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Summary

Random House presents the audiobook edition of Lancelot by Giles Kristian. 

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 fifth-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.

©2018 Giles Kristian (P)2018 Random House Audiobooks

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Arise Sir Giles!

Okay so you might want to ask if the Arthurian legend really needed yet another author bending it to their will and trying to tell the story another way? Kristian's Lancelot answers that question categorically. It turns out that it did, it really dod "Lancelot" gives us a genuinely new perspective on one of the most retold tales in history.

It was no surprise that the author's note at the end of the book revealed that the inspiration behind this story in particular and possibly much of Kiristian's writing career was inspired by Bernard Cornwell's Warlord Chronicles. Even so it would be a grave mistake to write this off as just another Cornwell clone. This has a gravitas all of its own.

It is set in a similar version of 5th Century Britain as the Warlord books. There is as much mud, gore, disease and snot as there is shining armour, as much human fallibility and baser instincts as there is love and nobility. The uniqueness here is in the characters, this one brings us the often enigmatic Lancelot, the relatively unexplored corner of one of fiction's greatest love triangles with Arthur and Guinevere normally taking the starring roles. A love that threatened a kingdom for once told from his perspective. As such although the book starts off fairly quickly with graphic violence out of nowhere it soon settles into a classic coming of age tale for young Lancelot and Guinevere. This, for regular Kristian readers is a relatively slow burn but it's vital that we get inside these characters for what comes later.

As the book enters it's final third Kristian delivers on top of those strong foundations an utterly epic ending full of heroism, tragedy, action, betrayal and most of all one of the most poignant endings that this particular legend has ever been blessed with. It's all delivered quite fabulously by Philip Stevens who was always good for the Viking novels but absolutely excels himself here. The last third of the book is genuinely fabulous especially if you treat the characters as truly legendary.

So, yes the Arthurian legend has been done many times before and I doubt it will be left alone in the future. This book though really is a stand out in that crowd and even if you think you're tired of the story you'll re-discover a lot of it's charm and excitement through new eyes in Lancelot.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Si
  • 12-06-18

What a ride!

Well that was an emotional rollercoaster!
I'm so glad it wasn't a typical Arthurian story telling, it kept me guessing throughout and punched me in the guts a few times!
Like a child's I rushed through it and now I wish I hadn't!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Lancelot? He's the other fella in Arthur's story.<br />

When I heard the title for Giles's latest book my mind said: why? why go to the Arthurian story for inspiration? Well now I know! What a piece of work this is. More fool me for making an assumption.
Where next Giles? I'm with you, wherever it may be.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Outstanding

An incredibly captivating, emotional tale - so beautifully written. And the way Philip Stevens narrates provides for such an immersive experience, making it worthwhile revisiting ‘Lancelot’ in the audio version if you have previously read it the traditional way.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Wow!!! A beautiful, action packed, love story.

This book is mythical, based on Arthurian legend, but it feels like you are there in every location, in every battle and slongside every character.
Giles Kristian can not only bring a story to life, but he can transport the reader to it's World. you can imagine yourself drinking mead with Lancelot and being beeitxhed by Guinevere's beauty.
I am a massive Giles Kristin fan and would recommend his books to anyone who enjoys the work of a proper storyteller

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Lancelot with a difference

I loved this book from page one. If you want a classic King Arthur story, walk on. This is a brilliantly read different telling of the story.

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sleep inducing

unusually for giles kristian, I found this tale boring. not his normal blood and thunder novel. give it a miss.

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Excellent but....

I enjoyed this story very much apart from the narrator not pronouncing the character, place names or pagan festivals properly. The story was very well written and read apart from the pronunciation. I have read quite a few Arthurian stories and this is a fresh re telling with good in depth characters and strong plot.

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A true epic

This book gripped and touched me as few others have in a lifetime of reading
What a fantastic tale of life, love, honour and destiny- as well of course tragedy. Perfectly narrated as well - I felt I was part of the story.
Highly recommend it

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Just brilliant

I loved this. what an awesome way of re-imagining the Arthurian legends.
frankly this has just dropped into my top five audio books..

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  • angelo
  • 05-09-18

Beautifully bleak

What I most loved about this book, and oh there's not one point I despised, was the fact that it all felt too real. While an author writing partially from history has to be realistic about those matters (Like a more fancy Logen would say), it is easy to succumb eyes closed into the pleasures of morality, subjectivity and easy writing. But this half Norwegian writer(which he will apparently tell you even if you don't buy him a beer) has made dust of these temptations. In keeping this book grey as my future the author makes me almost believe that this is the true version and that it really happened. Credit due where it must for there were many easy options to choose from, revenge being the first on the list.

Êtes-vous prêt pour la bombe? Lancelot is the male author version of FitzChivalry.
I know you're stunned.