorns found the deer near death from thirst and starvation. These kind creatures nudged and pushed the deer to fresh water and later showed it the best grazing grounds and the safest places in the forest to bed down.
Before long the unicorns adopted the deer, which, in turn, promised that all future generations of red deer would protect the unicorns. A few years later, another red deer washed up on the shore, was discovered and saved by the red deer and the unicorns. The two deer later mated and left the unicorn herds.
Hundreds of years passed and in those years, the red deer herds grew in number until there wasn’t a forest without the deer across the land. Sadly, the same could not be said for the unicorns. As men populated the island, a myth arose about the unicorn. It was believed that a unicorn’s horn held strong magic for man, and some even thought it could cure all of men’s ills. To that end, unicorns were hunted ruthlessly for the magical horn, their bodies left to rot once the horn was harvested.
The numbers of unicorns across the land dwindled to just a handful when the unicorns and the red deer met once more. The unicorns asked if the red deer remembered when the unicorns had saved them. The red deer remembered because the memories of the first red deer were passed on to each new deer. Filled with dismay at how few unicorns remained, the red deer kept their promise to protect the unicorns.
Today if you are lucky enough to come across a herd of red deer in England, you must be very quiet and patient. If you wait long enough and look hard enough, between the legs of the red deer, you may catch a glimpse of white. At the middle of each herd, the unicorns thrive and play.
About the author:
I love the Ancient and Medieval Worlds! As a retired English teacher, I hope to inspire young readers to read more through my Quest Books. You can follow me on this adventure if you will hook up with me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Goodreads, and Google. Also, please, visit my other sites: Carpinello's Writing Pages where I interview childrens/MG/Tween/YA authors; my home website Beyond Today Educator, and The Quest Books where I've teamed up with Fiona Ingram from South Africa and Wendy Leighton-Porter of England/France/Abu Dhabi to enable readers to find all of our Ancient and Medieval quest books in one place.