The Naked Queen: A Tangential Arthurian Legend
by Alan R. Hall
Lettra Press LLC

""Cover me not, but let me remain as I am, and show this whole country—nay, this whole world—how I do belong to thee.""

King Ballizar of Tabithia is afflicted with a strange illness. To try and cure it, he imposes a strange, sexual ritual to which he subjects the women of his kingdom. Members of his court are fearful of the King and his ritual until Syrenya arrives. Naked, she stands before the court and claims that she will conquer the ritual and appease the King. So starts the tale that Darien, a visitor, tells King Arthur and his court. Originally sent with a message to let Arthur know that King Ballizar is dead, Darien continues to regale Arthur with tales of Syrenya and Ballizar as they rule together. After revealing that he is the Queen’s son, he asks King Arthur for guidance as to the mysteries surrounding his parents’ deaths and hopes to find answers from the wise king.

A story within a story, this tangential tale borrows characters from Camelot to frame an even more exotic story of a woman and her power. It is a largely erotic novel, with Syrenya’s first trial being Ballizar’s sex ritual, but the author is able to introduce a plot and storyline that works around the premise. Between war, courtly drama, and even exorcism, the story is full of intrigue, with unexpected twists and turns as to what will happen next in Tabithia. The rehashed story, as told through Darien, allows the author to write in antiquated English, thus giving the story a more classic, older feel. Adding to this is the author’s claim that this book was a found manuscript, translated from Swedish and inspired by real historical figures.

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