The Betrayal Of Lancelot is the one book, which on the face of things, completely distorts the Arthurian legend. However – it would not have been possible to do this if there were not already stories of Roman legionaries who are cursed to wander the world forever and a once and future king likely to come back to rescue us… Now would be good!
I went into this with one thought in mind – who is the Once and Future King?
I will admit a part of me wanted to see what Lancelot would be like in heavy motorcycle leathers with a gun… But… Mad Max had a heavily influence during my disturbing adolescent. I loved writing this book, the twists and turns with the different characters; playing out Lancelot’s life over six hundred years of being alone; the effects on him and the others when they found it out. I also realised something profound – Tancred deserves better. Lancelot needs to see the consequences of his actions on those he professes to love. He damages all despite spending centuries believing himself the victim. How often have we considered ourselves hard done by when we’ve forgotten to think about things from someone else’s point of view? Tancred once more is the character who is used to propel the narrative into uncomfortable places for some. I promise. He will be alright in the end. Again, these are traditional themes within stories both old and new.
During this book I return Lancelot to his home and we meet familiar enemies. Mordred. This is the beginning of the end perhaps. Will Lancelot find himself facing Mordred on a battlefield? Or will it be the boy’s father who faces him? To be honest I don’t think I’ll know for sure until we get there.
A great many things are thrown into this story, perhaps there are too many, from the rights of gay marriage to the decimation of the environment and the consequences for society. Once more these things are reflected in the return to Camelot and The City. They are themes I touch on frequently in my work. I will say this – whatever anyone else thinks of this book – it is my favourite so far.