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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 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.


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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 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.

30 review for Lancelot

  1. 5 out of 5

    Petrik

    I firmly believed that I would never experience another Arthurian novel as magnificent as Bernard Cornwell’s Warlord Chronicles trilogy. I was wrong. I’ll start my review by saying thank you to Robin Carter from Parmenion Books for recommending this book to me. Without him, I wouldn’t have known about this book at all. Seriously, other than his one-time recommendation, I literally never heard of or saw anything about this book anywhere else, and that’s seriously a sin because this is a brilliant I firmly believed that I would never experience another Arthurian novel as magnificent as Bernard Cornwell’s Warlord Chronicles trilogy. I was wrong. I’ll start my review by saying thank you to Robin Carter from Parmenion Books for recommending this book to me. Without him, I wouldn’t have known about this book at all. Seriously, other than his one-time recommendation, I literally never heard of or saw anything about this book anywhere else, and that’s seriously a sin because this is a brilliant book. If you’re into Arthurian Tale or historical fiction, this is a must-read. The Arthurian legend, as most of you know, has been reenacted countless times. It’s honestly one of my favorite tales out there but although I’ve experienced tons of stories inspired from this, they’re almost always in another medium besides novels. It wasn’t until last year after I finished reading The Faithful and the Fallen series by John Gwynne that I found out about The Warlord Chronicles by Bernard Cornwell; suffice it to say that I was completely mesmerized and it became the best Arthurian retelling I’ve ever experienced in any medium. Why am I saying all this? Lancelot is a book that’s as good as Cornwell’s take on the Arthurian tale. However, please do know that this is a very different book from Cornwell’s trilogy. Unlike Warlord Chronicles, Lancelot is a highly character driven book with minimum action sequences; it’s a character study about… well… Lancelot. No surprises there. Now, I don’t know about you but I can only speak from my experience. I have experienced a lot of Arthurian retellings and they’re all unique in their own way, but there’s one thing that stays the same: the story is always told from Arthur’s or his faction’s side. If this was another retelling about Arthur, there’s a chance I wouldn’t have picked this up. However, this is about Lancelot. Kristian brings a huge level of depth and characterization to Lancelot within this book. Telling the story exclusively from Lancelot’s POV, beginning from his childhood, makes him much more of a flawed and empathetic character. Here we see him not only as a betrayer but a true friend that is faced with the toughest of choices: friendship, loyalty, or love. I’ll admit that I was quite shocked by the prologue because the writing in that section is really not for me; I still have no idea what the prologue was supposed to mean, and the prose was too poetic for me. Luckily, once I’ve reached the 11% mark of the book, the flame of empathy inside my soul was lit. Lancelot became a character in whom I was fully invested; his love towards Guinevere, the friendship he formed with Arthur and many more aspects were all precious. Just take a look at this simple passage for example. Those of you who are familiar with the Arthurian tale will know just how much pain and complexity of feelings are imbued. “Arthur would fight for Britain. I would fight for Arthur. And Guinevere would always own my soul. The gods are cruel.” This line alone summed up precisely how complicated Lancelot’s feelings are in between choosing loyalty for Arthur or love for Guinevere. Kristian’s prose flows like a clear river with no obstructions. It was beautiful, enchanting, and lyrical. I have no idea if the fact that the author used to be in a boyband helps his prose or not, but I do know that every word was worth savoring. There are usually two kinds of books: one that fly by quickly and others that you have to savor. Both can and are amazing in their own way, but Lancelot is a book that fell in the latter category. Take your time with this scintillating piece of art. The grief, the agony, the tragedy, the love, let all of these seeps into your blood through the words. Savor them. In the end, you’ll be just as grateful as I’m feeling now. Thank you, Giles Kristian, for not giving up on writing this book despite the harsh circumstances you had to deal with during the time of writing. This is my first time reading your book, it certainly won’t be the last. May you rise like a hawk through all the difficult times ahead. Side note: Please read the author’s note at the end of the book. It may be short but it shows just how much heart and soul were poured into this book. Speaking of author’s notes, maybe it was destiny for me to read this book because it was written on my birthday this year. :p You can order the book HERE! You can find this and the rest of my reviews at Novel Notions

  2. 5 out of 5

    Sean Barrs

    Bernard Cornwell is the king of historical fiction. That’s not my opinion: it’s an actual fact. His Arthur trilogy (The Warlord Chronicles) is a great piece of writing; yet, for all that, I much prefer Lancelot. There’s just something captivating about the way Giles Kristian has told this story. For a start, the Arthurian myth is something that has been adapted many times into fiction, movies and television shows. So what’s new about this version? Well, it’s told solely from the perspective of L Bernard Cornwell is the king of historical fiction. That’s not my opinion: it’s an actual fact. His Arthur trilogy (The Warlord Chronicles) is a great piece of writing; yet, for all that, I much prefer Lancelot. There’s just something captivating about the way Giles Kristian has told this story. For a start, the Arthurian myth is something that has been adapted many times into fiction, movies and television shows. So what’s new about this version? Well, it’s told solely from the perspective of Lancelot from beginning to end and it is driven by his experience of the events. We see his side of the story. We see how he fell in love with Guinevere when he was very young and we see how he was forced into an impossible love triangle that threatened everything he had become. He didn't want this: it just happened. You see, Lancelot had been training his entire life to become a warrior. After his entire family was betrayed, he has been under the tutelage of Lady Nimue and her personal warrior guard. He has become a skilled fighter and an honourable man. He saves Arthur’s life and pledges him his service. He becomes the best of his men. This version of Lancelot is not a conniving wife stealing snake as I’ve seen before, but a man caught between the two people he loves most in the world; thus, the novel becomes a compelling character study. And it was fantastic! One of the greatest difficulties in writing historical fiction is balance. Some authors stretch their stories out too far even after the plot has dried up. Others do not give their characters enough substance and prioritise contextual details and timelines. Giles Kristian gets it just right. This is a big book, with a huge story, though it keeps moving forward and does not get stuck in the mud. Even though the events are dramatic and swift, I feel like the characters are depicted perfectly. Arthur reminded me very much of Cornwell’s version. However, this is Lancelot’s novel and seeing him as a child added so much depth to his character. And it also made it very easy to sympathise with him. Although his love for Guinevere, arguably, was the downfall of Arthur’s dream of Britain, I can’t blame Lancelot. I can only understand him and feel for him. Lancelot never stops growing until the end. He learns about himself, and how far he is willing to go for who he loves. His was an impossible situation. I also like the sense of realism that ran through the story; it showed how historical details or events can easily become exaggerated and turned into myth. Merlin’s antics, for example, and the finding of Excalibur are both very ordinary things but infused with just enough mystery to make the very real seem magic. It's all very well done and the last scene must have been terribly hard to write and, I must say, it’s easily one of the best closers I’ve ever read. This is an explosive book, the pinnacle of the genre- Go read it! __________________________________ You can connect with me on social media via My Linktree. __________________________________

