4.25 (2,745 ratings by Goodreads)
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Conn Iggulden called it 'a masterpiece' while The Times hailed it 'a gorgeous, rich retelling of the Arthurian tale' . . .

In Britain, Rome's legions are but a distant memory.

And Uther Pendragon is dying.

Enemies stalk the land.

Into this uncertain world a boy is cast - an outsider, plagued by memories of those he's lost.

Under the watchful eye of Merlin, the boy begins his journey to manhood. He meets another outcast, Guinevere - wild, proud and beautiful. And he is dazzled by Arthur - a warrior who carries the hopes of the people like a flaming torch in the dark.

But these are treacherous times, and the fate of Britain rests on a sword's edge. This young man becomes a lord of war: loved, hated, admired and feared. He is 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 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. It's is the story 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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Product details

  • Paperback | 672 pages
  • 127 x 198 x 30mm | 451g
  • Corgi Books
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • B & W map
  • 0552174009
  • 9780552174008
  • 16,451

Review Text

It is a masterpiece in the true sense of the word.
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Review quote

It is a masterpiece in the true sense of the word. -- CONN IGGULDEN, author of The Falcon of Sparta Some of us grew up with T H White's Once and Future King as our touchstone for authenticity in the Arthurian myths; others found that Rosemary Sutcliff, Bernard Cornwell or Mary Stewart filled that role. Giles Kristian pulls together the best of the best and infuses it with his own utterly transformative understanding of myth, magic - and the many faces of love . . . There are so many modern retellings of the Arthurian myth, but this one stands head and shoulders above the rest, in the company of true greatness. -- MANDA SCOTT, author of Boudica Without doubt this is Giles Kristian's finest novel to date. Glorious. Tragic. Lyrical. Totally gripping. I loved it. -- BEN KANE, author of Clash of Empires This most fascinating character from Arthurian legend has been plucked from the 14th-century romances and positioned firmly back in the early medieval environment he belongs in. Giles is an extraordinary writer, able to capture sounds, smells, sensations in a sentence. No other writer thinks and feels his way back to the medieval past the way he does . . . Lancelot is an exceptional book and does what only great historical fiction can do: transport you back through time to feast, fight and feel alongside fascinating characters from the past. No one does this better than Giles Kristian. -- DR JANINA RAMIREZ A gorgeous, rich retelling of the Arthurian tale. -- Antonia Senior * THE TIMES * I loved the post Roman chaos of Giles' vision, just as I imagine it would have been but with the life of that vision breathed into it to render it in stark and bloody tones. But what I enjoyed most was the sheer glorious brutality of the age, delivered by a writer with the heart of a warrior and the soul of a poet. It's really, really good. -- ANTHONY RICHES, author of The Centurions series His Lancelot is no airy tale of magic and romance, but a muscular telling of warriors and survival, beautifully rendered in a prose that is both visceral and lyrical. This is historical fiction at its very best. -- ELIZABETH FREMANTLE, author of The Girl in the Glass Tower Intense and powerful . . . written with deep expression and enormous feeling. It is a marvellous historical adventure. * Sunday Express * Kristian is a writer with rare power to grab you at the opening of the story and to keep the pace going. Lancelot is a powerful reworking of the King Arthur myths. The pages turn by themselves. -- JUSTIN HILL, author of Viking Fire My impression as I was reading Lancelot was of a flare being held up in the gloom of this peculiarly dark passage of history. Every detail illuminated, every motive believable, every heart laid bare. A bright intensity but passing away, guttering, about to go out. And, by the time his tale comes to its conclusion, that seems to be his point. A gentle lament at the onrushing of a dark and inexorable tide which comes to extinguish a bright and golden age of Britain forever. Lancelot is a gem of a book. If there were six stars, it could have them all. Or, to use the words of Spinal Tap, "This one goes to eleven." Loved it. -- THEODORE BRUN, author of The Wanderer Chronicles Truly magical . . . reads with the authority and gravitas of Manda Scott's Boudica books, such that I found it utterly believable throughout . . . it was a stroke of genius to retell this legend through Lancelot's POV, the betrayer rather than the betrayed. -- ANNA STEPHENS, author of Godblind Giles Kristian's brilliant take on the Arthurian love-triangle is impressively fresh and original . . . the language is arrestingly beautiful, poetic and poignant; the fights are satisfyingly bloody; the background is a believably muddy, pagan and benighted post-Roman Britain, against which Giles unfolds a tender and tragic love story. We know it will end badly, but reading this enchanting and elegiac novel, you can't help rooting for Lancelot and his love and hoping it will all work out somehow by the final page. -- ANGUS DONALD, author of Outlaw Authentic, epic, and wonderfully Arthurian. -- CHRISTIAN CAMERON, author of The Ill-Made Knight Kristian is one of the finest storytellers in the genre . . . this is a novel that you feel as much as you read. What we end up with is utterly staggering . . . Giles has surpassed the Cornwell trilogy in a single title. -- ROBIN CARTER * Parmenion Books * Fiercely beautiful and gripping. -- ANNA SMITH-SPARK, author of The Court of Broken Knives It's difficult to think of any author more gifted to retell Lancelot's story than Giles Kristian . . . [he] writes so beautifully. He brings these post-Roman years so vividly to life. I love the way in which the recent Roman past haunts this landscape. There is myth here, there is the Druid Merlin, and we're reminded of many of the famous Arthurian legends, such as Excalibur, but Giles Kristian evokes a time rooted in history and in the land around us even now . . . his writing comes closest to the feeling, mood and beauty of the Old and Middle English verse that I love so much . . . there is power here, deep expression and enormous feeling. I cried and cried as the story ended in the only way it could. -- KATE ATHERTON * For Winter Nights *
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About Giles Kristian

Family history (he is half Norwegian) and a passion for the fiction of Bernard Cornwell inspired GILES KRISTIAN to write. Set in the Viking world, his bestselling trilogies 'Raven' and 'The Rise of Sigurd' have been acclaimed by his peers, reviewers and readers alike. The novels The Bleeding Land and Brothers' Fury tell the story of a family torn apart by the English Civil War and he co-wrote Wilbur Smith's No.1 bestseller, Golden Lion. In his new novel, Lancelot, Giles plunges into the rich and swirling waters of our greatest island 'history': the Arthurian legend. Giles Kristian lives in Leicestershire.
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Rating details

2,745 ratings
4.25 out of 5 stars
5 49% (1,336)
4 34% (921)
3 13% (355)
2 4% (103)
1 1% (30)
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