The legions of Rome are a fading memory. Enemies stalk the fringes of Britain. And Uther Pendragon is dying. Into this fractured and uncertain world the boy is cast, a refugee from fire, murder and betrayal. An outsider whose only companions are a hateful hawk and memories of the lost.
Yet he is gifted, and under the watchful eyes of Merlin and the Lady Nimue he will hone his talents and begin his journey to manhood. He will meet Guinevere, a wild, proud and beautiful girl, herself outcast because of her gift. And he will be dazzled by Arthur, a warrior who carries the hopes of a people like fire in the dark. But these are times of struggle and blood, when even friendship and love seem doomed to fail.
The gods are vanishing beyond the reach of dreams. Treachery and jealousy rule men’s hearts and the fate of Britain itself rests on a sword’s edge.
But the young renegade who left his home in Benoic with just a hunting bird and dreams of revenge is now a lord of war. He is a man loved and hated, admired and feared. A man forsaken but not forgotten. He is Lancelot.
Set in a fifth-century Britain besieged by invading bands of Saxons and Franks, Irish and Picts, Giles Kristian's epic new novel tells - through the warrior's own words - the story of Lancelot, that most celebrated of all King Arthur's knights. It is a story ready to be re-imagined for our times.
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Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Simon on 19-06-18
Arise Sir Giles!
Okay so you might want to ask if the Arthurian legend really needed yet another author bending it to their will and trying to tell the story another way? Kristian's Lancelot answers that question categorically. It turns out that it did, it really dod "Lancelot" gives us a genuinely new perspective on one of the most retold tales in history.
It was no surprise that the author's note at the end of the book revealed that the inspiration behind this story in particular and possibly much of Kiristian's writing career was inspired by Bernard Cornwell's Warlord Chronicles. Even so it would be a grave mistake to write this off as just another Cornwell clone. This has a gravitas all of its own.
It is set in a similar version of 5th Century Britain as the Warlord books. There is as much mud, gore, disease and snot as there is shining armour, as much human fallibility and baser instincts as there is love and nobility. The uniqueness here is in the characters, this one brings us the often enigmatic Lancelot, the relatively unexplored corner of one of fiction's greatest love triangles with Arthur and Guinevere normally taking the starring roles. A love that threatened a kingdom for once told from his perspective. As such although the book starts off fairly quickly with graphic violence out of nowhere it soon settles into a classic coming of age tale for young Lancelot and Guinevere. This, for regular Kristian readers is a relatively slow burn but it's vital that we get inside these characters for what comes later.
As the book enters it's final third Kristian delivers on top of those strong foundations an utterly epic ending full of heroism, tragedy, action, betrayal and most of all one of the most poignant endings that this particular legend has ever been blessed with. It's all delivered quite fabulously by Philip Stevens who was always good for the Viking novels but absolutely excels himself here. The last third of the book is genuinely fabulous especially if you treat the characters as truly legendary.
So, yes the Arthurian legend has been done many times before and I doubt it will be left alone in the future. This book though really is a stand out in that crowd and even if you think you're tired of the story you'll re-discover a lot of it's charm and excitement through new eyes in Lancelot.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful
By Si on 12-06-18
What a ride!
Well that was an emotional rollercoaster!
I'm so glad it wasn't a typical Arthurian story telling, it kept me guessing throughout and punched me in the guts a few times!
Like a child's I rushed through it and now I wish I hadn't!
3 of 3 people found this review helpful