Oh my word, this is such a feast for whoever loves Arthurian Legends. And the take on it is very new.
The series is The Knights of Camelot by Sarah Luddington, an M/M Historical Fantasy Romance.
Lancelot and the King ~ The Knights of Camelot Book 1
Lancelot is banished from Camelot in disgrace, not only has he lost his honour and country, but too late he realises he has lost his love.
When duty calls him to return, Lancelot doesn’t think twice and once more puts on his armour. If his king needs him and he is called to the sword, he knows where he must be.
His country is threatened, the dark wings of war are gathering and his love… that will just have to wait.
The needs of one man’s heart cry for peace, but Lancelot understands what he must do.
He will stand shoulder to shoulder with the man he loves and if they survive the battlefields, if they can survive the peace, then maybe, just maybe, a knight and his king can put aside their call to arms and listen to the call of their hearts.
A love long-held, the love of a knight for his king, a love which must be denied.
The Knights of Camelot series is a reimagining of the Arthurian legends. Each book features two (or more) men in love with one another, steamy encounters, and more. These books are not intended to be read as standalones, so be sure to start at the beginning with Lancelot and the King.
Lancelot and the King will be FREE June 29th – July 4th
WE RODE UP THE hill to the castle and the weather closed in. The clouds lowered, the wind rose, snapping at my pennon, the Wolf’s head shimmering in the flat light. It would rain before too long, making footing dangerous. I mentally prepared, once more going through simple combinations of sword movements in my mind. I brought forward all I knew of Arthur’s fighting style and remembered every fight we’d shared. Calm filled me, I remained centred and back in my world. This I knew how to do, I knew how to fight. Women, politics, they were a mystery to me but fighting I understood.
We approached the castle and I realised a great crowd swelled and rolled, like a huge wave of humanity. King Arthur always drew an audience. I wished we didn’t have a crowd but Camelot’s all about spectacle.
Once we reached the main gate, the throng parted. We walked over the moat and through the wall into the killing fields. The soldiers lined the way to the tourney field, keeping the people back. We made short work of reaching the site. Without the time to set up a tourney field outside the city, we were squashed into the practice area. There wasn’t a great deal of room for the castle’s inhabitants never mind the city folk. The walls began to close in on me, the armour became heavy and my vision too restricted. The noise of the crowd and the stink of bodies made me wish for the open fields and my simple life with Else.
I saw Geraint, Kay and many others scattered through the crowd of wealthy merchants. My eyes slid to the centre of the heaving tableau. I saw two things at once, Arthur, sat astride Willow, his mighty warhorse and Guinevere stood beside him but not touching him or looking in his direction. She stared directly at me.
I knew she couldn’t see who sat under the black armour but her ice blue eyes captured my attention so thoroughly I stopped breathing. Across the distance of the tourney field, I realised Guinevere’s beauty still made me breathless. The wind moved her cloak and with it her hood, giving hints of her slim figure and hair spun from the light of the sun.
“Hey, lover, focus,” Else snapped.
I turned to her and looked down into her elfin face. Her eyes had turned the colour of dark honey when she felt calm and at peace. Her skin always retained a warmth in its tones which reminded me of summer. Her body’s slimness came from hard work and hours in the saddle, not contrived eating habits.
I took a deep breath and willed myself to snap the chains Guinevere placed on my heart so long ago. “You mean the world to me,” I said.
“Bloody good job,” Else said. “Or I might be forced to release that damned spell all over you again.”
I chuckled, suddenly preferring all the complications of my relationship with Else, to Arthur and Guinevere any day. I studied my opponent. He sat on Willow, the great black stallion looking sleek and perfect as ever. Unlike Ash, Willow had the temper of a gelding but the brains of a true destrier. They were a fine pair, even if Ash’s temper usually meant he’d rather fight with Willow than beside him. Jealousy in horses is not attractive. Because of Ash’s colour change, they appeared to be brothers and Ash shifted as he recognised the scent of the other horse. Arthur himself sat straight in the saddle and the lance in his hand did not waver.
