author: Mary Ting
series: Once Upon a Legend #1
published: 3 March 2023
buy/shelve it: Amazon | Goodreads
rating: | series rating:
A story of love and a power that echoes through time.
A prophecy foretold by the Council.A sword forged by the Ladies of the Lake.A child born from love and the hope of thousands.
Seventeen-year-old Idrisa is a student from Dumont Orphan School. When the Emperor of Dumonia invites all citizens to a birthday gala for Prince Merrick, she attends and becomes entangled in a world beyond belief. At the party, Idrisa begins to hear strange voices that urge her to go to the lake. A student from school follows and tries to kill her, but in the fight for her survival, Idrisa gains possession of an eternal sword—gifted by the Ladies of the Lake.
The Emperor demands it, but only Idrisa can wield the sword, so he imprisons her. Her only hope is Prince Merrick, but he is grieving the death of his mother and doesn’t care about anything happening around him. While held captive, Idrisa uncovers secrets that challenge everything she thought she knew about Dumonia. Enemies and allies emerge when they hear news of the sword, and she must unlock the mystery of the weapon before darkness descends on the empire forever.
a few notes
keywords/phrases: Arthurian, retellings, family, honor
mood reading: myth, magic, and mystery
bonus points: strong female protagonist
Once Upon a Legend was a beautiful and enchanting story, a new take on the Arthurian mythology. The author reimagined the Lady of the Lake into a trio of goddesses, which brought a whole new dimension to the tale. As the story unfolds, it becomes ever darker, ever more twisted. It becomes clear that the story being told in Once Upon a Legend is but one part of a larger story, one that had been unfolding for a long time.
Idrisa is a wonderful FMC… fiercely loyal, determined, and unbelievably brave. When she finds herself embroiled in the midst of royal intrigue, she doesn’t shy away from it. Instead, she puts herself forward in an effort to protect those she cares about. Merrick is an equally fantastic MMC… embued with integrity even as he’s grieving for his mother. He proves himself as independent and not easily swayed by that which would be easy, even if it puts him in dangerous positions.
There is so much to love about Once Upon a Legend. Magic, betrayal, honor, truths, intrigue… and all the twists and turns one could want. The story is beautifully written, deep and powerful. Mesmerizing!
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