  3. 4 out of 5

    Mark Lawrence

    Kristian is a really good writer. The prose in the prologue is breathtaking and the standard is high throughout the book. This is a new imagining of the Arthurian legend set very firmly in Dark Ages Britain with (what seems to the layman) a great deal of historical accuracy. It's basically historical fiction with the smallest elements of largely non-consequential magic. The historical accuracy extends from the big picture (many warring kingdoms, pagan faiths, and a relentless Saxon migration) to t Kristian is a really good writer. The prose in the prologue is breathtaking and the standard is high throughout the book. This is a new imagining of the Arthurian legend set very firmly in Dark Ages Britain with (what seems to the layman) a great deal of historical accuracy. It's basically historical fiction with the smallest elements of largely non-consequential magic. The historical accuracy extends from the big picture (many warring kingdoms, pagan faiths, and a relentless Saxon migration) to the small picture with realistic-feeling descriptions of the very primitive technology in housing, weapons, armour, clothing etc, and the sense that all of them are dirty, smelly, and louse-ridden. The book opens with battle, betrayal, death and escape. It is not, however, what I would call a fast moving novel. We learn far more about hawking than I ever wanted to, and Kristian has a Tolkienesque love of the landscape, along with its flora and fauna, rivaling the old man in both verbosity and talent. This is a book about characters. It's told by the eponymous Lancelot in the first person. We all know the broadest strokes of the story and it's interesting to see how they appear in this non-fantasy no-frills world. It's a story about friendship, betrayal, love and all the threads that bind that triad so tightly together. Lancelot is a peerless warrior and we get to see him swing his sword quite a bit. The fight scenes and battle scenes are well done. I enjoyed the book a lot. It did feel somewhat constrained by the legend within whose boundaries it had to play out. In the end - like real life often can - it felt like a rather pointless struggle. All those deaths and all that effort for ...? But that in itself is a symptom/consequence of viewing all this through a realistic historical lens. There's no shining plate mail here, no jousting, no chivalry. Carmina Burana's O Fortuna is not going to swell from the background as in the 1981 film Excalibur. And as a fantasy fan I both appreciated that and suffered it too. A fine book. My 5 stars are for a combination of the excellent writing and the exciting story. If either element were slightly less good, we'd be at a 4. Join my 3-emails-a-year newsletter #prizes ..

  4. 5 out of 5

    Amalia Gkavea

    ''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 Nimue 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 betray ''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 Nimue 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 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.word...

  5. 5 out of 5

    ❄️BooksofRadiance❄️

    4.75⭐️ I’m distraught. Never never never did I imagine it to be this heart rending. WHAT. A. RIDE!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Hamad

    This Review ✍️ Blog 📖 Twitter 🐦 Instagram 📷 “‘My sons!’ said the King of Benoic, thrusting his sword into an open mouth and hauling it back. ‘Don’t be afraid, boys,’ he growled. ‘It is only death.’” This currently has a rating of 4.25 stars on GR and it totally deserves that but it only has like ~1600 ratings which means it is a criminally underrated book. I should mention that it is not the type of books I usually read. I am someone who is not a fantasy of history in general and fin This Review ✍️ Blog 📖 Twitter 🐦 Instagram 📷 “‘My sons!’ said the King of Benoic, thrusting his sword into an open mouth and hauling it back. ‘Don’t be afraid, boys,’ he growled. ‘It is only death.’” This currently has a rating of 4.25 stars on GR and it totally deserves that but it only has like ~1600 ratings which means it is a criminally underrated book. I should mention that it is not the type of books I usually read. I am someone who is not a fantasy of history in general and find it boring but my friend Petrik chose it for me for my 10 readers, 10 recommendations challenge and as usual the recommendation ended up being a favorite. My mix for the perfect novel is simple, a balance of everything with a focus on characters and this was just that. A book with an eloquent prose, realistic characters that I rooted for and mourned. Great atmospheric world-building and many twists along the way. I usually avoid these kind of books because they are slow-paced, very dense and have complicated writing. I thought this was the opposite with an average pacing, very available yet very alluring prose and I didn’t feel that it was a dense novel. The book is a long one for sure (more than 600 pages) but I found myself lost in the world and suddenly I was finishing it. The author has such a way with words that made me push through the beginning easily and then fall for the rest of the story after that. “No glory now. Just two men hacking at each other with sharp steel. Each craving the other’s death. Both desperate to live.” I am not someone who is an expert when it comes to historical fiction either from movies or books. I have never read an Arthurian tale so I can’t say that I was familiar with the characters. At the acknowledgment part, I read that mostly these kind of stories are told from the POV of Arthur or Uthred but I thought that author was aiming for something different and fresh. He wanted to show the character of Lancelot and I think he did an outstanding job at that. The book has a characters list at the end of the book and a map at the beginning which is something I love very much. The magical thing is that I ended up following everything without needing to check those which is very magical for someone who usually have difficulties with that kind of stuff. I just thought that the author polished the characters very much and made them three dimensional that you were obliged to care about them as a reader whether they are a main or a secondary character. Even the characters that I didn’t like as a person, I enjoyed as a reader because they were just so well executed, the druid for example was a character that I had so many strong emotions toward and I think that’s brilliant! Another thing I did not expect but liked that the story goes through the life of Lancelot as a young character and has a few time jumps which showed how he grows as a character . Guinevere too was a character that grew a lot through the story and I think the romance between them was just effing cute and great. I think it was one of my favorite bookish relationships that I read about this year. “What is the worst they can do to us?” Perhaps I was a fool but I felt neither fear nor regret. And as for Guinevere, I loved her and she loved me; I believed that was enough.” I found the pacing to be average leaning toward the slower side of things although I have seen some readers describing it as slow-paced or fast-paced in their reviews so I think it is very subjective. As someone who is not familiar with the tale, there were many twists along the way that just were surprising and gave me goosebumps. I won’t mention much but if you read the book then you probably know which are those. The plot is kind of the only thing I wanted to criticize initially because it was not clear where the book was going. It starts as a revenge story but soon after, it deviates from there and we have kind of subplots and then the story ended up kind of fast but after thinking about it, it is a retelling and the author has to preserve the historical facts so there is not much he could do about that and that’s why I am less annoyed with the plot now. Add to that many action-packed scenes and I am going to pass over the things that irritated me a bit. Summary: This is a character based Arthurian retelling that just maintained perfect mix of everything else. If you are a history of historical fiction then this is a must read and if you are not but willing to try something then I recommend this too. I am definitely getting the HC of Camelot and reading it soon. You can get more books from Book Depository