Else rode forward. “My Lord is here and prepared for the tourney,” she said her voice carrying over the hum of the crowd.
Arthur, his visor raised, said in return, “As is traditional.” His voice rang clear and strong. Arthur had sobered up. “The knight has the right to ask for anything from me if he wins, other than my crown.”
Lancelot and the Sword ~ The Knights of Camelot Book 2
A powerful new threat looms over Camelot and the fleeting sanctuary of love is shattered. Maybe beyond repair. Lancelot and Arthur must place their joy on hold to save the kingdom.
As chaos takes hold over the land, the time for tender passion has passed. This is the time for heroes, the time for a king and his greatest knight to make a stand and lead their country through the fires of war.
But in the midst of the battles sometimes the needs of the moment demand sacrifice and a trust is broken.
With the blood of betrayal still running, Lancelot finds himself drawn to another. Perhaps in Tancred’s tender embrace he might just find the peace he so desperately craves.
But a jealous king is a dangerous creature and the ghosts of the dead are intent on hounding a broken soul to the grave.
Lancelot and the Grail ~ The Knights of Camelot Book 3
A broken and shattered knight hides from the world and from the man who destroyed him. Betrayed by the man he loved, Lancelot vows that the only way he will return is to see the heart of his king staining the floors of Camelot.
Then one day, a gentler soul tracks down the tormented knight and sets to repairing a mind so damaged, there may never be a way back. When Tancred finds Lancelot, he is barely recognisable.
The revenant of a once powerful knight, with a heart which burns so intensely, it is only the pain which gives life.
But Tancred is not going to lose a soulmate he has spent a lifetime waiting to find.
Lancelot will return and his sword is thirsty for blood. The power of the Grail and the fury of Excalibur are turned on the enemies of Camelot in a race to save a kingdom and a brotherhood bound in blood.
Lancelot’s Challenge ~ The Knights of Camelot Book 4
With King Arthur’s blood still fresh on Lancelot’s hands, a deal is struck. A deal which will bind the knight to an evil power in return for the life of the man he loves.
Lancelot is forced to work for the fey in a bargain which is set to unleash a new terror on the lands. A force so powerful that even the gods step back to watch.
With Tancred at his side, the vengeful knight must bide his time and play the fey’s games.
Games which will cost Lancelot his soul if he cannot find a way to defeat the evil which grows. But when the final prophecy is revealed, Lancelot must challenge his fate alone.
Lancelot’s Burden ~ The Knights of Camelot Book 5
The gods play games, and Albion’s gods seem to enjoy the chase. When chaos descends the gentlest soul will break. When that soul belongs to the man to whom Lancelot has given his heart, death is coming for the tormenters.
Lancelot is now the king of Albion and his sword will destroy her enemies. Even if those enemies are more powerful than anything he could have dreamed.
But first he needs to save his love. A man so destroyed that his thirst for revenge will not stop until the kingdom runs red.
Forced to make alliances with once hated enemies, the needs of war forge dangerous bedfellows.
To save a kingdom may just cost Lancelot the only thing he has left. His soul.
Lancelot’s Curse ~ The Knights of Camelot Book 6
With only one chance to save his lover, and his land, Lancelot must make a new deal with the gods. They will demand everything Lancelot holds and take the last threads of hope from his heart.
The torment that the god of chaos and misery sets to work in Lancelot’s life, threatens to destroy Albion and Camelot, but the god never figured on the power of love and with Arthur’s help, there may just be a way to survive such sadness.
Lancelot must find a way to stop their destruction before Camelot, Albion and Tancred are lost forever. This time there is no hope, no battle he can win, no twist to save his cursed life.
The knight turns his eyes to the heavens and his curse follows on a swift sword.
His only hope is that the sacrifice he gives proves to be enough to save his lost love.
Betrayal of Lancelot ~ The Knights of Camelot Book 7
For six hundred years, Lancelot has been lost. Lost in a world so far from Camelot that his blood stills and his soul craves nothing but oblivion. Six hundred years of fighting other men’s wars and bedding other men’s lovers. Six hundred years of death.
