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Gillian [Marucha] Bradshaw (1956 - )

In Winter's Shadow
Simon and Schuster, 1982


As the conclusion to Bradshaw's Arthurian trilogy, this book serves wonderfully to tie up loose ends and terminates with the classic tragedy, Arthur's kingdom falls because of his wife's infidelity; however, Bradshaw adds new spice and flavour to the whole story by telling it from Guinevere's point of view and her names for the characters are Welsh. I highly recommend this book to those looking for a new slant on the Arthurian trilogy. -Joshua D. Little

- Joshua D. Little , 11/23/2005

In Winter's Shadow, the conclusion to Bradshaw's Gawain trilogy, marks one of the first times Gwynhwyfar (Guinevere) appeared in a novel as a powerful narrator. Bradshaw's writing finally comes of age in this excellent retelling of the final days of Arthur's kingdom and Gwalchmai's (Gawain's) life. The historical material from sub-Roman Britain has virtually vanished except for name dropping, becoming little more than a memory just as Rome is becoming a memory for the characters. What remains of the historical timeline is skewed. Fact has been replaced by lively descriptions of a Celtic-based mythology and folklore that interacts with the "real" world. The result is high fantasy at its finest. This was another one of those books that I absolutely had to buy in hardcover because I was unwilling to wait for the paperback. The hardcover edition features a map of sixth-century southern Britain and Brittany. Some of the locations are accurate. Others are fictional and placed at the author's whim. Bedwyr (Bedivere), rather than Lancelot (who does not appear in the trilogy), plays the part of Gwynhwyfar's illicit lover. Medraut (Mordred) uses Gwynhwyfar's affair to destroy Arthur's kingdom as Gwalchmai (Gawain) struggles futilely to forestall the inevitable. Bradshaw's choice of narrator lends a new perspective to the old, familiar tale. From memorable visions of the Otherworld to gritty descriptions of every-day life, Bradshaw's prose leads the reader on an adventure that is impossible to forget. The poignant Epilogue, as Gwynhwyfar lays down her pen and finishes her tale, is a definite tear-jerker and a fitting end for this fine trilogy. - Linda A. Malcor 10/99

- Linda A. Malcor, 10/1/1999

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