  7. 4 out of 5

    John Gwynne

    What a great re-telling of the Arthurian mythos. Cornwell's Warlord Chronicles is one of my favourite series of all time, and I don't think I'm alone there, so for me Giles Kristian's decision to step into the same mist-shrouded land is a brave and bold step. Especially when he's writing about Lancelot, who Cornwell masterfully turned into one of the most loathed and despised characters I've ever had the pleasure of hating. And yet Giles Kristian did it. He turned Lancelot into a character I fel What a great re-telling of the Arthurian mythos. Cornwell's Warlord Chronicles is one of my favourite series of all time, and I don't think I'm alone there, so for me Giles Kristian's decision to step into the same mist-shrouded land is a brave and bold step. Especially when he's writing about Lancelot, who Cornwell masterfully turned into one of the most loathed and despised characters I've ever had the pleasure of hating. And yet Giles Kristian did it. He turned Lancelot into a character I felt for, cared about and dared to dream for, even though I knew there was not going to be a happy ending. He crafts a beautiful, tragic tale with exceptional heart, punctuated by visceral, blood-spattered battle scenes. A must read.

  8. 4 out of 5

    James Tivendale

    Lancelot is an epic and thrilling take on the Arthurian legend that is presented in the first-person perspective through the eyes of Lancelot - the prince and the warrior who becomes Lord Arthur's best friend and a God of War. "And the first I knew of the attack that night which would change my life forever, was the scream." Lancelot is only eight-years-old when we first start his journey here. King Ban's castle is attacked by King Claudas and Lancelot is forced to flee the region with his famil Lancelot is an epic and thrilling take on the Arthurian legend that is presented in the first-person perspective through the eyes of Lancelot - the prince and the warrior who becomes Lord Arthur's best friend and a God of War. "And the first I knew of the attack that night which would change my life forever, was the scream." Lancelot is only eight-years-old when we first start his journey here. King Ban's castle is attacked by King Claudas and Lancelot is forced to flee the region with his family and other survivors. Bedraggled and vulnerable they venture North to the land of the Beggar King where they hope for respite. An excess of hardship and negative events including the deaths of loved ones pollute Lancelot's early times. His formative years take place under the watchful eye of the beautiful yet mysterious Lady Nimue at Karrek Loos yn Koos where he trains as a warrior and meets Guinevere. Later on in the narrative when he is in his late teens, Lancelot becomes acquainted with Arthur and falls for his ideals of a united Britain under his banner and to push back the Saxon's from their shores for good. Lancelot becomes oathbound to Arthur and alongside the other members of the Lord's Warband, they really are a force to be feared. Apart from the names of a few of the characters such as Merlin, Gwaine, Guinevere, Mordred, etc... I'm slightly embarrassed to say that I knew little about the stories of the legend of Arthur. In hindsight that is probably a positive as I could just embrace Lancelot as a work of fiction and enjoy the events as they hit the pages without the distractions of thinking, "that's not how it happened," "that isn't how I pictured that guy," "I don't agree with how that was retold" etc... What I did enjoy doing throughout was Googling the characters featured and reading their Wikipedia pages to find out about their real-life counterparts. Kristian's characters, seen through the eyes of Lancelot, are an excellent asset for the tale. There is a wide range of players who influence Lancelot's life including his family, father-figures, rivals, sword brothers, enemies, and a couple of animal companions. Standout relationships were those of Lancelot with Pelleas, Guinevere, Arthur, Mordred, Merlin and also his very moody sparhawk. Animals seem important throughout in certain imagery and presented omens. This is a world where most still honour the old Gods and a simple sign could be read to mean that the Gods are on your side or that doom is impending. Excluding a few events, the first two hundred or so pages are pretty slow going mainly focused on presenting the foundation of Lancelot's character including his training, his need for revenge and his options/ place in this world. After that, the novel is predominantly a thrilling action-packed war-focused drama. The novel features honour among allies, some fantastic battle-segments, a couple of amazing one on one duels, and distrust of individuals whose motives seem uncertain. It can be analysed too that love can be a burden that can be more dangerous than war. I liked some of Kristian's lexical choices that really get you into the mind of a warrior such as "arrow's shot" or "spear's length" to define distance. It is probably of no surprise that this is a pretty gory book at certain points. Quite often people will get stabbed in the throat, the groin, have an arm lobbed off, throat slit, etc... but as many of you will be reading this on Grimdark Magazine I doubt that this will put you off. Lancelot is a fast-paced, thrilling, action-packed war drama presented through the eyes of one of Britain's most legendary warriors. It has a great flow, is well-written, brimming with lore and I cannot wait to pick up the follow-up Camelot! Highly recommended.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Emma

    Incredible. I can't remember the last time I cried so hard. Incredible. I can't remember the last time I cried so hard.

  10. 4 out of 5

    William Gwynne

    News of a potential film deal.... ******* My full review on BookNest! BookNest-Lancelot Simply, one of the best books I have ever read. Pure brilliance! Incredible prose, amazing characters, immersive world-building. “And yet Arthur had Merlin. And Merlin had an idea. And so Arthur listened” Lancelot is a historical version of the Arthurian tales that was refreshing and special. Wow, it was phenomenal! The Arthurian legends have undoubtedly consisted of some of my favourite tales of all time. From the News of a potential film deal.... ******* My full review on BookNest! BookNest-Lancelot Simply, one of the best books I have ever read. Pure brilliance! Incredible prose, amazing characters, immersive world-building. “And yet Arthur had Merlin. And Merlin had an idea. And so Arthur listened” Lancelot is a historical version of the Arthurian tales that was refreshing and special. Wow, it was phenomenal! The Arthurian legends have undoubtedly consisted of some of my favourite tales of all time. From the film adaptations to Tolkien’s epic poem The Fall of Arthur and Bernard Cornwell’s Warlord Chronicles. These are some of my favourite books ever, hence why I am currently writing a 6,000 word essay on the evolution of the legends. Lancelot now enters this bracket, and goes right up near the top. This was a wonderful retelling of well-known stories, from a unique and wonderful perspective, including an entirely new coming of age story, and giving such a brilliant depth to the story of Lancelot. Giles Kristian's prose is smooth, clear and alluring. The reading was made even better by the great audio narration of Philip Stevens, the first audiobook I’ve ever listened to. “Arthur would fight for Britain. I would fight for Arthur. And Guinevere would always own my soul. The gods are cruel.” The characters are masterful! New characters were brilliant and memorable, Pelias and Melwas being two such people. I fell in love with some. I absolutely despised others. They will linger on my mind for a long time to come. This is my first reading of a book by Giles Kristian, a crime really. And oh was I so happy to discover he creates amazing action sequences. You are immersed into the conflict, whether it be a duel, or a skirmish, or a large scale battle. Whatever it is, you will feel as if you are there, participating in the crush of battle, experiencing the claustrophobic adrenaline rush of the shieldwall. Yet another aspect of this book to praise! Lancelot is a story of heroism and tragedy. Of love and loyalty. Of a heart-wrenching decision between friendship and love. An impossible decision. I hate certain decisions Lancelot makes, but I could not stop myself sympathising with him and agreeing with his course. Kristian framed the story in the perfect way. Overall, I cannot express the joy I found in this novel. It was utterly brilliant! Never a dull moment. Characterisation, plot and pace was all spot on. Nothing to fault in this magnificent tale. The sequel matches this in craft step by step. 5/5 STARS - READ THIS BOOK

