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Lancelot by Giles Kristian
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Lancelot (edition 2018)

by Giles Kristian

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1185200,805 (4.12)3
Conn Iggulden has called it 'a masterpiece' while The Times has hailed it 'a gorgeous, rich retelling of the Arthurian tale' . . . 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 5th century Britain besieged by invading bands of Saxons and Franks, Irish and Picts, Giles Kristian's epic new novel tells - in Lancelot's own words - the story of the most revered yet reviled of all Arthur's knights, the warrior who fought at his lord's side - yet stole his wife. This is the story of the of one of the great figures of British myth and legend - a story ready to be re-imagined for our times.… (more)
Member:Jhag
Title:Lancelot
Authors:Giles Kristian
Info:London : Transworld Digital, 2018.
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:None

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Lancelot: The Betrayal by Giles Kristian

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» See also 3 mentions

Showing 5 of 5
There are some things I refuse to read in my stories but which authors think should be put in because 'realism'.

But your mileage may vary. I would recommend reading some 2 star reviews though for some of the content warnings. Also how it compares to other (older) Arthurian stories.
  Jonesy_now | Sep 24, 2021 |
''I smell the rising fog of the crowd's breath. It warms my feathers against the thin dawn air and I watch. I feel, too. More than a bird should feel. The sorrow which lies over the assembly like a shroud. The fear. The uncertainty and the regret.''

A boy who watched his people perish. A student who became the first among his ranks, guided by Lady Nimoue and Merlin. A young warrior who fought by the side of a great leader. A man who loved the one woman he wasn't allowed to. A fighter. A betrayer. His name became part of the greatest saga. Lancelot.

''The day after Uther died, grey clouds rolled in from the ocean to cloak Tintagel in a dark pull and the sound of women's wailing hung in the air like the threat of rain. I'd heard some women saying that Britain was gods-cursed, which was why the Saxons were getting stronger while our own great warlord lay stiff and cold.''

It seems difficult to breathe new life to a legend that has been echoing loudly throughout the ages. No matter our cultural background, we all know about Arthur, Guinevere, Lancelot, Morgana, Merlin and Morder and the stories of the Knights of the Round Table. By placing Lancelot at the centre of the action, Kristian achieves the impossible. He makes the legend new, he creates a wondrous tale that you feel you've never heard before.

The story is stripped of most of High Fantast elements. What we have is a very realistic, raw and rich adventure of a land that tries to stand on two boats. The pagan past and Christianity, the lust of every warlord-king and the urgent need to unify and defend itself against the invaders. Whatever magic there is can be found deeply connected to the ancient roots and the sacred traditions that accompany the warriors of old before a new age that is about to begin. Lancelot embodies the very humane confusion of struggling to belong and do your duty, divided by good sense and the demands of the heart that walks on a path of its own. The druids and their conspiracies, the gods of War and the Sea and the shriek of Morrigan's call are loud and depicted in extraordinary detail and accuracy.

Lancelot is a controversial character in the Arthurian saga. Here, he becomes the protagonist, a very sympathetic voice who fights between loyalty and love. Arthur is the leader we all know, Merlin is the voice of the past, Morder is the sly one but his motives are clear and he becomes quite the tragic figure. It is Guinevere I really, really loved. Kristian presents a true heroine, enchanting, mysterious, pragmatic, level-headed. As it is always the women who are blamed for every ill that befell Arthur and his dream, this version of Guinevere is the best I've ever come across.

Fierce battles, legends that rise from the mists of a sacred land, character larger than life. Giles Kristian reimagines the Arthurian epic and the result is unique. I can't wait to read Camelot.

''A prince without a kingdom and a hawk that can't fly. The bards could weave a sad tale there.''

My reviews can also be found on https://theopinionatedreaderblog.wordpress.com/ ( )
  AmaliaGavea | Mar 18, 2020 |
This really just wasn’t my sort of book, the fighting scenes just didn’t interest me.
It took me ages to read it, I found it hard going at times
I did enjoy the history of the period
It was well written ( )
  karenshann | Dec 31, 2019 |
Lancelot is the son of king but when his father is dethroned and then betrayed Lancelot is only saved from death by the intervention of magic and prophecy. Growing up on an island governed by the Lady, Lancelot learns the art of warfare and falls involve with the Lady's ward, Guinevere. When the high king Uther dies Lancelot is forced to swear allegiance to his successor, Arthur. Arthur and Lancelot become close friends but that friendship is tested when Arthur discovers that his wife and Lancelot know each other.
This is a brave retelling of the Arthurian myth set in the days just after the fall of the Roman empire. Britain is a group of tribes ruled by individual kings who are perpetually arguing with each other and also fighting the Saxon threat from abroad. Although the ideals of chivalry are evident in this Camelot, the romantic view isn't. Life is hard and sorcery close to the people. The writing is particularly strong and manages to describe violence and romance equally well. ( )
  pluckedhighbrow | Aug 14, 2018 |
An extraordinary book, beautifully lyrical but heart-wrenchingly real. A unique retelling of a familiar legend, this book will take you on a whole new journey. Although you could call this an Arthurian tale, it's Lancelot who is the star, and it's through his eyes that the story unfolds.
Love, loyalty, tragedy and betrayal. Pick this book up and be thrown back into years long past, as new life is breathed into an old legend. Historical fiction at its finest.
Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for my copy. ( )
  AngelaJMaher | Jun 16, 2018 |
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Conn Iggulden has called it 'a masterpiece' while The Times has hailed it 'a gorgeous, rich retelling of the Arthurian tale' . . . 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 5th century Britain besieged by invading bands of Saxons and Franks, Irish and Picts, Giles Kristian's epic new novel tells - in Lancelot's own words - the story of the most revered yet reviled of all Arthur's knights, the warrior who fought at his lord's side - yet stole his wife. This is the story of the of one of the great figures of British myth and legend - a story ready to be re-imagined for our times.

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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 5th century Britain besieged by invading bands of Saxons and Franks, Irish and Picts, Giles Kristian's epic new novel tells - in Lancelot's own words - the story of the most revered yet reviled of all Arthur's knights, the warrior who fought at his lord's side - yet stole his wife. This is the story of the of one of the great figures of British myth and legend - a story ready to be re-imagined for our times.
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