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Compared to Outlander and The Mists of Avalon, this thrilling first novel of a debut trilogy reveals the untold story of Languoreth—a forgotten queen of sixth-century Scotland—twin sister of the man who inspired the legend of Merlin.
I write because I have seen the darkness that will come. Already there are those who seek to tell a new history...
In a land of mountains and mist, tradition and superstition, Languoreth and her brother Lailoken are raised in the Old Way of their ancestors. But in Scotland, a new religion is rising, one that brings disruption, bloodshed, and riot. And even as her family faces the burgeoning forces of Christianity, the Anglo-Saxons, bent on colonization, are encroaching from the east. When conflict brings the hero Emrys Pendragon to her father’s door, Languoreth finds love with one of his warriors. Her deep connection to Maelgwn is forged by enchantment, but she is promised in marriage to Rhydderch, son of a Christian king. As Languoreth is catapulted into a world of violence and political intrigue, she must learn to adapt. Together with her brother—a warrior and druid known to history as Myrddin—Languoreth must assume her duty to fight for the preservation of the Old Way and the survival of her kingdom, or risk the loss of them both forever.
Based on new scholarship, this tale of bravery and conflicted love brings a lost queen back to life—rescuing her from obscurity, and reaffirming her place at the center of one of the most enduring legends of all time.
About the Author
Signe Pike is the author of the travel memoir Faery Tale and has researched and written about Celtic history and folklore for more than a decade. A former book editor, she lives in Charleston, South Carolina where she writes full time. Visit her at SignePike.com.
"Outlander meets Camelot – but with the focus firmly on the lives and loves of women. A sweeping, magical tale of a rarely-told part of Scotland's history."
—Kirsty Logan, author of The Grace Keepers
"The Mists of Avalon for a new generation. Pike vividly recreates both the magic and brutality of early medieval Britain, replete with betrayals and love affairs, battles and escapes, and an unforgettable heroine at the center of it all. A gripping historical novel."
—Linnea Hartsuyker, author of The Half-Drowned King
"Rich in detail and elegantly written, The Lost Queen is a boldly feminine heroic journey to a place and time of unbearable change. Hypnotic and sensual, Pike’s story reawakens us to something long ago lost between landscape and memory, where the Old Way still exists, and the bond between brother and sister cannot be broken. Mystical, beautiful, and destined to become a classic."
—Brunonia Barry, author of The Lace Reader and The Fifth Petal
"In her extraordinary debut, Signe Pike assuredly transports the reader to an ancient past, bringing it vividly to life through her beautiful writing. Languoreth is a bold and complex heroine readers will be rooting for until the last page. Mystical, epic and captivating, I couldn't put it down, and look forward to the next installment of this intriguing trilogy."
— Hazel Gaynor, New York Times bestselling author of The Girl Who Came Home and The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter
“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.”
—Patti Callahan Henry, New York Times bestselling author of The Book Shop at Water's End and Becoming Mrs. Lewis
"Did you know that King Arthur’s favorite wizard, Merlin – or more accurately, the real man he was based on – had an equally important twin sister? Get hooked on her story in Signe Pike’s The Lost Queen, the first book in what promises to be a thrilling trilogy."
“THE LOST QUEEN, Signe Pike’s debut novel set in sixth-century Scotland, is the rare historical epic that manages to be truly sweeping and yet always intense and personal—at once a romance, a story of faith, a story of war and a story of family... By the end, you feel happily lost in this mist-shrouded place in history, and you only wish you could stay there longer. Moving, thrilling and ultimately spellbinding, THE LOST QUEEN is perfect for readers of historical fiction like Jean M. Auel’s The Clan of the Cave Bear and Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel, and for lovers of fantasy like Outlander by Diana Gabaldon and The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley.”
“Pike has set out to reconstruct the historical underpinnings of the Arthur legends, tracing their roots to what is today Scotland… The language does a fine job of evoking the period. An unusual take on Dark Ages drama which may well command a following.”
“An engrossing debut… Pike’s narrative blends court intrigue, romantic interludes, and gritty violence into a literary brew worth savoring to the dramatic finale. The elements of Celtic mysticism will appeal to fantasy fans looking for a Mists of Avalon–type experience, while the setting remains grounded in sixth-century Scotland’s political realities. Enthusiastically recommended for readers of female-centered historical sagas and those enamored of Arthurian tales.”
“Deeply researched as well as entertaining.”
“A gripping tale... you won’t regret losing yourself in this fast-moving story.”
"The first line in...author Signe Pike's first work of fiction, The Lost Queen, launches readers into a world they didn't know existed and one, most likely, they didn't know they needed. By the pool, in my bed, and most often, crunched in the front seat of my car, I consumed Pike's novel over a week this summer....Pike nails it....The Lost Queen rocks.
“Epic… This book [has] magic, romance and adventure.”