The Once and Future Queen: The Legend of the Lakes by Clara O’Connor #BookReview #Fantasy #Dystopian #20booksofsummer21

An absolute must-read for fans of Shadow and Bone… The Once and Future Queen: Book 3 Cassandra stands silent upon a ravaged battlefield, watching as the druids prepare the dead for the pyres, embers drifting up into the still winter darkness. She can barely breathe through the agony of her grief, but she cannot waste another second on tears. Because Londinium, the Caesar, the empire… all of it is still out there. The empire whose code she had followed, whose prince she had promised to marry, whose schemes she had been swept up in since birth. They tried to use her magic against her. To silence her. So she will use her magic against them. To silence them. Forever. The third and final chapter of The Once and Future Queen trilogy, this epic scifi fantasy adventure set in a dystopian world where the Romans still rule will enchant fans of Sarah J Maas and Cassandra Clare.

Review & Book Description of Book 1 – Secrets of the Star-crossed here.

Review & Book Description of Book 2 – Curse of the Celts here.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Legend of the Lakes is an emotional rollercoaster of a finale for the excellent Once and Future Queen trilogy by Clara O’Connor.

What I Loved

I loved how much the main character, Cassandra/Catriona matured from the first book to the last. She started as a shallow, two-dimensional young adult who was very hard to connect to or even like. But through the second and third installments of the trilogy, she learned about love, experienced profound losses, and became a multidimensional, caring, and relatable young woman who can carry the reader through the despair of feeling like there is no way out to the highs of her successes.

The world-building through the trilogy is so comprehensive and sensory that it pulled me in instantly. Once you are outside the walls of Londinium, you forget that you are in a version of a current day world and think you are in a historical fantasy taking place in King Arthur’s time. Instead, Londinium, an ancient Greek-inspired dystopian world, reminds you that you are in the present through the technology they use but otherwise feels every inch ancient. It’s a fascinating juxtaposition of two very different civilizations that enhance the themes of power and corruption.

The magic system, found outside of the walls, is nature-based and is dying due to the corruption of the ley lines. The magic is not unlike folklore of Arthurian legend, but I enjoyed that the story stuck to what we know and added on to that system. The Lady of the Lake, other than giving Excalibur to Arthur, is an enigma, but through this story, I got a much deeper look at a possible version of the life and purpose of the Lady.

To Read or Not to Read

If you want to immerse yourself in an Arthurian-inspired fantasy world, you need to look no further than this immersive, emotional, and wondrous one found in the Once and Future Queen.

12 Replies to “The Once and Future Queen: The Legend of the Lakes by Clara O’Connor #BookReview #Fantasy #Dystopian #20booksofsummer21”

  1. This sounds excellent, Tessa! I’m glad the character grew on you. I’m going to add this one to my TBR. Thanks for your excellent review. ❤️

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  2. It doesn’t surprise me you liked this one so much, Tessa. I’ve heard only good things about it.
    It sounds great!

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    1. So great! The author knew just how to bring the reader, along with the characters, to the depths of despair at different points. Such an emotional roller coaster ❤️

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  3. Another Arthurian-inspired series I’ve somehow missed, but the comp authors make me wonder. I’ve never been able to get into Maas books, but love everything I’ve read by Clare. Based on your review, I’d still like to check it out. Thanks, Tessa!

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    1. I’m not sure that I agree with their comparison authors. It’s just so unique. The emotional journey of The Hunger Games is a good comparison but the worlds are completely different. The depth of emotions is deeper than in Clare books and it is more focused than that series tended to be. The first book was only meh, but books 2 and 3 are outstanding. I always try to give that warning. ❤️

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  4. I love that the character arc is so developed and the world-building so thorough. It’s been a while since I read anything Arthurian. If I was going to read another, I think this would be it.

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    1. I was so happy with the character development, especially since in the first book the main character wasn’t likable or relatable at all, but by the end that had completely flipped. It’s definitely an interesting premise, plot, and take on dystopian.

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  5. Such a nice reveiw. This book sounds fascinating. Also I love your beach themed photos. 🙂 Especially these shell photos.

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