The Lost Queen

The Lost Queen

Mists of Avalon meets Philippa Gregory in the first book of an exciting historical trilogy that reveals the untold story of Languoreth—a powerful and, until now, tragically forgotten queen of sixth-century Scotland—twin sister of the man who inspired the legendary character of Merlin.Intelligent, passionate, rebellious, and brave, Languoreth is the unforgettable heroine of...

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Title:The Lost Queen
Author:Signe Pike
Rating:
Edition Language:English

The Lost Queen Reviews

  • Sean Gibson

    There’s something magic about the past.

    I don’t mean the recent or immediate past, mind you—as the late, great George Carlin once noted derisively when talking about one-hour photo developers, “You just SAW the [email protected] thing!” (Kids: physical photos used to be a thing; just take my word for it.)

    No, I mean a past beyond living memory, a time that can only be evoked through a combination of copious historical research and vivid imagination. Whether it’s the fog-shrouded streets of Victorian London,

    There’s something magic about the past.

    I don’t mean the recent or immediate past, mind you—as the late, great George Carlin once noted derisively when talking about one-hour photo developers, “You just SAW the [email protected] thing!” (Kids: physical photos used to be a thing; just take my word for it.)

    No, I mean a past beyond living memory, a time that can only be evoked through a combination of copious historical research and vivid imagination. Whether it’s the fog-shrouded streets of Victorian London, the brightly frescoed walls of Renaissance Florence, the wondrous castles of feudal Japan, or the newly marbled columns of ancient Athens, the past, in the hands of a well-informed and skilled writer, becomes something you can truly visit, a place you can tangibly experience in the same way you would a trip to modern-day New York, Beijing, or Dollywood (okay, so, not all that much like Dollywood, because the only thing that one tangibly experiences there is a visceral desire to destroy every hidden speaker disguised as a rock that keeps pumping cheerfully bland country music directly into your cerebral cortex).

    Thankfully, sixth century Scotland is nothing like Dollywood, especially in the gifted typing fingers and nimble brain of Pike, who has fashioned—using the aforementioned combination of copious research and vivid imagination—a majestically sweeping story that feels as big as it does small.

    (Yes, I hear you over there, tapping your foot and muttering, “‘Feels as big as it does small?’” That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard, and I’ve read some of your other reviews, Gibson…you’re as skilled at saying dumb things as the good people of Dollywood are at hiding speakers in such ingenious ways that it’s impossible to find and smash them.” Hang with me for a second.)

    What I mean by that is that it’s an epic story featuring legendary warriors, a long-forgotten Queen with an unbreakable spirit, the man who would be Merlin, and a host of opposing forces primed for a clash of ages. But, it’s also the intimate tale of closely connected siblings and the world they inhabit, and the level of detail—from the trees and plants they cultivate to formulate tinctures and salves to the simple but mouthwatering foods they prepare every day to the smell of sweat and leather that clings to them—makes it feel so incredibly lived in that the physical details linger long after you’ve flipped the final page.

    And this is only the beginning, the opening salvo in what promises to be a terrific triptych of tales. Perhaps the primary appeal for me is that it’s set at a time when magic was, if not real, something that was believed to be real, and that belief infuses the story with a wonder that transcends whatever actually happened historically to create something truly special.

    (I would be remiss, however, if I didn’t note that there are kissing parts. I mean, like, lady nethers getting hydrated kissing parts. Intense kissing parts. I mean, it’s not thrusing-your-purple-helmeted-warrior-into-a-quivering-mound-of-love-pudding kissing parts, but still…be prepared. And yes, you have to read the kissing parts, Fred Savage. They’re integral to the story.)

    Well worth checking out for all fans of historical fiction, epic sagas, family stories, and, yes, romance.

  • Patti Henry

    An extraordinary historical page-turner. Pike brings a creative eye, unique voice and immaculate research to the world of historical fiction - the people and lands of this novel will not leave me. The Lost Queen is more than a book; it is a profound experience. Languoreth has emerged from the mists of Scotland to assume her rightful place on the throne where she belongs.

    I can not tell you how much I love this book -- I devoured it; I dreamt about it; I love it!!!

  • Shomeret

    Signe Pike decided to re-examine the Arthurian Mythos when she learned that a man who appears to have been the historical Merlin had a twin sister. A novel focused on Merlin's twin sister would certainly be covering new ground. That's why I agreed to review The Lost Queen by Signe Pike when the publisher made a review request. I received a digital ARC from the publisher via Net Galley and this is my honest review.

    Languoreth is not portrayed as a medieval feminist. As a woman who was a daughter o

    Signe Pike decided to re-examine the Arthurian Mythos when she learned that a man who appears to have been the historical Merlin had a twin sister. A novel focused on Merlin's twin sister would certainly be covering new ground. That's why I agreed to review The Lost Queen by Signe Pike when the publisher made a review request. I received a digital ARC from the publisher via Net Galley and this is my honest review.

