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*****= An all-time favorite
****  = Outstanding
***    = Above average
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*        = Good, with reservations


****A Coalition of Lions

by Elizabeth E. Wein

Reviewed September 15, 2003.
Viking, New York, 2003. 208 pages.
Available at Sembach Library (JF WEI).
A Sonderbooks’ Stand-out of 2003:  #1, Young Adult and Children's Historical Fiction

Here’s a rich historical novel.  The author invented Goewin, a daughter of King Arthur (called High King Artos in the book).  She has to flee for her life after the death of Artos and Ginevra and her twin brother Llew.  She flees to the kingdom of Aksum (in modern-day Ethiopia), where her betrothed, Constantine, is Artos’s ambassador to the emperor Caleb.  Caleb has gone on a pilgrimage and has appointed Constantine his viceroy while his son is still too young for the throne.  Constantine was also named by Artos as his heir if his sons are dead.  All that remains is for Goewin to bless his kingship by marrying him.

Unfortunately, Goewin dislikes Constantine as soon as she meets him.  She handles the difficult situation with skill and cleverness.  Aksum has its own political troubles, and its ambassador to Britain was the one who saved her life and brought her safely to Aksum.  Now he is in trouble for supposedly deserting his post.

This is a wonderful story that kept me entranced.  Goewin is a strong female character readers will not soon forget.

Reviews of other books by Elizabeth E. Wein:
The Winter Prince
The Sunbird
The Empty Kingdom
The Pearl Thief
Code Name Verity
Rose Under Fire
Black Dove, White Raven
A Thousand Sisters
Code Name Verity

Copyright © 2003 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved. 
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