The cast is so familiar, from Guenevere to Arthur to Morgan Le Fay, that the question is: how to make a retelling of the deathless saga of Camelot new and vital? In this second volume in her Guenevere trilogy (after Guenevere: Queen of The Summer Country), the popular and prolific Miles injects the familiar tale with poesy and some hoke. Purists will balk at the novel's new age, goddess-worshipping bent, but Miles produces an engrossing if unorthodox read. Her Guenevere is portrayed as a queen born to rule, taught from the cradle that woman is the giver of life, but she falls apart like any serving wench when her knight is in danger. Lancelot here is something of a cipher, but he is given more credit than any of the other men in this epic. Arthur tries his best but doesn't seem the master of himself or his kingdom. Merlin is a fey old man, and he fumbles through his quest, the search for Arthur and Morgan Le Fay's son Mordred. Christianity, in the form of Catholic priests who threaten the sacred isle of Avalon, plays a negative role; the church is challenged by a goddess cult centered around the Lady of the Lake and upheld by Guenevere.
This second volume of Miles' Guenevere Trilogy suffers from middle-book-itis. All the characters have been introduced, the major conflicts have been established, and nothing much happens except that Lancelot is repeatedly sent away by Guenevere, comes back, and is sent away again. This does get rather tiresome about the third time it happens. The most original segment of the book puts Miles' pagan/feminist twist on the origins of the Christian Holy Grail myth. As the "bridge" volume of the trilogy, I'll have to reserve judgement until I finish the whole series; but as a stand-alone book, this one would leave something to be desired.