    Languoreth is not portrayed as a medieval feminist. As a woman who was a daughter of a King, she was constrained in her choices. She married the man that her father chose instead of the man she loved. She did this for the sake of her family. There was a great deal of tragedy in Languoreth's life. I felt compassion for her, and tried not to judge her.

    This novel is compared to The Mists of Avalon because it takes the perspective of a woman, and portrays the struggle between Pagans and Christians that was taking place during that period. Since it's the first volume in a trilogy, I will be interested in seeing how Signe Pike will put her personal stamp on her version of the Arthurian legend in future books.

    For my complete review see

  • Mellie Antoinete

    “War is not about victory. War is about survival.”

    This book was vividly amazing. Equal parts Outlander, Camelot and Game of Thrones, the characters are vibrant, the settings surround you and the story draws you right in. There were many a moment I felt like I was sitting on a hill learning from Cathan or in the yard training with the knife father gifted me all those moons ago.

    “In times such as these, when the people need a hero, so are such heroes

    made.”

    It’s funny how circular Langoureth’s st

    “War is not about victory. War is about survival.”

    This book was vividly amazing. Equal parts Outlander, Camelot and Game of Thrones, the characters are vibrant, the settings surround you and the story draws you right in. There were many a moment I felt like I was sitting on a hill learning from Cathan or in the yard training with the knife father gifted me all those moons ago.

    “In times such as these, when the people need a hero, so are such heroes

    made.”

    It’s funny how circular Langoureth’s story is. It all pinpoints to singular moments, unspoken choices, longed for dreams of a different life. Darkness colors the edges of the parchment just waiting to swallow the ink, and yet there is so much life, love and light keeping the darkness at bay that in the end, it boils down to a good story, woven in the richest of inks, and set with the sands of time.

    “We may not always have the choice we would like. But we always have a

    choice.”

    The book boyfriends in this novel are insatiable - be it the winter-eyed Rhydderch or the emerald richness of Maelgwn’s peepers. I would choose either equally and live out my days in happiness. Nope - I’d choose Maelgwn! His destiny is his own. Rhydderch’s “pulse is reserved for politics,” which often leaves him between a rock and a weak-assed coward of a hard place. But he’s got grit to him! I like it! Let’s meet, grab a coffee, see where there show leads! 😉 I believe you’re bound to surprise me in the end, Rhydderch my love (don’t let me down Signe!)

    “All leadership is blood.”

    Of course, I’m going to leave this with the desperatist of tones - This is by far the best #arc I’ve received and had the pleasure to consume to date! Could not put it down! The history burns from the page in all its bitter glory as if it only happened yesterday and I loved it. I loved every minute of it! Signe Pike is now an instant buy author for me! Bless you #netgalley!

    Preordered, place of honor, the whole nine stars! 💋 mwah 💋

  • Christine Spoors

    This is now one of my favourite books ever. I am so happy I found this book, a mix of Celtic folklore and historical fiction all in a book set around the Glasgow area in central Scotland where I live?! It's basically the book I've been searching for for years. If you're a fan of books like Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier then I definitely recommend.

    This book begins in the year 550 where we meet Languoreth and her twin brother Lailoken, they are the children of Morken, a petty King in

    This is now one of my favourite books ever. I am so happy I found this book, a mix of Celtic folklore and historical fiction all in a book set around the Glasgow area in central Scotland where I live?! It's basically the book I've been searching for for years. If you're a fan of books like Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier then I definitely recommend.

    This book begins in the year 550 where we meet Languoreth and her twin brother Lailoken, they are the children of Morken, a petty King in the Strathclyde area. This book follows the twins through their lives starting from quite a young age, I really liked that the author used quite big time jumps to keep the story moving at a quick pace. I love when we follow historical characters from their beginning.

    If you don't know much about Scotland around the 6th C I think this book explains well, of course with the author taking a few creative liberties which she explains well at the end of the book. I went into this book with an awful lot of background knowledge of this country, the area where I live and aspects of Celtic folklore, so it was just the perfect read for me right now. I can't explain how happy I am to have found this book, it really feels like the book I have been waiting for.

    This book has an absolutely gorgeous cover and a gorgeous map at the start, I saw on Goodreads that the sequel isn't out until May 2020, which is terrible news, but I will eagerly wait!

  • Janelle

    This magical, historical tale, which is the first in a trilogy, had me glued to the pages. The setting is vivid, the characters vibrant, and the writing is beautiful.

    Set in sixth-century Celtic Britain, now known as Scotland, the story revolves around Arthurian lore, specifically Merlin. We follow Languoreth and her twin brother Lailoken, who we later know as Merlin. The story begins when Languoreth and Lailoken are ten years of age and have just lost their mother. Both children were born with a

    This magical, historical tale, which is the first in a trilogy, had me glued to the pages. The setting is vivid, the characters vibrant, and the writing is beautiful.

