Friday, 16 July 2021

Bookish Thoughts: Lancelot by Giles Kristian


Audiobook duration: 22hrs 56min
Narrator: Phillip Stevens


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 - 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.



Do excuse me while I rock in the corner bawling my eyes out because I am not okay! Lancelot freaking wrecked me to the extent that I wish I could turn back time... and read it all over again, like it was the first time, because I bloody loved it!

Lancelot has always been the character from the Arthurian legends that held the most appeal to me and this book - fiction though it may be - cemented that for all time.

It was stunning... Breath-taking, soul-stealing... Haunting.
Giles Kristian is a wonderful writer capable of transporting you to a different time and place with his words... Told from the pov of Lancelot himself, he fully immerses you into the life of this legendary character to a degree that he became flesh and blood, not smoke and words.
The story is a long and winding journey taking you from Lancelot's childhood through to his end... Lancelot is not a perfect man but as a warrior, he is something truly special - and I loved him. I loved his loyalty, his courage and his fierce devotion. 

I loved how the famous love triangle of Guinevere, Lancelot and Arthur was handled... Yes, it's heart-breaking. Doomed from the start. A beautiful disaster... But it didn't matter. Guinevere was never truly Arthurs in this tale... There's nothing underhanded or seedy about it all. It's just tragic and it makes your heart bleed for all of them. Lancelot, Guinevere and Arthur... 

This is a story of a special boy who grew to be an extraordinary man. 
A story of a dream... Camelot was the dream. Something that could have been but never was because even the very best of people have flaws and vices. 
The 'what could have been' is what haunts you... If only Arthur and Lancelot hadn't been pulled apart!
If only, if only, if only...

The story is intense, gritty, graphic, and utterly engrossing. 
The characters of legend are familiar but so different to what you've seen before. 
The book is very grounded in reality but still has hints of "magic"... An otherworldly something in the shape of Merlin, the Lady and even Guinevere.

I'm not going to lie, the book can be slow in places and won't be for everyone but it absolutely worked for me.
It was a unique take on the Arthurian legends and it will stay with me for a very long time.


6 comments:

  1. I love your review, very well done! I think I would like this one.

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    1. Thanks Sarah! I hope you get to read it some time. :)

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  2. Sounds like a really interesting book.

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    1. It definitely was! I'm still not over it and I read it back in January, lol.

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  3. I don't know much about the Arthurian legend, but that's wonderful that you really loved this one. I'm totally a fan of books that wreck me. LOL

    Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.net

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  4. Wow! Great review, Nicci! Your love for this one really comes through. I know next to nothing about Lancelot and the Authurian legends, but this sounds like one of those stories that absolutely consumes you as you read it. I'm so glad this was such a hit for you!

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