  11. 5 out of 5

    Edward

    Lancelot, an epic that traverses Arthurian Britain, an epic that is as captivating as it is breathtaking. Prepare for heart-wrenching destruction and a whole new portrayal of the legend of Arthur. Thank you to my brother Will and some of my favourite bloggers for recommending it! “What is the worst they can do to us?" Perhaps I was a fool but I felt neither fear nor regret. And as for Guinevere, I loved her and she loved me; I believed that was enough.” Giles Kristian is a renowned historical fic Lancelot, an epic that traverses Arthurian Britain, an epic that is as captivating as it is breathtaking. Prepare for heart-wrenching destruction and a whole new portrayal of the legend of Arthur. Thank you to my brother Will and some of my favourite bloggers for recommending it! “What is the worst they can do to us?" Perhaps I was a fool but I felt neither fear nor regret. And as for Guinevere, I loved her and she loved me; I believed that was enough.” Giles Kristian is a renowned historical fiction writer, writing fantastic viking-age novels. Lancelot is very different to his pervious books, 672 pages focusing on character development rather than the break-neck pacing and action of the Raven Saga and Sigurd’s Saga. I loved it! I know that whenever anyone mentions Arthur I immediately think of Bernard Cornwell and his fantastic Warlord Chronicles. It is so iconic and brilliantly told it is difficult to not think of it. Lancelot is an entirely different beast, and one that Giles Kristian acknowledges to be inspired by Cornwell’s telling. There are not many novelisations that explore who Lancelot really is, not many that stray away from Lancelot just being some terribly disloyal man. However, this Lancelot really showed how a book can go completely against the grain and be utterly brilliant. “No glory now. Just two men hacking at each other with sharp steel. Each craving the other's death. Both desperate to live.” Kristian’s Lancelot comes to life slowly, gradually rising from the embers and ashes, beautifully crafted and emotionally driven from the early chapters. This book begins with a young Lancelot and follows his life in the dark world of the 5th Century. Britain is full of squabbling kingdoms, truly the dark ages after the Roman’s have left Britain to the formidable Saxons. There is little hope for the Briton’s. This re-telling includes many well known characters - for those who have read some Arthurian fantasy. I really enjoyed these characters who I have read about previously as they were brought to life in different ways than I predicted. Some had their staple personalities - Merlin is witty and Bors is stoic, and of course, our main character is completely likeable and loveable. Compared to Cornwell’s trilogy it wad refreshing to see the story from Lancelot’s perspective and he is a fantastic main character - kind-hearted, loyal, a fighter and someone who felt all too real - which really enhanced every emotional scene (there are many). “And yet Arthur had Merlin. And Merlin had an idea. And so Arthur listened” It is a slow build up, and I felt myself longing for some quick progression of Lancelot’s early years, however I found the more I read the more I had appreciated the beginning and the gradual build up, as it really is a character driven book and it meant I was already completely invested by the time scenes packed a punch. The final third was brutal and emotional, and I felt every high and low Lancelot felt. Hats off the Giles. “The beacon flames leapt high into the night sky, the crack and pop of the fire-ravaged wood carrying across the water which was dark but for the copper gloss which those flames cast a spear-throw distance out into the bay. And beside that ember-spewing fire, illuminated so that their spear blades and helmets and shield bosses glinted, stood a line of warriors.” 5/5 - This is a fantastic book, a wonderful re-telling of the Arthurian Knight - Lancelot. It is refreshing and so enjoyable, with Kristian’s staple intense shield-walls, but with added character depth that I did not see coming and scenes that will bring tears to your eyes. I loved it and I cannot wait for the sequel Camelot to be in clutches.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Don

    I saw this book with its beautiful cover at a supermarket in London and it grabbed my attention immediately, I don't normally go for these types of books, historical/legendary fiction, don't ask me why, I love TV shows like Vikings, The Last Kingdom, and Bernard Cornwell's Sharpe series starring Sean Bean, as well as many other films, but books, not so much, but after reading this fantastic story of Lancelot, I will definitely look into more of these stories. Not knowing a great deal about Lancel I saw this book with its beautiful cover at a supermarket in London and it grabbed my attention immediately, I don't normally go for these types of books, historical/legendary fiction, don't ask me why, I love TV shows like Vikings, The Last Kingdom, and Bernard Cornwell's Sharpe series starring Sean Bean, as well as many other films, but books, not so much, but after reading this fantastic story of Lancelot, I will definitely look into more of these stories. Not knowing a great deal about Lancelot (knowing of him but more of King Arthur), I couldn't wait to delve into this, the story of him from a young boy right the way to a battle hardened old warrior, I absolutely gorged through this book In probably less than a fortnight, I wanted to saviour this, and I was gutted to have finished it. Lancelot starts his journey as a boy with his brother Hector, his Mother and Father, King Ban of Benoic, after a retreat of a battle, they are then betrayed in a horrific fashion, Lancelot lucky to escape, thanks to the Lady Nimue and the warrior Pelleas. Lancelot spends his time on the Island as a boy, learning his skills, and finds despite being the youngest of the boys, he more than holds his own, he admires the Lady, respects and looks up to Pelleas, he also has a strong bond with his Cousin, Bors, they are close as brothers, then via an accident, he meets the beautiful Guinevere, this changes his life forever. Fate eventually sets him up for what he was always destined for, a legendary warrior and right hand man of Arthur, the man who would be King of Britain, and throw the Saxons back into the sea, but what about Guinevere? Who is now Arthur's wife, how must Lancelot deal with such a blow, as Lancelot himself says, "The Gods are cruel". A fantastic re-telling of Lancelot and the Arthurian legend, and what a ride it was, the characters he meets along his journey, all he loves, Bors, Pelleas, Benesek, Britain, The Lady, Arthur, and Guinevere herself, as well as those he hates, Melwas, Mordred his Uncle, and those he has conflicted feelings for, such as the strange druid Merlin, this is an epic voyage of one man's journey, and I will certainly look into more of Giles Kristian's work, as well as the Warlord Chronicles by Bernard Cornwell, by which Kristian was influenced by. Even if your not particularly interested in this genre usually, I would highly recommend this just as an excellent, epic tale. Essential reading. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