    Set in sixth-century Celtic Britain, now known as Scotland, the story revolves around Arthurian lore, specifically Merlin. We follow Languoreth and her twin brother Lailoken, who we later know as Merlin. The story begins when Languoreth and Lailoken are ten years of age and have just lost their mother. Both children were born with a gift and brought up in the Old Ways as their mother was a powerful healer and wisdom keeper. However, Languoreth is not able to follow in her mother’s footsteps as her father, the King, has demanded she marry for political reasons to secure the survival of the kingdom. This is essentially a coming-of-age story about Languoreth and how she navigates her way within a legendary royal family.

    I love being whisked off to another place and time and Pike’s rich, descriptive language really does the trick. We are transported to medieval Scotland’s beautiful countryside where Christianity is on the rise during a time of Druid faith and Languoreth knows she has to defend her family’s heritage even if it comes with consequences. I enjoyed the pacing of the story very much - the ebb and flow of it is perfect. Pike’s attention to detail is fantastic as she includes a character reference, phonetic pronunciations, a map, and an Author’s Note which is all very thoughtful and much appreciated. Readers who enjoy historical fiction, love Camelot and illuminating characters, will be enticed and enamored with this story, the story of the tragically forgotten queen known as THE LOST QUEEN. I absolutely cannot wait for the next installment!

  • Margaret Sankey

    Now that I can no longer re-read The Mists of Avalon, and because I really liked the Sarmatian take on the Arthurian legends embedded in Gillian Bradshaw's Island of Ghosts, this is a very promising new series centered on an interpretation of the Arthurian stories originating in Strathclyde above the wall rather than Wales. Pike uses the freedom of a novel to reconstruct from a handful of mentions in historical documents, the life of a 6th century high queen at the center of transition between C

    Now that I can no longer re-read The Mists of Avalon, and because I really liked the Sarmatian take on the Arthurian legends embedded in Gillian Bradshaw's Island of Ghosts, this is a very promising new series centered on an interpretation of the Arthurian stories originating in Strathclyde above the wall rather than Wales. Pike uses the freedom of a novel to reconstruct from a handful of mentions in historical documents, the life of a 6th century high queen at the center of transition between Christianity and suprisingly unromanticized Druidic practice, and the piecemeal invasions of Angles and Saxons.

  • Sarah

    I had to force myself to finish this today. I’m happy to report that despite the anachronisms I really enjoyed the last 200 or so Pages... but those first 300.. oh man. What. A. Drag.

    This is about the man behind the myth of Merlin... more specifically, Merlin’s twin sister, Langoureth. Set in sixth century Scotland, we watch Langoureth grow from a child to a teen, and eventually an adult.

    I want to start by saying the “romance” in this book is nonsensical to the point of being comedic. I wish I w

    I had to force myself to finish this today. I’m happy to report that despite the anachronisms I really enjoyed the last 200 or so Pages... but those first 300.. oh man. What. A. Drag.

    This is about the man behind the myth of Merlin... more specifically, Merlin’s twin sister, Langoureth. Set in sixth century Scotland, we watch Langoureth grow from a child to a teen, and eventually an adult.

    I want to start by saying the “romance” in this book is nonsensical to the point of being comedic. I wish I was exaggerating. This is the absolute worst case of instalove I have ever seen. The author interpreted “Love at first sight” quite literally. By the end of the book I think they’ve actually spent a running total of four days together, and if you’ve only counted the hours of those days it’s probably less than 24 hours.

    Secondly, this is written like it was set in renaissance times.. with talk of royalty and princesses and cavalry and generals and Arabian dancers from overseas... To be fair to the author- for all I know, they did have such things in 6th century “Scotland”, but I for one have surely never read a book set in this time period that used words like that. The language could have used some heavy editing to make the book feel more authentic. At one point I read “fleece lined couches” and I sort of wanted to scream in rage. Yes, let’s gather the Knights of the Round Table in the great room by the hearth and set them on couches. Then we’ll grab General Lancelot and send him on a mission of chivalry. WTF.

    Sorry. Rant over. If you manage to stick it out, and can eventually let all that nonsense go, the book does become rather enjoyable. I’m so used to reading books set from the battlefield, that to see the women working behind the scenes to support husbands, fathers, brothers, etc. was a nice change. Even though the romance was ridiculous, I found the story itself quite romantic, and was able to just sit back and appreciate the making of Merlin and Uther Pendragon.

    The author did manage to include lots of Celtic rituals and lore and at least on that front, I do think she has done her research (although- as stated above, wth do I know). The characters were sort of flat and one sided. I did appreciate Elufed because I felt like you never really knew where she stood. I loved Ariane and Cathan but there weren’t enough of them. Some character’s stories felt unfinished. I also felt the author projected some rather modern feelings and ideas on to these characters, that again, wouldn’t have fit the time.

    So if you are itching for a lighter fantasy, another facet of Arthurian lore, this wouldn’t be a bad book to pick up. I do recommend you don’t go into it expecting authentic feeling history though. You’ll be disappointed.

  • Steve Donoghue

    A smart and thunderously readable debut work of historical fiction, and a promise of an immensely enjoyable series! Curious readers lured in by surface echoes of Arthurian mytho-history will find a LOT more going on in these pages. My full review is here:

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