Once and Future
Author: Amy Rose Capetta and Cori McCarthy
Series: Once and Future duology #1
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.
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This inclusive retelling of King Arthur is sassy, entertaining, funny, stressful, exciting, heartbreaking, and really all the feelings. I loved Ari from the beginning. The other characters were hit or miss for me. It’s a little hard to keep track of everybody since several characters are introduced early on and Merlin tries to associate them with their original Arthur personality (e.g., Lancelot but nobody in the group is named Lancelot). The characters stick together for most of the story so you do get to know them all better eventually.
The internal and external conflicts keep the action going so it was difficult to put this book down. The characters always seem to under some sort of threat so it keeps the plot moving along.
I enjoyed how Ari’s story unfolded. She doesn’t recall her past and you gradually learn it throughout the book with her. I love how she does what she feels is right and she’ll do whatever it takes to protect the people she cares about, even if it means sacrificing herself or something she cares about.
I wish Ari and Kay’s mothers had more of an active role. They seemed to only be present as a means of motivation for Kay and Ari, or to keep them in check. They are there and not there at the same time.
Overall, I loved this book and can’t wait for the conclusion in The Sword in the Stars in 2020.