But Fate wants her hero back and Lancelot must give up this new world of machines and cities to return to Albion.
The gods are rising and Mordred has a new ally.
An ally more fearsome than any Lancelot has ever encountered.
With Arthur once more by his side, they face what they believe will be their final battle. An appointment with the darkest soul in Albion and his even darker god.
Passion of Lancelot ~ The Knights of Camelot Book 8
When the battle rests, the hearts are laid bare. Lancelot has destroyed the person who loved him and who brought him back from the dead. Tancred lies broken and Arthur will never release his hold on Lancelot.
But wars have no time for broken hearts and the three men are all that stand between Camelot and the advancing armies in the north. Somehow they must find a way to put the pain of broken love to one side before all is lost under the gathering evil.
They must learn to trust each other once more, if only for one last time. Camelot needs its greatest knights now; there will be time enough for hearts to heal when the battle is done.
If they survive.
Revenge of Lancelot ~ The Knights of Camelot Book 9
When a god strips you of everything you love, what is there left to do but fight? Lancelot, Arthur and Tancred face their god of madness and chaos in the centre of the world. Fate holds her breath as the three heroes draw on the last of their strength to bring peace to Albion.
But can a warrior ever be still? Is there a place where heroes can sleep? Or is there only death for those who made death their lives?
Lancelot knows he is facing his final battle, but it is not the battle of the sword he fears, it is the battle of the heart.
If he is victorious, he will secure peace for Albion for eternity. Yet still his heart aches.
The fiercest knight that Camelot has ever known is fearful of the fragile soul his battered body conceals.
There may be only one answer and the thought scares him more than any enemy he has ever faced.
Lancelot- The Lost Years: The Spear ~ The Knights of Camelot Book 10
“The voices of the past are often too strong to resist. I have been away from Camelot and Albion for five long centuries. Occasionally though, a soul brushes against mine and I feel it… I feel love in all its forms regardless of the cost. No one can replace Arthur or Tancred, but there are souls in this long lonely life that make it bearable, even happy, and I live only for those candle flashes of hope.”
Lancelot is cursed to walk the world alone. His is the immortal Knight of Camelot, cast adrift after angering the god Balar. Time drifts endlessly for him until he finds a reason to live.
Lady Elizabeth Rothschild is a noble of the Great British Empire and she is going to prove that a noble woman can control just as much as a noble man. Her tool for this mission is a man called Lance Ash, a drunkard, a whoremonger, a wastrel, but someone very good at his job. He is her treasure hunter, and she wants him to find the Holy Spear which pierced the flank of the true God.
Lance Ash knows exactly how dangerous such a quest can be for all involved, but when he meets the Lady Rothschild’s half brother, Lance Ash is lost and Lancelot du Lac is reborn.
A Knights of Camelot story which takes place between Lancelot’s Curse and Betrayal of Lancelot.
Sarah Luddington is the author of historical gay romance and contemporary gay romance. She is a gay rights activist, holds three martial arts black belts, a degree in Medieval History and far too many dogs. She lives on a mountain in Spain and in her spare time writes and reads LGBT fiction.
Come and visit her website at http://www.romanticadventures.net or Facebook for more information. She always welcomes contact with her readers.
Hi Sarah, and thank you for being here today!
What inspired you to write this book?
I found Lancelot as a character in a book that will never be published, because I can’t write it well enough, and knew he needed a story of his own. So began my research into Arthurian mythology. What a rabbit hole that turned out to be!
When I studied the original texts I began to see a pattern. Arthur forgives Lancelot, but never Guinevere and her punishment is far worse than Lancelot’s for their affair. Why would a king forgive a knight for bedding his queen? Maybe the king loves the knight far more than the queen and maybe the knight bedded the queen to somehow reach out to the king…? That was the question I asked myself when I began Lancelot and the King, the first in the Knights of Camelot series. It took a lot of words to figure out the answer.
What can we expect from you in the future?
