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Image description: the front cover of the book.

I recently read Here Lies Arthur by Philip Reeve. It’s an original, clever and feminist take on the Arthurian legend. In particular, there’s some beautiful gender play.

Without giving too much away – avert your eyes if you’re hardcore about spoilers – the main character swaps gender when it suits and so gains access to all the major happenings of the story. She participates in battles and acts as the Lady of the Lake with a freedom she would never have had rigidly gendered.

But it really shines because she’s not the only one. On her travels, Gwyna encounters Peredur, who is physically male and comes to identify as such, but was raised as a girl by a mother fearful that he’d be sent off to fight for war-torn Britain. His learning to be male is quite as interesting as Gwyna’s personal narrative.

Here’s an interesting interview with Philip Reeve and here is a more spoilerific review.

It’s YA, it’s different, and perhaps you might like to give it a read.