Once & Future by Amy Rose Capetta and Cori McCarthy
Reviewed by Sam!
What I drank prior: We won trivia!!! I’ve had several glasses of wine, and since this place loves us, they were not light pours by any measure.
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.
Drunk Overview: this is gender-swapped King Arthur in space. Need more than that? Ok fine. Queer gender-swapped King Arthur in space. Need more still? God you’re needy. Ok. Queer gender-swapped King Arthur in space with a gay aging backwards Merlin. Still not enough? Well fine, this book ain’t for you.
Our Arthur, Ari, is an orphan adopted by a fab fam. Her two moms with a brother, Kay (yes, Kay). Mamas are in jail and it’s just Kay and Ari. She pulls Excalibur from a tree and all of a sudden Merlin wakes from his slumber and thus begins the 42nd cycle of King Arthur. Damn.
Spoiler-free Thoughts: this really fucking surprised me. I thought it was gonna be fluffy sci-fi like Starbound by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner but it was NOT. It was a legit Arthurian tale and I loved it.
Characters: Ari is the fucking best. She is impulsive and cocky and fucking YOUNG. Young like you’re so young you’re bothering me young. But she’s actually also fab. Flawed. Loyal. Raw. Real. I love her and I want to be her when I grow up. Merlin is my son. I know I keep adopting literary children but fight me. I guarantee I’ll win. Kay and Gwen are just… fuck me, they’re incredible. Lam is genderqueer. They are fucking badass and I would hate for anyone to go against them in any battle. Then we get Merlin’s bae and Gwen’s protector. God help me can I love a squad any more? No? Cool. ALSO, the villains are supes real and I love it.
Can you tell I loved the characters? No? Well then read the above again.
Plot: the plot is formulaic to an extent however there are bits that I didn’t predict and it was a pleasant surprise. I need the second one immediately. Like,.. yesterday.
Writing Style: I read on audio and adored it. I felt the snark and the impulse and the pain and the love and Ugh someone just kill me.
World Building: I feel like I know this world and not because I was told. But because I was shown small bits at a time and that’s the best.
What to pair it with: what’s a drink that’s super close to a nostalgic drink for you? Cause it’s that. I love the Arthurian tale. Don’t ask me why but I do. I also love dirty Shirley Temples. Don’t ask me why. So that’s it for me.
Rating: 3.9/5 shots
COMMENT DOWN BELOW: What is your favorite King Arthur story?
Until next time, we remain forever drunkenly yours,