I try to make my blog-site a place specifically for historical fiction. This week, however, I'm taking a departure from the norm to feature a historical fantasy review of a book that still rings true to historical fiction.
Ever since I was a child, I have had a soft spot in my heart for the Arthurian legend. King Arthur, his Knights of the Round Table, Guinevere--but my favorite was always Arthur's finest knight: Lancelot. Like my character of Marc Antony, Lancelot has his flaws, and the most obvious is his love for Guinevere and the pain he suffers over loving the King's wife. Courtiers in the Middle Ages were simply wild over this tale of chivalry that spoke volumes about their ideal of courtly love, manners, and honor.
First, let me state that I am not a big fantasy fan. However, because of my love for the Arthurian story, I ordered a copy of Kristian's book. So far, it's been my favorite read over the past five years. It's brilliant, so I felt compelled to share it with my readers, despite it not being pure historical fiction . My hope is that you'll read my review and order a copy for yourself.
This book is FANTASTIC!
Lancelot by Giles Kristian
Reviewed by Brook Allen
It's hard to know how to begin. Breathtaking? Poignant, bloody, intense, tragic, touching... I could go on and on. As a lover of all things Arthurian, I had wanted to acquire this book for over a year. For some reason, it's not available in Kindle version, but that was my ONLY disappointment. Purchasing a print copy was worth the wait in its arrival, as this book was everything I'd hoped it would be and more. Kristian is a phenomenal writer. His prose comes straight from the heart (for the romantic and touching parts) or from his gut (the battle scenes and violence of 5th century Britain!). I cannot even begin to describe how this book kept me enthralled. It is one of the top ten best reads I've ever encountered, and I'll be looking for more Giles Kristian books to grace my shelves. The final two pages are now tear-stained, and I'm not an emotional person. I almost NEVER cry while reading.
And Kristian is correct in his author's notes. The character of Lancelot has always been overshadowed by the grandeur of Arthur himself, Guinevere, or Merlin. Well, suffice it to say that Lancelot was always my favorite character in the legends, and now is elevated even higher in my book. This man's suffering spirit, the injustice which is never overturned, the courage, honor, and yet human frailty--are all treated with dignity, resolve, and tenderness. This book BREATHES--sometimes quietly and sometimes in gasps as the story evolves. Readers are drawn into Lancelot's character from the start to the finish, and I was breathless at every turn and nuance. If you have not read this book, RUN to Amazon. Order it and indulge. It's excellent literature and an adventure from beginning to end and I'm pleased to say that there is a sequel: Camelot.
Giles Kristian Bio
Giles has led a varied life, to say the least. During the 90s he was lead singer of pop group Upside Down, achieving four top twenty hit records, performing twice on Top of the Pops and at such venues as the Royal Albert Hall, N.E.C. and Wembley Arena, and supporting such artists as The Spice Girls, Take That, Eric Clapton and U2. As a singer-songwriter he lived and toured for two years in Europe and has made music videos all over the world, from Prague, Miami, Mexico and the Swiss Alps, to Bognor Regis! To fund his writing habit, he has worked as a model, appearing in TV commercials and ads for the likes of Walls Ice Cream (he was the Magnum Man), Canon cameras and two brands of lager! He has been an advertising copywriter and lived for three years in New York, where he wrote copy for movie marketing company Empire Design but mainly worked on his first novel, RAVEN: Blood Eye.
Family history (he is half Norwegian) inspired Giles to write his first historical novels: the acclaimed and bestselling RAVEN Viking trilogy – Blood Eye, Sons of Thunder and Odin’s Wolves. For his next series, he drew on a long-held fascination with the English Civil War to chart the fortunes of a family divided by this brutal conflict in The Bleeding Land and Brothers’ Fury. Giles also co-wrote Wilbur Smith’s No.1 bestseller, Golden Lion. In The Rise of Sigurd novels – God of Vengeance (a TIMES Book of the Year), Winter’s Fire, and Wings of the Storm – he returned to the world of the Vikings to tell the story of Sigurd and his celebrated fictional fellowship.
His novel, Lancelot, was a Sunday Times bestseller and has already been sold to a number of countries in translation. His new novel, Camelot, is out now in hardback. Paperback, June 2020.
Giles is currently preparing his next novel; a contemporary thriller entitled Where Blood Runs Cold, due to be published in February, 2022.
Buy Lancelot & Camelot