Publication Date: June 14th from Bantam Press
Source: Review Copy
Set in a 5th century post-Roman Britain besieged by invading war 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, the most celebrated of all King Arthur’s knights. And it’s a story that’s ready to be re-imagined for our times.
It’s a story imbued with the magic and superstition that was such an integral part of the enchanted landscape of Britain during this dark times. Many of the familiar names from Arthurian mythology will be here – Mordred and Gawain, Morgana and, of course, Merlin – as will be those vital icons of the legend such as the Round Table and the sword in the stone but these will be reinvented, reforged for a new generation of readers.
I loved LOVED this book. From the very first words I knew I was going to adore it and I did. It’s a beautifully written, highly immersive, wonderfully evocative novel that retells the legend of Arthur from the point of view of Lancelot and it is addictive as heck – even though I kept putting it down because it was one of those books I just didn’t want to finish because then it would be over.
The writing is sublime and the storytelling is genuinely magical, you get all caught up in 5th century Britain with all it’s warring factions, superstitions and rough living – into this world comes Lancelot, whose life will become intertwined with Arthur’s in a friendship divided by their love for Guinevere. Before he even meets Arthur though, Lancelot has lived a life less than ordinary…
Lancelot broke my heart, had me on the edge of my seat, it was one of those books where, when reading it, you let out little exclamations (sometimes embarrassing if you are sat on a bus) where you absolutely live every minute of it with the characters and sink into their world coming out slightly dazed the other side.
It was wonderful. Is all I’m saying. The ending made me sob a bit, not sure whether it was due to the events of the ending or the fact of it, but either way I was distraught that I was leaving them all behind – Arthur, Guinevere, Merlin, yes even Mordred but especially Lancelot who will stay with me – and Giles Kristian has gone straight to the top of my must read list.
I long for more. Please do it again!
Highly HIGHLY recommended.