“When Ari crash-lands on Old Earth and pulls a magic sword from its ancient resting place, she is revealed to be the newest reincarnation of King Arthur. Then she meets Merlin, who has aged backward over the centuries into a teenager, and together they must break the curse that keeps Arthur coming back. Their quest? Defeat the cruel, oppressive government and bring peace and equality to all humankind.
I can’t tell you how many science fiction stories I’ve consumed over the years where, despite it being hundreds of years in the future, galactic society is still infested with the same ‘isms and ‘phobias we have today—racism, sexism, xenophobia, transphobia, etc. Even when the bigotry isn’t explicit, the exclusion is. Romances are typically cishet, characters are mostly white, women are usually limited to secondary positions to men, and on and on. For me, that speaks to a lack of creativity on the part of the author; they can imagine a universe of FTL drives and aliens and terraforming but their imagination crashes to a halt when it comes to diverse populations. As a reader who is not part of the majority, it’s difficult to constantly be left out of the narrative, to be told that your stories aren’t important, that you have no place in the future. Thankfully there are authors like Capetta and McCarthy to challenge the status quo…
Read the rest of this review at Tor.com.
“I know your strength. It is a dedication to absolute truth. Quite Arthurian.”
“Quit it with the Arthur stuff, will you?” Ari as taller – and possibly a touch older – than Merlin. But none of that changed what he needed to tell her. Merlin took a deep breath.
“You are the forty-second reincarnation of King Arthur.” He kept going, ignoring the sharp cut of her doubting eyes. “You can wield Excalibur. Only Arthur can do that. The Lady of the Lake forged that sword for a hero. You are that hero, Ari. Or at least you’re the latest version.
Ari continued to stare.
Thanks to Little, Brown for sending me a review copy.
Do the world a favor and buy this book from your local indie bookstore or get it from your public library.