  13. 4 out of 5

    Ingrid

    A version of the legend of Lancelot. I enjoyed the story, but it's a slowburner, which is not my favourite style. In his afterword the author states that this is entirely his own version of events which made it a little more difficult to read for me. The same persons were involved, Uther, Arthur, Gawain, Guinevere, Merlin, Igraine, but the stories were different from the legend. A version of the legend of Lancelot. I enjoyed the story, but it's a slowburner, which is not my favourite style. In his afterword the author states that this is entirely his own version of events which made it a little more difficult to read for me. The same persons were involved, Uther, Arthur, Gawain, Guinevere, Merlin, Igraine, but the stories were different from the legend.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Terry

    Well, that was a wonderfully entertaining, exciting and highly emotional read! Easily 5/5 stars for me. This one will not soon be forgotten. It’s amazing, I can remember as a kid all those many years ago hearing the Aurthurian legend for the first time, and being overwhelmed by the world of knights, round tables, druids, legendary swords, castles like Camelot and great battles. The ideals of chivalry, loyalty, honor, family and love, and believing in/fighting for those ideals not just when it’s Well, that was a wonderfully entertaining, exciting and highly emotional read! Easily 5/5 stars for me. This one will not soon be forgotten. It’s amazing, I can remember as a kid all those many years ago hearing the Aurthurian legend for the first time, and being overwhelmed by the world of knights, round tables, druids, legendary swords, castles like Camelot and great battles. The ideals of chivalry, loyalty, honor, family and love, and believing in/fighting for those ideals not just when it’s easy, but when it means making the ultimate of sacrifices. I was drawn to that tale back then and this helped to create my love of heroic fantasy. Now, as an adult and reading a more realistic and gritty telling of the legend, I find myself caught up again falling in love with the story and those same ideals. The telling of this tale from the perspective of Lancelot is terrific, adding a broader view to the classic story and even adding a refreshing take on it. And these characters! They felt so real to me. I think I liked that the best. If you like heroic fantasy and/or historical fiction, I would recommend giving this a shot. An emotional roller coaster well worth the ride!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Amy Bruno

    You guys, I just finished reading the most amazing book and I have a massive book hang over! I stayed up super late last night to finish up Lancelot and if there is ever a good reason to be completely knackered all day, it's this one. I'd been hearing wonderful things about Lancelot on Twitter and Goodreads so when Anne at Random Things Book Tours emailed me about the blog tour, you can bet that I wrote her back within seconds. I've never been a huge reader of Arthurian novels but Lancelot has ch You guys, I just finished reading the most amazing book and I have a massive book hang over! I stayed up super late last night to finish up Lancelot and if there is ever a good reason to be completely knackered all day, it's this one. I'd been hearing wonderful things about Lancelot on Twitter and Goodreads so when Anne at Random Things Book Tours emailed me about the blog tour, you can bet that I wrote her back within seconds. I've never been a huge reader of Arthurian novels but Lancelot has changed that. Though I don't think any other book will compare with Kristian's now. Giles Kristian is a true story-teller. His writing is absolutely gorgeous and I immediately fell in love with the book within the first page. It's one of those books that you never want to put down. I was reading while cooking, while giving my kids a bath, and made my husband drive so that I could read while running errands. I just wanted to stay in Lancelot's world. I know I'll be picking up the hardcover copy of Lancelot, because just look at that cover! Agh, it's stunning! I need this book on my shelf so that I can go back and read it again and again. I have a new author crush, so excuse me while I go out and pick up the rest of Giles' books to devour.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Liz Barnsley

    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 Bri 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 Christian has gone straight to the top of my must read list. I long for more. Please do it again! Highly HIGHLY recommended.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Brenda Waworga

    I always love Arthurian story but i think i never read any book with Arthurian retelling story so im glad i found this book It was a spellbinding tale about Lancelot the legend we knew as the best Arthur's Knight and bestfriend who had an affair with his wife Guinevere The story told by one person perspective and woven with poetic writing style (which kinda a surprised for me), we followed Lancelot since he was a child to manhood I love this book is more into character development rather than actio I always love Arthurian story but i think i never read any book with Arthurian retelling story so im glad i found this book It was a spellbinding tale about Lancelot the legend we knew as the best Arthur's Knight and bestfriend who had an affair with his wife Guinevere The story told by one person perspective and woven with poetic writing style (which kinda a surprised for me), we followed Lancelot since he was a child to manhood I love this book is more into character development rather than action and wars and i grew to love and rooting for Lancelot.. how ever this book was such a slow book and i couldnt connected with any other character on this book other than Lancelot, not even Guinevere nor Arthur and the romance frustated me 🙃🙃 I absolutely recommending this book if youre looking for character driven Arthurian story and love lyrical writing style 3.8⭐️

