King Arthur goes New Age in the latest offering from Bradley (Traitor’s Son, 1998, etc.), who has made a career of smoothing down the sharp corners of the Round Table for her matriarchal fans. Princess Eilan (that’s “Helena” to you Eurocentric patriarchs) hails from the misty isle of Avalon, where she became adept in the ancient craft and lore of the wisewomen. In love with the Roman general Constantius, she leaves Britain and elopes with him—only to be cast aside when he becomes Caesar and is forced to marry the Roman patrician Theodora. In her grief she makes a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, where she discovers the True Cross and learns of the new religion of Christianity. Eventually, her son Constantine succeeds his father as Caesar, and Helena helps him bridge the pagan and the Christian eras—changing Western history in the process.
A guilty pleasure for ancient-history buffs, and a sure hit for the goddess crowd.