More stories where I turn icons of history and contemporary literature into heroes for the LGBTQ+ community. We deserve heroes and if I have to write them, then I will! These iconic characters, ones that have shaped our understanding of what it means to be heroic and honourable, should also be gay or trans or queer. Why can’t King Arthur or Robin Hood be gay? Does it make them weak? Or less able? Of course not, so that’s why I write these stories.
Do you have any “side stories” about the characters?
Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in Lancelot and the King?
The Knights of Camelot. You know the iconic characters I write about. What I’ve tried to do is inject them with the frailties of a real person, while maintaining their essential heroic motifs and the deep magic in the original stories that acted as metaphors for the medieval world view.
Lancelot’s mind breaks under the pressures Arthur, his king, places on him. The dead haunt him. His love for Arthur destroys him and he tries to walk away but fails, so has to find the strength to return and make Arthur really ‘see’ who he is and what he needs. Meanwhile he has to save Camelot from powerful enemies of the supernatural kind and battle gods to prevent England and Albion from being destroyed.
King Arthur was, in many ways, more difficult because I had to learn about him from Lancelot’s point of view. He’s strong, born to be a leader, but doesn’t want the mantel thrust upon him by his birth. It makes him petulant and selfish, especially over the object of his affection. If Arthur can’t have Lancelot, then no one can! As he grows older and sees the damage his selfishness causes to others, Arthur changes, probably the most out of all the characters. He learns that love comes with heavy responsibilities and he shouldn’t always expect to win just because he is a king. He learns about self-sacrifice and in that finds the true meaning of honour. He’s a complex character in the original myths and that doesn’t change in my stories.
Tell us about your main characters – what makes them tick?
I’ll talk about Lancelot but I could go on forever about the rest of them. His service to his king and country dominate every waking thought for Lancelot. Every decision he makes, every move, he is a soldier first and a man second. His warrior code is scored on his bones but his mind and heart are still fragile and his soul cries out for peace, for hearth and home. For a family. He can and does kill without conscience but he always tries to kill the right person and save the weak or vulnerable.
If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
Easy one – Aidan Turner of Poldark fame. When I saw him in the BBC version of Begin Human he became my Lancelot.
What is your favorite part of this book and why?
In every book my favourite bits are killing the bad guys. Damn, I love it when Lancelot pushes his sword into some bastard and they die knowing he’s taken their life. And the slightly less psychotic answer… When he shares his heart with Arthur or Tancred. When they have those soft moments among the war and mayhem that makes them men, not machines of death. I love exploring the tenderness such a man is able to share with someone he trusts.
If you could spend time with a character from your book whom would it be? And what would you do during that day?
I spent every day of ten years with Lancelot and miss him all the time but his story is done. If I could walk into a room with him I’d coax him outside, ask him to teach me more about fighting and ride off into the sunset to find adventure at his side as his equal.
Do your characters seem to hijack the story or do you feel like you have the reins of the story? Convince us why you feel your book is a must read.
This one made me laugh… I wish I had some measure of control over them. I come up with the general outline of the book, but they write it. They often surprise me and when someone dies, it’s difficult writing through the tears.
Why should you read these stories? They are full of the ancient mysteries of a time lost in myth and magic. They have romance and adventure at their core and characters are so complex they fill your mind with passionate – What Ifs? These are stories to be told by firelight or while watching the stars turn overhead on a summer’s evening. They speak to the heart of love and how it can change entire worlds if one person is strong enough to make a stand.
When I first starting writing these stories gay marriage didn’t exist, that’s how much each voice can change a world.
Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
I can’t answer this one easily though I wish I could. I love talking to writers. Euripides and Aeschylus would be first because their Greek tragedies filled my imagination with wonder as a child and when I studied them at collage. Makes me sound really posh but damn these guys could tell a story!
Jane Austen because she fascinates me. The depth of her understanding of society and a person’s mind is deep. Also, how she survived her own, very controlled, life for so long.
Men like Chris Ryan and Andy McNab – who to go from serving in the SAS to writing about it and living in a domestic world. It must be the most difficult transition we ask of our service men and women who become elite warriors.
Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram * Amazon * Goodreads
- Kindle Fire
Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!