  18. 4 out of 5

    Nils | nilsreviewsit

    ‪4.5 stars ‘I feel like a ghost myself. A soul lingering long after the body has been given to the flame or earth. Seeking all that it has lost. A spirit full of envy for things that never were but which might have been.’ ~ I haven’t read many books based on Arthurian legends; I know of the popular ones such as Bernard Cornwell’s The Warlord Chronicles and The Once and Future King by T.H. White, but as of yet it is still on my mountain of to-be-read books. So although I’ve watched many on screen a ‪4.5 stars ‘I feel like a ghost myself. A soul lingering long after the body has been given to the flame or earth. Seeking all that it has lost. A spirit full of envy for things that never were but which might have been.’ ~ I haven’t read many books based on Arthurian legends; I know of the popular ones such as Bernard Cornwell’s The Warlord Chronicles and The Once and Future King by T.H. White, but as of yet it is still on my mountain of to-be-read books. So although I’ve watched many on screen adaptations of Arthurian tales, Lancelot by Giles Kristian is my first delve into a literary retelling, and it is one that is filled with such beauty, that I’m so pleased I picked it up. What sets this novel apart from other retellings is the depiction of Lancelot, rather than the more well known characters such as Arthur or Merlin. To further make this book particularly refreshing, Kristian reflects the notion of Lancelot not being a solely villainous character who merely betrays his best friend, Arthur. You see, what if in fact Lancelot and Guinevere have a history? What if Lancelot is just a man who faces a difficult choice? A man who tries his best not to betray a brotherly friendship, but ultimately has to follow his heart beyond all reason? In this achingly tragic tale, I guarantee your heart will break for Lancelot and Guinevere. Lancelot has a truly beautiful blend of historical fiction and fantasy, but with a sense of realism running throughout the whole story. This is not just another precise retelling though, there are deviations from the Arthurian legends that I grew up knowing, but for the most part I felt within these changes, Kristian added so much more depth and plausibility to the characters and narrative. You see, Kristian delivers a fresh perspective and much needed backstory to well known characters such our main protagonist Lancelot, and also to Arthur, Merlin, Guinevere, and Modred. He then skilfully weaves them into a bold and atmospheric tale of love, loss and heroism. This is not a fast paced story, it is more in the nature of a character study, and Lancelot is certainly a fascinating character to be inside the mind of. In the first half of the book we are presented with a coming of age tale, as we see young Lancelot during his early years training to be a warrior, his meeting with Guinevere and eventual separation. Then the story moves on in time and chronicles the later years Lancelot spends as Arthur’s best knight and best friend. During a few chapters I did find the pacing lagged somewhat for my personal taste, but this was down to my eagerness to reach the battle scenes. Although I’ve never read a book by Giles Kristian before, I’ve previously been told that he executes extremely well written battle scenes and so I was highly anticipating them. I was not disappointed either; once we reach the chapter aptly titled, ‘A Storm of Blades’, the scenes of warfare were absolutely incredible! ~ ‘My own senses seemed to sharpen like a blade kissed by the whetstone. My blood thrummed as if intoxicated. I absorbed it all. Men coughing around me. Smoke surging, thickening the air and stinging my eyes and reaching towards the enemy shieldwall like ghostly fingers. My heartbeat deep in my ears now and a trickle of sweat running down my back, and the muscles in my thighs fluttering.’ ~ Now, allow me to gush a little before I wrap up this review, because there is something gush-worthy which I found from the very first page of this book. The first person narration was absolutely exquisite! The prose seeps from the page and wraps it’s enchantment around you. Lancelot’s inner monologue is lyrical, eloquent, and vividly juxtapositions with the brutal warrior we see and know him to be too. You feel every emotion Lancelot experiences, his joys, his melancholy, his hopes; you intimately know the weight of his decisions, whether you agree with them or not. Within these pages you will find grief, love, friendship, warfare, and deceitfulness. You will discover all too well the toll it takes on a man like Lancelot, and deep in your bones you may even shed tears for and come to sympathise with one of Arthurian legend’s most infamous betrayers. I know I did. ~ ‘She was the girl whom a sea god had wanted but could not have. Whom I had wanted, but could not have.’

  19. 5 out of 5

    Anna Stephens

    A truly magical book from the first person perspective of Lancelot, Arthur's greatest friend and biggest rival. The story follows Lancelot from a boy in Brittany through to his training and then his time as Arthur's right hand. While belief in the gods and magic is prevalent, there are no dragons and precious few swords in stones or ladies in lakes - and the novel is the better for it. It gives us the biggest elements of the story in such a compelling way that the line between historical fiction A truly magical book from the first person perspective of Lancelot, Arthur's greatest friend and biggest rival. The story follows Lancelot from a boy in Brittany through to his training and then his time as Arthur's right hand. While belief in the gods and magic is prevalent, there are no dragons and precious few swords in stones or ladies in lakes - and the novel is the better for it. It gives us the biggest elements of the story in such a compelling way that the line between historical fiction and fantasy is so blurred as to be non-existent. Lancelot reads with the authority and gravitas of Manda Scott's Boudicca books, such that I found it utterly believable throughout. Lancelot himself is by turns the grief-stricken boy, the arrogant youth and the killer of men. His world revolves around two suns - Arthur and Guinevere - and the central agony of his life is his inability to reconcile these competing loves and demands. It was a stroke of genius to retell this legend through Lancelot's POV, the betrayer rather than the betrayed. I must now immediately buy all of Giles Kristian's back catalogue and I am very much hoping for a sequel following the lives of other characters in the legend.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Uhtred

    Do you know those works of bootlickers that are on the back covers, those of well-known writers who, speaking of the book you are holding, write: "It is the most beautiful book I have read in my life!" or "He is the greatest writer of the century!"? Right, I never read them, because usually they are all lies. And I hadn't even read those of this book, in fact, at least until the end, when turning the last pages (very sorry) I wanted to read those too, as if to make this beautiful book last even Do you know those works of bootlickers that are on the back covers, those of well-known writers who, speaking of the book you are holding, write: "It is the most beautiful book I have read in my life!" or "He is the greatest writer of the century!"? Right, I never read them, because usually they are all lies. And I hadn't even read those of this book, in fact, at least until the end, when turning the last pages (very sorry) I wanted to read those too, as if to make this beautiful book last even longer. I saw then that the licking this time was made by no less than Bernard Cornwell and Wilbur Smith, two who know pretty well about best sellers. And I must say that they were very truthful in saying that this is an incredible novel, which bewitches, with an overwhelming narrative that shakes the soul of the reader. The history of Lancelot and Geneva has been written in thousands of versions, often very boring, rhetorical or sweet, while this is really very well balanced. There is the part of the love story, of course, but it is very well intertwined with the history of the war between Saxons and Britons, with pages of almost historical report of everyday life and traditions, with camaraderie pages very similar to those you can find in the musketeers of Dumas, with war scenes worthy of the best Uhtred of Bebbanburg against the Danes. A really nice read, of those that make you put the book down thinking already of the pleasure you will feel when you will take it back. The plot is the usual one, with all the necessary characters: Lancelot, Geneva, Merlin, Arthur, Camelot, Excalibur, Morgana etc., but they really don't weigh, not even to me who usually don't like these settings. A book that really deserves 5 stars.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Sade

