Once & Future

Once & Future

Book - 2019
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King Arthur as you've never seen her! This bold, sizzling YA novel reimagines the Once and Future King as a teenage girl determined to save the universe from an evil curse.
My name is Ari Helix. I have a magic sword, a cranky wizard, and a revolution to start.
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.
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.
"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 , Starred Review
Publisher: New York ; Boston : Little, Brown and Company, 2019.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780316449274
Branch Call Number: YA CAPETTA
Characteristics: 354 pages ; 24 cm
Additional Contributors: McCarthy, Cori
Alternative Title: Once and future


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From Library Staff

LPL_WilliamO Apr 15, 2019

This is the queer, genderbent, SciFi retelling of the legend of King Arthur you didn't know you wanted. It'll draw you in and have you begging for more. Fortunately, there's a followup due out next year. READ IT!

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Jan 27, 2021

I was captivated by Once & Future because of the thrilling characters and amazing plot! In this retelling of the myth of King Arthur, Ari begins her journey when she finds the legendary sword Excalibur and meets the wizard Merlin. She ventures to take down the evil Mercer Corp and unite humankind with her loyal knights at her side. I loved the characters' interactions with each other because it brought life to them and made them much more interesting. The fast-paced plot led up smoothly to the cliffhanger, and I enjoyed every bit of it! I look forward to reading the next book! I would recommend Once & Future for people who enjoy retellings, magic, and LGBT+ representations.

Apr 16, 2020

Heads up: there's a sequel and this volume doesn't really have a full resolution...

Space-civilization, King Arthur/Merlin saga, and lots of LGBT+ representation.

I think I will look up more by these authors as I was intrigued by parts of it, but I think I would've preferred an original story to an Arthur retelling?

FPL_JenB Dec 17, 2019

A space opera retelling of the King Arthur myth with lots of gender-bending/fluidity of the characters. I liked the twists the authors took with the story. I think it was well-written and compelling. There is romance- so if a reader is not interested in that- this may not be the book for them.

Oct 06, 2019

I got halfway through this book and could not finish it. I have nothing against how you view yourself, however this should be properly labeled as a rainbow friendly book. This book was more about the relationships between characters than a retelling of Arthurian legend. Not a fan.

Jul 18, 2019

So, I am not the target audience for this book. I love a good fantasy and especially enjoy King Arthur or Merlin tales. When I heard this was a futuristic adaptation with a female Arthur I figured I had to try it out.
Unfortunately for me the book is more about relationships with a soft connection to Arthurian legend. I think if you take out all of the hooking up you’d be left with fun, light J fiction novel.
But, this is a teen book and the relationships and sexuality of the characters drive the story. I do believe teens with any connection to the LGBTQ community will love reading about the diversity and seeing themselves in one of these legendary characters. And the writing is good... a little juvenile at times and some of the dialogue is forced. But, I rated it for potential and knowing that the book will delight others. Just not me.

Jul 04, 2019

Outstanding LGBTQ+ retelling of the King Arthur legend in space. If you like recast of classic tales - Read this!

LPL_WilliamO Apr 15, 2019

This is the queer, genderbent, SciFi retelling of the legend of King Arthur you didn't know you wanted. It'll draw you in and have you begging for more. Fortunately, there's a followup due out next year. READ IT!


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