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Once & future
2019
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Summary
King Arthur as you've never imagined! This bold, sizzling YA retells the popular legend with the Once and Future King as a teenage girl -- and she has a universe to save.
I've been chased my whole life. As a fugitive refugee in the territory controlled by the tyrannical Mercer corporation, I've always had to hide who I am. Until I found Excalibur.
Now I'm done hiding.
My name is Ari Helix. I have a magic sword, a cranky wizard, and a revolution to start.
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.
No pressure.
*STARRED REVIEW* "All hail this worthier-than-ever, fresh, and affirming reincarnation of the legendary king and her round table of knights which dazzles with heroic flair, humor, and suspense." -- Kirkus
Trade Reviews
School Library Journal Review
Gr 9 Up-An interstellar science fiction/fantasy adventure story that offers readers a futuristic plot-driven King Arthur retelling. Ari Helix is a fugitive refugee who is on the run in Mercer controlled territory and crashlands on Old Earth. She is thrust out of hiding when she pulls the Sword Excalibur out of its old resting place in a willow tree and becomes the 42nd reincarnation of King Arthur. Ari teams up with a diverse cast of friends, including the backwards-aging teenage Merlin the Wizard and Queen Guinevere, as well as her stepbrother Kay and her adoptive mothers. Together they start a revolution to free the galaxy from the evil Mercer corporation's tyrannical rule. This epic space adventure features a teen character who must complete all three stages of a cycle: train Arthur, defeat the greatest evil in the universe, and unite all of mankind, in order to break the curse that brings the Arthur legend alive throughout time. A stimulating retelling that is adapted from T.H. White's The Once and Future King. Recommended to fans of Avalon High by Meg Cabot and Damar by Robin McKinley. VERDICT Capetta and McCarthy take the British legend and lore of King Arthur in a retelling that is a must-have for young adult collections.-Angelina Bair, Willoughby-Eastlake Public Library, OH © Copyright 2019. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Booklist Review
Joining the recent spate of classics retold in space, this sf King Arthur takes full advantage of its galactic setting and modern perspective. Capetta and McCarthy's hero is Ari, an impulsive teen girl (yes, girl!) living a Firefly-esque existence with her adoptive brother, Kay. When a run-in with Mercer the giant corporate power governing the universe leads Ari to pull Excalibur from an ancient tree, Merlin awakens as a scrawny, embarrassingly beardless teen, who sets off to find his latest Arthur number 42, thus far. Capetta and McCarthy cleverly use details from T. H. White's The Once and Future King, such as how Merlin ages backward, to seamlessly transpose the legend to a YA sphere. The characters represent a glorious spectrum of sexual and gender identities (Merlin, Ari, and Gwen are all queer), and even Ari's space-rat knights are interestingly complex. Like White's book, this manages to be exciting, earnest, and funny, and Capetta and McCarthy unapologetically take jabs at our current political climate. Unique twists and a message of unity through diversity result in a meaningful, utterly fun read.--Julia Smith Copyright 2019 Booklist
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