Most people are familiar with the legend of and surrounding King Arthur. For me that’s mostly what it is; a familiarity. I’ve seen the Disney version of Sword in the Stone. I’ve also seen an early 2000’s movie called King Arthur, though I don’t recall anything from it. I also have picked up the basics of the main legend here and there. Do you need to know any or more of that to enjoy Once & Future? No. I don’t think you do. Will you finish the book and want to read more about the legendary king? Well, I know I do.
Retellings of classic tales, whether they’re Pride & Prejudice from a few hundred years back or the Iliad millenia ago, always catch my eye. Putting King Arthur in space grabbed my attention more than most other settings probably would have. How would it work to have knights in space? Where would the sword be stuck? How would magic work up there? My questions were answered in this book in a very entertaining and developed way.
I think one of the strengths of this book was that the authors didn’t just retel the King Arthur story. King Arthur himself already had his time to do his thing in the story. In fact, he had his chance 41 other times. It’s time for Ari, a wanted refugee, to try to bring humankind back together and out from under an evil empirical corporations rule. She’s a reincarnation of Arthur, thousands of years later. This allowed for things to change, modernize, all while sticking with tropes necessary to the myth all while being self-aware of them. The Merlin in this book won’t let up on how things “should” be and who is a version of who.
I flew through this book since it was hard to put down often. I haven’t had a read like this in awhile. While it was great as its own book, I’m eager to see what happens in book two of the duology. There was a little bit of a lead-in to that book, and I’d really like to see Ari finally fulfill her role as this future Arthur and finish her journey.
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About the Rebel Carter:
Amy Rose Capetta [she/they] is a bestselling and acclaimed author of YA fantasy, sci-fi, and mystery. Amy Rose’s first novels, Entangled and Unmade, comprise a spacepunk duet. Echo After Echo, a queer love story wrapped in a murder mystery and set on Broadway, was an ALA Rainbow List Selection and JLG Selection. The Brilliant Death, an Italian-inspired, nonbinary fantasy, made the Locus Reading List and Kirkus Best YA Books of the Year. Once & Future, a bestselling Arthurian space fantasy co-written with Cori McCarthy, received four starred reviews and was a finalist for the New England Book Award. The Lost Coast, aka queer teen witches in the redwoods, landed on Booklist’s Top 10 SF/Fantasy & Horror for Youth. Sequels to The Brilliant Death and Once & Future are forthcoming in 2020! Amy Rose holds an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from VCFA, and co-founded the Rainbow Writers Workshop, the first workshop for LGBTQIAP+ writers of YA and middle grade. AR lives in Vermont with Cori McCarthy and an adorable small reader.
About the Cori McCarthy:
CORY (aka Cori)…earned degrees in poetry and screenwriting before falling in love with writing for children and young adults at Vermont College of Fine Arts. They have authored four acclaimed YA novels, with a middle grade series and nonfiction picture book forthcoming. Cory coauthored the bestselling ONCE & FUTURE, a finalist for the New England Book Award, with their spouse Amy Rose Capetta. They live in the mountains of Vermont where they champion queer teens and raise a young maverick.