Monday, 28 March 2011

Meet King Arthur’s daughter - Rhianna Pendragon!

The Muse has been glittering to tell you about Katherine’s brand new Arthurian fantasy series, which she has had me hard at work on for some time. I've briefly escaped the enchanted mists to tell you the good news. From February 2012, you’ll be able to start reading the adventures of Rhianna Pendragon and her friends Elphin, Cai, and Arianhrod as they battle dragons and the evil Mordred in their quest to restore King Arthur’s soul to his body.

You didn’t know King Arthur had a daughter…? Well, that’s because she was taken to the enchanted isle of Avalon as a baby to grow up with the fairy people. Her friend Elphin is a prince of Avalon and can work magic with his harp, which is just as well since King Arthur’s druid Merlin is getting old and forgetful. Cai is a squire who dreams of being a famous knight like his father, even though he's more likely to drop his lance than hit anyone with it, and Arianhrod becomes Rhianna’s maid at Camelot after escaping the clutches of Mordred’s witch-mother Morgan le Fay.

If you ask him nicely the unicorn may bring you a few Arthurian legends during the rest of this year, but you’re going to have to wait until the first book is published to find out what happens to Rhianna and her friends when they set out on the ultimate quest that killed Arthur’s bravest knights…

Here is the official press release:

TEMPLAR ACQUIRES KATHERINE ROBERTS’ PENDRAGON LEGACY
Templar have acquired an epic four book fantasy series for 9+ readers from award-winning fantasy author Katherine Roberts.

SWORD OF LIGHT, Book 1 of The Pendragon Legacy, will be published in February 2012. Set in the Dark Ages following the death of legendary King Arthur, the series follows the adventures of Arthur's daughter, Rhianna, as she sets out to reunite the four magical lights and restore her father's soul to his body.

Helen Boyle, Templar’s commissioning fiction editor, says: “We’re so excited to be publishing this four book series from Katherine Roberts. The minute I read the first chapter I knew it was something special. Katherine has created a gripping quest-based adventure series, with a really feisty female main character. Add to this a sprinkling of elvish and druid magic, action-packed battle scenes and, in Mordred, a truly twisted villain, and I know readers will be hooked. Our fiction list is developing a some real momentum at the moment and I was looking for some more core 8-12 fiction to complement the rich teen list we've developed. Rhianna Pendragon appeared out of the mists of Avalon and we're delighted to give her and Katherine a home at Templar Fiction.”

Katherine Roberts comments: “As a big fan of Arthurian fantasy, I’ve always wanted to write my own version of the legend but didn’t want to repeat the old stories. When I found red-haired Rhianna, King Arthur’s daughter, hiding on the enchanted island of Avalon, I knew she would make a great young warrior princess to carry the Pendragon legend to a new generation. It was important to me that the whole series should be contracted up front, so I am delighted Templar share my vision for these books and am thrilled to be joining such an exciting new fiction list.”

Founded in 1978, Templar has become one of the world’s most respected publishers and packagers of illustrated children’s fiction, novelty and picture books. In 2008 Templar was recognised by the Independent Publisher’s Guild as UK Children's Publisher of the Year and Independent Publisher of the Year. Templar joined the Bonnier Group in September 2008 and launched its fiction list in 2009. You'll find their blog in the list below.

Also see the Bookseller news item today.

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