Lancelot’s Curse is the sixth book in the Knights of Camelot series and possibly the saddest, not necessarily the darkest, but definitely the saddest.
I don’t want to give too much away, that would be a shame, but Lancelot is backed into a corner he cannot fight his way out of and his sacrifice is the only thing which will save Albion and Camelot. This sacrifice has long reaching consequences for all the characters involved and changes them forever.
Just have the hankies ready!
From a historical perspective this book pulls a long way from the original stories in the obvious ways, but it does examine the terrible loss that is the sacrifice a noble man must make for his country, his love and his companions. Lancelot is forced to become the very epitome of the chivalric code, more so than in any of the other stories. Through this sacrifice we see the other characters explore the same codes, especially in Arthur’s court. In Albion things are different. Here we see the terrible consequences for characters who are far closer to the honest nature of their emotions. The two mirrors, one reflecting Arthur, the other Tancred, shows Lancelot his own failings and strengths. He is a man who needs to use the code to protect himself from the storm of emotion that surround him and forces him into decisions he doesn’t want to make.
The aspect of traditional myth telling which permeate this book and the next – Betrayal of Lancelot – is the ability to use the meta narratives of quest, fighting for the lives of those you love and sacrifice to tell a new story. Many of King Arthur’s legends contain the elements of the supernatural and the quest imagery, this book and the next definitely utilise these to maintain the integrity of my Arthurian cycle alongside the more traditional novels.
As a woman, writing about the emotions of a bi-sexual man, it’s important that I really understand how the chivalric code motivates men, both now and during the medieval period. How it still protects women and how it enables many men to move through a harsh world without being obviously damaged. I am often caught pondering how men cope, what drives them and how that motivation changes over time. The young alpha male will fight to reach the top of his trade, but once there, he has to find a different way of maintaining his status and how does he cope when he loses that status? What do women offer to this man? How do they protect him, so that he is able to relax that drive and what happens if she isn’t capable – what manifests inside the man after years of control? Then I have to consider how other men might be able to help or hinder this path.
I love writing from Lancelot’s point of view because he allows me to explore these deep and sometimes dark places inside men’s minds.