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The Witch, the Sword, and the Cursed Knights

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Praise for The Witch, the Sword, and the Cursed Knights

  • Barnes & Noble's top six books books for middle grade readers of the year
     

  • Amazon's Best Book of the Month
     

  • "Read It" pick for Scout Life magazine
     

  • A Junior Library Guild Gold Standard book
     

  • "A fantasy in the highest tradition....The intricate plot incorporates references to Arthurian legend as it ultimately builds its own original story. Ellie and Caedmon are perfectly drawn as insecure but determined protagonists, and the story’s themes of courage, friendship, hope, and self-acceptance freshly resonate...An engaging and intelligent fantasy: up there with the best of them." Kirkus, starred review
     

  • "Told by ­Madame ­Mystérieuse using the alternate perspectives of ­Ellie and Caedmon, along with humorous and often sarcastic comments in footnotes, this title is sure to engage readers with its heterogeneous cast of characters and humor. Rogers’s creativity in constructing the multiple-realm setting is outstanding, including minute details that keep its audience riveted. Readers will sympathize with Ellie in her futile attempts to please her mother, and Caedmon’s heartache in losing a loved one. Information at the beginning of the title will help readers define each realm of the world. Fans of Harry Potter’s magical world and its characters will enjoy this fantasy title. A kinetic and novel fairy tale with themes of friendship and perseverance that will engage fans of Kelly Barnhill’s The Girl Who Drank the Moon." School Library Journal, starred review

  • "From page one, Rogers’ debut delivers. …Anchored—and elevated—by the sassy voice of narrator Madame Mystérieuse, always ready with a cheeky footnote, it alternates between the perspectives of Ellie and Caedmon, leading readers through an intricately spun adventure of magic, mystery, and friendship. Drawing on Arthurian legend, the quirky world building comfortably unites various classic fantasy elements, including fairies, witches, pirates, dragons, knights, and original additions, but it’s the vibrant bond between the two leads that gives the story its abounding heart. Middle-grade fantasy at its most epic." Booklist, starred review
     

  • “This is a delightful book that cleverly combines reimagined elements of Arthurian legend and fairytales in a fresh adventure full of magic lessons, dangerous quests, lost lands, and true friends – with a sugar-dusting of humor sprinkled throughout. I enjoyed every page!”―Jennifer Adam, author of The Last Windwitch
     

  • "The Witch, the Sword, and the Cursed Knights is a joy to read – a delightful, heartfelt adventure with characters you’ll root for. It has all the intrigue of the original source material, but it’s also packed full of imagination. Perfect for any child who’s ever wished for magic!"Carlie Sorosiak, author of I, Cosmo
     

  • "Rogers deftly weaves Arthurian legend around universal concerns of the target audience, and the ending is both satisfying and sequel-ready."Publishers Weekly
     

  • In this fantasy novel set “years after the regretful demise of Camelot,” twelve-year-old Ellie is a witch but dreams of becoming a fairy godmother. All her plans go out the window, however, when she is enlisted to become one of the Knights of the Round Table. At the Montagne des Chevaliers she undergoes a series of dangerous tests that will, perhaps, lead her to a noble destiny protecting the Twenty-Five and a Half Realms. Caedmon has also been drafted, though he is far more surprised than Ellie because, until recently, he had no idea magic even existed. Caedmon is from the only nonmagical realm (from Wisconsin, to be exact). Depressed and reeling from his best friend’s death, Caedmon learns that unless he becomes a knight and re-forges the broken pieces of Excalibur, his family will be in grave peril. Ellie, Caedmon, and their friends must overcome their fears and doubts as they proceed through knighthood trials and battle unforetold dangers, learning to trust one another along the way. Debut author Rogers combines elements from beloved fairy tales and legends, blending recognizable patterns with humor and excitement to produce something charming and new. Ellie’s burgeoning witchcraft, which weighs heavily on her mind, lends the story some philosophical depth, and Caedmon’s depression is portrayed with skill and sympathy. Readers will hope for a sequel, and there seem to be plenty more adventures awaiting our intrepid protagonists. - Horn Book
     

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What’s The Witch, the Sword, and the Cursed Knights about?

A charming middle-grade fantasy debut that put a new spin on the legend of Camelot, perfect for fans of The School for Good and Evil and A Tale of Magic
 
Twelve-year-old Ellie can’t help that she’s a witch, the most hated member of society. Determined to prove her worth and eschew her heritage, Ellie applies to the Fairy Godmother Academy—her golden ticket to societal acceptance. But Ellie’s dreams are squashed when she receives the dreaded draft letter to serve as a knight of King Arthur’s legendary Round Table. She can get out of the draft—but only if she saves a lost cause.
 
Enter Caedmon, a boy from Wisconsin struggling with the death of his best friend. He first dismisses the draft as ridiculous; magic can’t possibly exist. But when Merlin’s ancient magic foretells his family’s death if he doesn’t follow through, he travels to the knights’ castle, where he learns of a wicked curse leeching the knights of their power. 
 
To break the curse, Ellie and Caedmon must pass a series of deathly trials and reforge the lost, shattered sword of Excalibur. And unless Ellie accepts her witch magic and Caedmon rises to become the knight he’s meant to be, they will both fail—and the world will fall to the same darkness that brought King Arthur and Camelot to ruin.

Where can I read The Witch, the Sword, and the Cursed Knights?

The hardcover and e-book are available online and in bookstores! You can also ask your local library to stock it.

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Someone just asked me this and it occurred to me that I don’t actually remember a time when I wasn’t fascinated with Camelot.

Marion Zimmer Bradley’s The Mists of Avalon and Rosalind Miles’s Tristan and Isolde series certainly contributed, but I have loved Camelot since I was young enough to dream of it.

In all likelihood, this deep love comes from my mom, who has spent her life adoring these same stories. (I’m pretty sure I stole the Tristan and Isolde books from her shelf and conveniently forgot to give them back).

How did you know you wanted to write a book about Camelot?

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Alexandria is the author of middle grade fantasy adventure. Books Page