Once and Future
Once and Future
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Annotation: This bold retelling of the Arthurian legend features Ari, a teenage girl from the future, as the reincarnation of the mythical king, with a mission to save the universe from evil corporate overlords. Contains mature material. Contains Mature Material
Catalog Number: #183756
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
No other formats available
Special Formats: Adult Language Adult Language Hot Title Hot Title
Copyright Date: 2019
Edition Date: 2019
Pages: 368
Availability: Available
New Title: Yes
ISBN: 0-316-44927-X
ISBN 13: 978-0-316-44927-4
Dewey: Fic
Language: English
ALA Booklist
Joining the recent spate of classics retold in space, this sf King Arthur takes full advantage of its galactic setting and modern perspective. Capetta and McCarthy's hero is Ari, an impulsive teen girl (yes, girl!) living a Firefly-esque existence with her adoptive brother, Kay. When a run-in with Mercer e giant corporate power governing the universe ads Ari to pull Excalibur from an ancient tree, Merlin awakens as a scrawny, embarrassingly beardless teen, who sets off to find his latest Arthur mber 42, thus far. Capetta and McCarthy cleverly use details from T. H. White's The Once and Future King, such as how Merlin ages backward, to seamlessly transpose the legend to a YA sphere. The characters represent a glorious spectrum of sexual and gender identities (Merlin, Ari, and Gwen are all queer), and even Ari's space-rat knights are interestingly complex. Like White's book, this manages to be exciting, earnest, and funny, and Capetta and McCarthy unapologetically take jabs at our current political climate. Unique twists and a message of unity through diversity result in a meaningful, utterly fun read.
Publishers Weekly
Set in the future, this inclusive, refreshing take on the Arthurian mythos by Capetta (The Brilliant Death) and McCarthy (Now a Major Motion Picture) stars an impulsive teen female incarnation of Arthur who faces a heartless intergalactic commercial monopoly. While escaping the Mercer Company-s flagship, Ketchan-born Ari, 17, and Kay, her adoptive elder brother, crash on Old Earth, where Ari draws an ancient sword from a tree. With that act, she awakens backward-aging Merlin-now a teen-from his crystal cave and gives him his 42nd chance to vanquish Morgana and mentor Arthur-s efforts to unite humanity. Ari takes little interest in the Arthurian cycle until it collides with her personal quest to rescue her imprisoned mothers from Mercer. On Lionel, a medieval recreation planet and sole holdout against the corporation, others, including Queen Gwen, join the team, leading to a political betrothal that turns into something much more. This and other nonlethal stratagems and romances among people of various gender identities and ethnicities drive the plot, alongside desperate battle scenes and a well-rounded round table. A marvelous mythology remix for teens who enjoy action-packed speculative fiction and genderqueer romance. Ages 13-up. Agents: (for Capetta) Sara Crowe, Pippin Properties; (for McCarthy) Sarah Davies, Greenhouse Literary. (Mar.)
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
A girl with a sword and an impulse problem embarks on a perilous quest to save her family and free the galaxy from the clutches of a power-hungry corporation.When Ari, an on-the-run refugee from planet Ketch, pulls Excalibur from a tree on Old Earth, she sets a centuries-old cycle into motion. By claiming the sword, she unknowingly attracts the enchantress Morgana and awakens the backward-aging magician Merlin, both of whom are doomed to an eternity of reliving the same story of King Arthur's rise and fall. Honest to the core and averse to pageantry, Ari rejects her destiny as "the one true king" until she discovers her connection to the Arthur cycle may help her raise a resistance against the Mercer Company, who imprisoned her mothers and are threatening everyone Ari loves. In this intergalactic reimagining of Arthurian legend, a racially diverse queer and trans ensemble of characters leads the battle against the tyranny of capitalism. Capetta (The Brilliant Death, 2018, etc.) and McCarthy (Now a Major Motion Picture, 2018, etc.) develop complex conflicts on multiple fronts, including a passionate, whirlwind romance between Ari and her Gweneviere. The women in the story grow together through their challenges with one another and learn from their differences.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. (Science Fiction/Fantasy. 14-adult)
Reading Level: 7.0
Interest Level: 9+

King Arthur as you've never imagined! This bold, sizzling YA retells the popular legend with the Once and Future King as a teenage girl -- and she has a universe to save.

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.

My name is Ari Helix. I have a magic sword, a cranky wizard, and a revolution to start.

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.

*STARRED REVIEW* "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

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