The Passion is a book about a journey, a journey toward the end of something and the beginning of new events in Lancelot’s life. He is compelled by Epona to journey north in search of the god Taranis, not really Lancelot’s favourite person and during the trek he and the others must face some hard truths.
They are all moving toward the denouement of facing Mordred. Arthur and Morgana have to deal with their son betraying them; Tancred and Lancelot have to deal with the end of their love affair; and Morgana must learn more about her husband and their lover. They face great trials before reaching Mordred and when the end finally comes they all realise it doesn’t just stop. The path continues before them, because this being a version of the Arthurian myths that takes the traditional stories and twists them – I can’t have the usual nonsense between Arthur and Mordred.
I have never, ever liked the ending of the Arthurian myths and I promised myself I wasn’t going to fall into that trap. I can’t, and never have, read those final few pages where Arthur and Mordred die and Excalibur is thrown into the lake because Lancelot isn’t there to save the day – Blah… Blah… Blah… I simply hate it. I think it’s a crap ending – so I’m re-writing it because these are my stories and I can.
Once more the action and character development are intense and fast paced. The story races along, while trying to give each complex relationship room to breathe. I know some people are frustrated by the shifting alliances but there is just one more book in this series and I have to make sure the characters play out their dynamics.
It wasn’t an easy book to write, but I’m quite pleased with the way it trundles along and the ending, though surprising me, is more real than some great noble fight. War is short, fucked up and brutal. It’s not noble, not even war between the samurai was noble. The Arthurian romances like to make it noble so they can try to control their brutal knights when they aren’t at war, courtly love and all that, but real fight is dirty, mean and painful. The romances, and the fights in them, are illusions, the social ramifications of that are important and complex but there are academic books far better at explaining these things than me. What I try to do is demonstrate that these people, these great and heroic knights, are just men with all the usual problems, only they have to kill people and sometimes that’s easy, sometimes it’s not. War doesn’t change, whether it’s machine guns or broadswords.