Half Sick of Shadows (Hardcover)

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Half Sick of Shadows (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews


I spent a better part of last fall and winter just hoping, praying, wishing that someone, somewhere would return us to Camelot when, BAM! in walked Laura Sebastian. This is probably one of the most unique versions of this classic tale that I have ever read, and I enjoyed it so much. In this Camelot, our focus is on a young Seer by the name of Elaine. She is descended from a long line of women gifted with the Sight although she has been raised by a mother fearful and unaware of the full spectrum of their gift. Elaine is growing up in a Camelot where magic is strictly forbidden and punishable by death. In an effort to protect them both, Elaine's mother has been smothering her own gift and her daughter's for years, expressly forbidding Elaine to ever speak of it. This has made for a miserable existence indeed ...until Elaine meets Arthur's sister Morgana on a visit from the island of Avalon. Morgana is feared even as a young girl of 14 within the palace. She crackles with energy and magic in her very person, and Elaine cannot help but be fascinated by the bold girl who is so unlike herself. When offered the chance to leave Camelot behind and join Morgana on Avalon to live out from under the shadows and learn to control her Sight, she jumps at the offer. She won't be alone either. Elaine knows that Arthur has been living out his childhood on the island under the protection of the Fey folk who inhabit Avalon as well as Morgana's other closest friends, Lancelot and Guinevere. The storyline hops between Elaine's childhood in Camelot and her early years on Avalon growing as a Seer, to her present as Arthur's Advisor, helping guide him to his rightful place on the throne. Throughout this whole book I was a bundle of anticipation wondering if Elaine would be able to steer the four of them from the fate we know so well of Arthur and his Round Table. If you're at all a King Arthur fan, this one is definitely worth the read.

— Katie

"Laura Sebastian is the next Madeline Miller. . . . a fierce, fresh, lyrical tale that will enthrall until the last page."--Kate Quinn, New York Times bestselling author of The Huntress

A Popsugar Best Summer Read of 2021
A Bibliolifestyle Most Anticipated Summer 2021 Sci-fi and Fantasy Book

"Magical, haunting, unique--I haven't been so excited about an Arthur book since I read The Once and Future King ."--Tamora Pierce, #1 New York Times bestselling author

The Lady of Shalott reclaims her story in this bold feminist reimagining of the Arthurian myth from the New York Times bestselling author of Ash Princess.

Everyone knows the legend. Of Arthur, destined to be a king. Of the beautiful Guinevere, who will betray him with his most loyal knight, Lancelot. Of the bitter sorceress, Morgana, who will turn against them all. But Elaine alone carries the burden of knowing what is to come--for Elaine of Shalott is cursed to see the future.

On the mystical isle of Avalon, Elaine runs free and learns of the ancient prophecies surrounding her and her friends--countless possibilities, almost all of them tragic.

When their future comes to claim them, Elaine, Guinevere, Lancelot, and Morgana accompany Arthur to take his throne in stifling Camelot, where magic is outlawed, the rules of society chain them, and enemies are everywhere. Yet the most dangerous threats may come from within their own circle.

As visions are fulfilled and an inevitable fate closes in, Elaine must decide how far she will go to change destiny--and what she is willing to sacrifice along the way.
Laura Sebastian grew up in South Florida and attended Savannah College of Art and Design. She now lives and writes in London. Laura is the author of the New York Times bestselling Ash Princess series: Ash Princess, Lady Smoke and Ember Queen.

Product Details ISBN: 9780593200513
ISBN-10: 0593200519
Publisher: Ace
Publication Date: July 6th, 2021
Pages: 448
Language: English
"Laura Sebastian is the next Madeline Miller. In Half Sick of Shadows, she frames the famous legend of King Arthur through the eyes of seer Elaine, the tragic Lily Maid who flowers into much more than a passive doomed oracle. Leading the women of Camelot into taking control of a legend long dominated by knights and kings, Elaine weaves past truths and possible futures into a fierce, fresh, lyrical tale that will enthrall until the last page."--Kate Quinn, New York Times bestselling author of The Huntress

"Magical, haunting, unique--Sebastian is a splendid new figure on the adult scene! This is something special, readable, and real, magic and all. I haven't been so excited about an Arthur book since I read The Once and Future King (I was 11)."--Tamora Pierce, #1 New York Times bestselling author

Half Sick of Shadows is a powerful, brilliant retelling of the Lady of Shalott. This is a book I wish I had written.”--Anne Bishop, New York Times bestselling author of The Queen’s Weapons

"This bold reimagining of the Arthurian story, told from the viewpoint of seer Elaine, gives the women of the legend a new depth and agency. Half Sick of Shadows is rich in magic and full of surprises."--Juliet Marillier, national bestselling author of The Harp of Kings

"This captivating and moving tale—centered around powerful Morgana, impulsive Guinevere, and troubled Elaine—explores how friendship both binds and breaks under pressure, especially once these three women start to question why they must sacrifice themselves to fulfill Arthur’s destiny."--Booklist (starred review)

"Sebastian's adult debut is filled with historical leanings with a feminist twist. Themes of friendship, fate, and morally gray decisions made for greater good are at the forefront of this Arthurian retelling."--Library Journal (starred review)

"A thoughtful, crisp take that brings just the right amount of newness to the timeless legends readers know and love.”--Kirkus