Series Spotlight: Once & Future by Amy Rose Capetta and Cori McCarthy

10:00 AM

There's no lack of retellings when it comes to the Arthurian Legend. They are never-ending and the legend itself is a classic. Once & Future is one of many but it is also one in a billion and the big standout. All I know is that this series is one of the best spins on the legend--unique, lively, action packed and full of so much heart. It's also severely underrated and I need to convert all of you into fans, so I can yell at you about how fantastic this world that Amy Rose Capetta and Cori McCarthy have created.

Early last year, I was able to read an ARC of Once & Future and ever since then I've been craving more from this dynamic duo. I have only just traded in my bookish hangover. For, you know, another bookish hangover.

Because, the ARC of Sword in the Stars, that's why.

We still have a few months left of anticipating when it comes to the official publication of Sword in the Stars, but until then, I figure, well, it's time to chat your ears off about this series. Or, er, eyes. Type your eyes... off? Okay, okay, none of that makes sense. BUT, I swear to you, this series is totally worth your time and any babbling on my part.



Otherwise known as: 
Jessica TRYING to explain a series but failing spectacularly and instead gushing about said series! 
 
Once & Future is a lot of things. It is familiar and new all at once. Mostly, it is bold and imaginative take on the Arthurian Legend, that puts girls at the helm and kicks some serious ass. You know those characters you wish you had as a kid? THEY ARE HERE. In this series. Reading it is an enchanting, whirlwind of emotions that leave readers reaching for the stars and feeling a ton of varied emotions.

You can't help but to stan. 

Once & Future is all about curse-breaking and defeating oppression. It is, obviously, truly magical. More than that, it is a rarity that manages to capture the essence of the original legend but bring it into something that is fresh and unique. Once & Future is diverse, queer, and energetic in a way that other retellings simply... aren't.

These are the characters you've been looking for. These are the voices you've needed.

Once & Future
(Once & Future, #1) 

King Arthur as you've never seen her! This bold, sizzling YA novel reimagines the Once and Future King as a teenage girl determined to save the universe from an evil curse.

My name is Ari Helix. I have a magic sword, a cranky wizard, and a revolution to start.
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. 
 
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. No pressure.



Sword in the Stars
(Once & Future, #2) 

In this epic sequel to Once & Future, to save the future, Ari and her Rainbow knights pull off a heist... thousands of years in the past.

Ari Helix may have won her battle against the tyrannical Mercer corporation, but the larger war has just begun. Ari and her cursed wizard Merlin must travel back in time to the unenlightened Middle Ages and steal the King Arthur's Grail---the very definition of impossible.

It's imperative that the time travelers not skew the timeline and alter the course of history. Coming face-to-face with the original Arthurian legend could produce a ripple effect that changes everything. Somehow Merlin forgot that the past can be even more dangerous than the future...


  • ARI HELIX. Do you love badass women? DO YOU LOVE THEM LEADING THE WAY? Do you love strength and stubbornness and heroic acts? Meet Ari. You're going to adore her. Get the Tumblr fan-page ready, kids. You're in for a wild ride. I mean, I almost wrote out 'Ari' as the lone reason but that is apparently not enough information. (Don't worry, I would have had Merlin as reason number two. You know.)
  • Once & Future is inclusive. It's diverse. Racially, sexuality and identity wise. It offers the representation that YA has needed for so long. No joke, this is some of the most representation that I've seen in years and my bisexual teenage self is SHOOK and definitely needed books like Once & Future. Asexuality? IN. Bisexuality? IN. Gay? IN. AND SO MUCH MORE. I'm literally only scraping the surface when it comes down to representation. (Disabilities! Honest portrayals of so much!)
  • This is an #OWNVOICES series and HI, HELLO, IMPORTANCE. (Support #OWNVOICES.)
  • KILLER character development and strong characters all around that spark something inside readers from the start. Once & Future is strong because its characters, writers and plotlines are all strong and engaging.
  • The time jumping. Whether it be the future or the past, Once & Future has a lot of ground to cover timeline wise and it's so fun. I'm not giving away any spoilers that aren't already in the synopsis to both books BUT I'm going to leave it at that!!! BECAUSE, PHEW. 
  • So much adventure! So much ass-kicking! SO MUCH MYTHOLOGY and snark and fun. 
  • Not a single page is wasted and everything is always moving forward. 
  • It's as humorous as it is serious. It will literally smack you down in laughter, warm your heart and inspire you in the span of a few pages.
  • IT IS SO UNIQUE and impossible to put down. The way it's written is so addictive and electric. How the authors spin the tale is SO striking and reads like something we've never read before.
  • This version of Morgana is delectable and I--OKAY. Nope. Can't spoil. CAN'T. Just keep an eye on Morgana. 
  • The parallels between real life vs. fiction. 
  • The message of the novel is SO important. Fight the system to take down oppression. 

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