The Roman empire is crumbling, leaving the British Isles free of their influence - but novice priestess Niniane, sheltered in the temple, has had little to do with politics. All this is about to change when she leaves her sheltered life, encounters a Roman commander, and learns the true nature of her heritage and the rumors that have surrounded it.
Lady of the Lake is a top recommendation for fantasy readers who have loved Marian Zimmer Bradley's 'Avalon' series and who like fantasy novels along those lines. Because Jennifer Wherrett has enveloped her character in myths and legends quasi-familiar to the general reader and because of her attention to detail in painting a novice's struggles with her emerging powers and a changing social order, the duality of events assumes a vivid, realistic immediacy holding the power to reach out and grab readers even if they have no prior familiarity with or interest in Arthurian legend.
More so than similar fantasies, Wherett's focus on building a transformative situation where her character evolves as much as the world around her makes for a compelling, riveting saga that's hard to put down and strengthened by Niniane's personality and struggles.
From the inner circle of priestesses to a child's predetermined path and her equal determination to steer its uncertain course, "Ye canno’ fight destiny ‘n win” is just one of the ongoing sayings influencing Niniane's life and times. Charged with extraordinary duties and an equally extraordinary life, Niniane faces challenges few others of her ilk can field: "…to transcend, Niniane, you have to leave that place of safety within, and that always has physical expression. You have to go beyond anything and everything you’ve known, especially of yourself."
What is destiny and predetermination, and how do one's choices change or fit into that path? Lady of the Lake is simply exquisite in its approach to transformative events in one girl's life and world, and is especially recommended for fantasy readers of Arthurian legend seeking something different and more well-rounded, multi-faceted and complex than many of its competitors.