    📖 Every once in a while, i like to challenge myself to read a genre i'm not especially passionate about. Historical Fiction falls squarely into this category. Sometimes it's a win other times it's not. This book was a win in some ways, in other ways not so much. What tipped this book for me as a winning book was a. the writing b. having a refreshing different perspective of Lancelot, an oft vilified character to Arthur's shinning knight character. c. Giles Kristian is a bloody good writer. Seriousl 📖 Every once in a while, i like to challenge myself to read a genre i'm not especially passionate about. Historical Fiction falls squarely into this category. Sometimes it's a win other times it's not. This book was a win in some ways, in other ways not so much. What tipped this book for me as a winning book was a. the writing b. having a refreshing different perspective of Lancelot, an oft vilified character to Arthur's shinning knight character. c. Giles Kristian is a bloody good writer. Seriously. No jokes!!! The prose is sublime and you really get to see a fleshed out character from Arthurian legend that is often cast as i said in a negative light. You might say of course you get to see Lancelot, he tells the story. But i have to say that first person PoV's are notorious for giving you characters without soul, characters that are divorced from emotions in their story so that the narration feels mechanic. Not so in this book. 📖 📖 "You think life will be so simple?" If only. I find that this quote was perhaps the bane of Lancelot's life. Would that falling in love with a girl would be so simple, or friendship, loyalty, love for country. 📖 📖 📖 I want to say that i'll go out and perhaps read all Bernard Cornwell's books until i'm seeing medieval England when i sleep but honestly, i think Kristain's work (amazing writing aside) has shown me that i have dangerously low patience or interest for these medieval characters. Especially with their insistence on having tragic love stories . Like was there something in the water then? Anyways if you absolutely love historical fiction especially one's that deal with Arthurian Legend, or you're looking for a well written historical fiction that isn't too crazy on the wars, you can't go wrong with this book.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Robin Carter

    Review In 1995 Bernard Cornwell wrote the Warlord Chronicles, with that he set the bar for Arthurian tales. He took the world of knights in plate armour on horseback, with couched lances and their flowery medieval poetry of vanquishing barbarian foes with honour and knocked them right back to the 6th century, a post Roman world, riddled with Saxon invaders, a land with its opulent stone buildings falling down and no skills to repair them, back to the dirt the grime and the terror of small kingdom Review In 1995 Bernard Cornwell wrote the Warlord Chronicles, with that he set the bar for Arthurian tales. He took the world of knights in plate armour on horseback, with couched lances and their flowery medieval poetry of vanquishing barbarian foes with honour and knocked them right back to the 6th century, a post Roman world, riddled with Saxon invaders, a land with its opulent stone buildings falling down and no skills to repair them, back to the dirt the grime and the terror of small kingdoms stitching together parts of that Roman prowess to forge new alliances and petty grievances. No one has attempted to emulate that achievement since… Until Lancelot. Full review: https://parmenionbooks.wordpress.com/...

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kristīne

    Different take to the age old story of Arthur and the love triangle that brought down a Kingdom. I have always liked tales of Arthur and his Knights, one of my favorite childhood books was a splendidly illustrated edition, so I was intrigued to read this one, luminating one of the tales' most controversial character. Rich in detail and full of very well written characters, it is a sad book, though. The author drags Lancelot through highs and lows of a hero's journey. That is what's different abou Different take to the age old story of Arthur and the love triangle that brought down a Kingdom. I have always liked tales of Arthur and his Knights, one of my favorite childhood books was a splendidly illustrated edition, so I was intrigued to read this one, luminating one of the tales' most controversial character. Rich in detail and full of very well written characters, it is a sad book, though. The author drags Lancelot through highs and lows of a hero's journey. That is what's different about this book, the trials of Lancelot and their outcomes defy the classical canon of historical novels. It is very emotional and even introverted book. That said, I didnt LOVE it, I appreciated the author's work, but it was not a page turner for me. I liked the alternative take on the Legend, and I liked the mature storylines, but I guess I am not the perfectly matched reader for this one.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Kate

    An intense and beautifully powerful retelling of the Arthur story, focusing on the most famous and noble yet troubled of knights, Lancelot. All the emotions can be found here and tears do ensue - this is storytelling wrought from the heart. And I'd expect nothing less from Giles Kristian. Review to follow shortly on For Winter Nights. An intense and beautifully powerful retelling of the Arthur story, focusing on the most famous and noble yet troubled of knights, Lancelot. All the emotions can be found here and tears do ensue - this is storytelling wrought from the heart. And I'd expect nothing less from Giles Kristian. Review to follow shortly on For Winter Nights.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Lorraine Southern

    5/5!!! In fact, if I could, I’d give it 10/5!! Giles Kristian’s Lancelot is quite simply a wonderful, beautiful, tragic, melodic, exceptional, fascinating, poetic, enthralling, glorious, brutal, powerful, and intensely masterful spin on the magic and myth that is the tale of King Arthur. I loved it (just in case you can’t tell 😉). It made me cry.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kobi

    DNF at 50% I really wanted to get back into this after putting it on hold for a little while. But if I'm being completely honest with myself, I knew the second I put this down that I wasn't interested in picking it back up. As a lover of all things Arthurian, I thought I would eat this up! I love learning about the Knights of the Round Table, and Lancelot is one that I'm particularly interested in. This book is a deep dive (and I mean deep) into Lancelot's backstory and how he went from being an DNF at 50% I really wanted to get back into this after putting it on hold for a little while. But if I'm being completely honest with myself, I knew the second I put this down that I wasn't interested in picking it back up. As a lover of all things Arthurian, I thought I would eat this up! I love learning about the Knights of the Round Table, and Lancelot is one that I'm particularly interested in. This book is a deep dive (and I mean deep) into Lancelot's backstory and how he went from being an orphan into being one of the most respected of King Arthur's knights. And I thought it would be marvellous. Though, for me, that wasn't the case. I felt that this book read more like a history textbook than a novel. It was a sludge to get through, and I feel like in the first half of the book nothing had even happened. It took way too long to get to the point, and as I said before, as a lover of the Arthurian legend, I didn't need such a deep look at Lancelot's story. In saying that, though, I don't think this is a good place to start learning about the legend either. It's overcomplicated and confusing, and from what I read, it's not accessible for everyone. I think Giles Kristian is a talented writer, but I think this could have benefitted from a lot of editing and condensing. Not for me! Original review: Putting this one on hold at 330 pages until I'm done with university for the year because I haven't had the time or motivation to pick it up. I'll get back to it when I have endless reading time in November!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    No. No, dammit, that can't be the end. How can this be over? How can that be the end. Dammit, I'm not finished yet! What the hell happened? This book was lukewarm all the way through and then the last hour... that last hour. I sobbed through that last hour. I'm still sobbing. What the hell just happened? No. No, dammit, that can't be the end. How can this be over? How can that be the end. Dammit, I'm not finished yet! What the hell happened? This book was lukewarm all the way through and then the last hour... that last hour. I sobbed through that last hour. I'm still sobbing. What the hell just happened?

  28. 4 out of 5

    Nathan

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Lancelot is a book that is for the most part rather underwhelming. The first half or two thirds of the novel deal with the titular protagonist's growth from a child into a young man, and the last third (or perhaps even the last fourth or fifth) covers the rest of his life at a breakneck pace until Arthur's final battle with Mordred. I had originally assumed when I began reading, that this particular book would cover Lancelot's early life, with either a sequel or sequels covering the remainder. I Lancelot is a book that is for the most part rather underwhelming. The first half or two thirds of the novel deal with the titular protagonist's growth from a child into a young man, and the last third (or perhaps even the last fourth or fifth) covers the rest of his life at a breakneck pace until Arthur's final battle with Mordred. I had originally assumed when I began reading, that this particular book would cover Lancelot's early life, with either a sequel or sequels covering the remainder. Instead, the author uses multiple time skips to attempt to ensure that the entirety of the Arthurian timeline is crammed into the volume. The result feels suspiciously like several essays I wrote at University the night before they were due. It also feels that this novel spends a great deal of time telling and not enough showing. The timeskips are a good example of this; Lancelot meeting his best friend (Bors, who is also his cousin) and forging his reputation for leadership (after serving King Syagrius) are narrated after a jump ahead in time, but the reader doesn't see either happen firsthand. I would have thought such moments too pivotal to the story to be info-dumped, but apparently that is not the case. The result feels a little disjointed. Lancelot and Arthur actually spend very little time by each other's side in terms of sheer wordcount before they are hustled apart by Lancelot spending time in Gaul (a 6 or 7 year period which is entirely unseen), meet again briefly and are then again separated by reports from Mordred of Arthur's death. Other problems with the book's structure is that much of the early segments feel wasted. Lancelot's family is driven from their homes by a rival king, and then betrayed and slaughtered by his own uncle. The protagonist naturally spends some time dwelling on his losses during his training on Lady Nimue's island, but ultimately nothing at all comes of it. Lancelot also spends a great deal of time learning to care for and hunt with a crippled Sparhawk... only for it to die off soon enough and nothing to come of that skill (an oddity, as combined with the cover art I made the assumption that this skill/relationship would play some significant role in Lancealot's character development or a future plot point). Looking back after finishing, much of the early novel is irrelevant to the greater story; the author could have started the story with Lancelot being given up by an impoverished father with too many mouths to feed to the service of Lady Nimue, and not a single other change would have needed to be made. Of Lancelot and Guinevere's relationship, which one could consider to be fairly central to the story, I will say only that I don't see any particular greater grounds for passion or attraction than literally any other character relationship. Lancelot saves Guinevere from drowning when he first meets her, spends some time wandering the island with her during which they develop a friendship, and later he saves her from an attempted rape (I also question how much sense this scene made; it is carried out by a sailor, whose crew is fearful and respectful of the Lady Nimue, and knows that her charges are heavily guarded). Somewhere along the line, love blooms, and it persists for longer than I find it easy to believe it would. I wanted very much to enjoy this story, but on the whole I found it didn't have enough meat to it, and what little there was was also not very interesting.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Adam Lofthouse

    I was seventeen, at Gatwick airport browsing the shelves in Waterstones, waiting to board a flight to Cyprus when I picked up a book called Excalibur by Bernard Cornwell. I'd never been much of a reader, and at that point had never heard of the great man! I bought it, thinking it might alleviate the boredom of two weeks round the pool with my family. Little did I know it would change my life forever. I read it three times in the two weeks I was away, even after getting halfway through the first I was seventeen, at Gatwick airport browsing the shelves in Waterstones, waiting to board a flight to Cyprus when I picked up a book called Excalibur by Bernard Cornwell. I'd never been much of a reader, and at that point had never heard of the great man! I bought it, thinking it might alleviate the boredom of two weeks round the pool with my family. Little did I know it would change my life forever. I read it three times in the two weeks I was away, even after getting halfway through the first read and realising it was the third book in a trilogy! Since that holiday I have spent twelve years devouring any historical fiction I could get my hands on, even taking the leap to write in the genre myself. Giles Kristian is without doubt one of the finest writers in the genre right now, and he truly has excelled himself with this book. I was anxious at first. How could it live up to Cornwell's work? Surely it was bound to be a bit of a let down? I need not have worried. It is simply spellbinding. The prose as smooth as silk, the words deeper than the ocean. I was hooked, transfixed, completely unable to function without my head buried in the pages. The book takes you from Lancelot's early life, his journey from his home in Armorica, across the narrow sea and into Britain. I read in awe as the boy became a warrior, the warrior a man. Lancelot is brought to life on the pages, his love for Guinevere pure and everlasting, as is his love for his lord, Arthur. It's rare for a book to stir any emotion within me, but this really hit home. You feel Lancelot's turmoil as his best friend and lord showcases his beautiful bride, Guinevere, to the people of Britain. You get a real sense of his contrasting emotions, his indecision. I also enjoyed Arthur's part. His jealousy of what he imagines his best friend and wife may have shared in the formative years, a sense that his old age will always leave a void in his marriage. As always with a book from Giles, the battle scenes are all blood and dust, as shieldwalls collide on Britain's fields and the fate of a nation is decided. In case you haven't gathered - I absolutely adored this, I don't think I'll read a better book for long, long time.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Ned Lud

    I can’t rate this book fairly. I am biased. I have always detested Lancelot. Still do. Although the writing was superb I found I could not invest myself to a character I believe to be a twat. Still have great admiration for G.K. skills though. Just not the book for me, is all. Edit: Some books are worth a second chance. I believe this is one of those books. So, here we go...... Reread: Strange. I went into this book not being very fond of Lancelot. I blame Cornwell (and others) for that. However, I can’t rate this book fairly. I am biased. I have always detested Lancelot. Still do. Although the writing was superb I found I could not invest myself to a character I believe to be a twat. Still have great admiration for G.K. skills though. Just not the book for me, is all. Edit: Some books are worth a second chance. I believe this is one of those books. So, here we go...... Reread: Strange. I went into this book not being very fond of Lancelot. I blame Cornwell (and others) for that. However, upon finishing this book I was glad I gave it another go. Giles certainly knows how to tell a heart wrenching tale! And I suppose Lancelot is alright. It’s now Guinevere that bothers me. Call me a fractious old man. You wouldn’t be incorrect. Strange.

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