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on Sep. 30, 2012 :
I thought this was a very interesting twist on an old story. It's true there are modern terms in the story that don't sit well, but it is still a very engaging read. Recommended. The characterization is superlative.
(review of free book)
on March 09, 2012 :
Normally I am a fantasy purist. When I read high fantasy--especially high fantasy that likens itself to George R.R. Martin--there are certain things I expect. One of those is language. Fantasy characters are not supposed to sound like the guys down the street. High fantasy characters have a certain cadence, way of speaking that lets me know as a reader I've been transported into another place and time. The narration is more literary (sometimes). Having said that, Lancelot and the Wolf should have been rated four stars instead of five for often failing to maintain that sense of high-fantasy language that I'm used to. So why did I rate it so high?
Because author Sarah Luddington has done something amazing with a tale that's as old as the hills and with a character who tends to receive short shrift in Authurian legends--that of the noble Lancelot du Lac. What I mean by short shrift is that he's often depicted as the epitome of chivalry, an amazing warrior and good friend of King Arthur. We know his story--that he falls in love with the beautiful Guinevere and thus their forbidden relationship heralds the fall of Camelot. But Luddington sweeps all that aside to give the reader a Lancelot who's far from the perfect knight. This Lancelot drinks, gambles and sleeps with practically anything that moves. This is a much more earthy and raw Lancelot and I enjoyed reading every moment of his raweness and his passion. He's not a noble knight, but a well-honed killer. And because of the earthiness of the character, the language actually fits.
In this retelling, Lancelot has been flogged to within an inch of his life and exiled from Camelot for having had carnal relations with the Queen. He's also a man in love with his best friend Arthur. When we meet him, he's on his way to a dark tavern in Le Havre, having been stripped of everything he once held dear. He's bitter and cares very little for his life. Unfortunately, that code of chivalry ingrained into him leads him to rescue a young boy from the clutches of some would-be rapists and thus sets the stage for a quest involving the Fae and the fate of King Arthur himself.
Luddington does an excellent job of fleshing out the main players in the drama--from a depressed and perhaps enchanted Arthur, to a scheming and devious Guinevere to the mystical Merlin. The characters are less archetypes and feel more like real and often flawed human beings. It's not a traditional M/M romance either--there's no Gay For You trope happening here. Lancelot and Arthur really do love each other but fate, duty (and perhaps something else) has conspired to keep them apart.
This is one of those novels that was just too damn short and even though there's a sequel--the fae cannot be vanquished quite so easily--one simply cannot wait long enough for the author to finish it. So Ms. Luddington, you've got an eager fan here. Hurry it up, LOL! Even with some of the more glaring editoral errors, Lancelot and the Wolf is a wonderfully engaging and fascinating read.
(reviewed long after purchase)
on Jan. 20, 2012 :
The angsty love between Lancelot and his king... how can I not get into this? A dark, dirty, very sympathetic Lancelot (always my fave Arthurian) and King Arthur, when at last we meet him, in a bad way, a tarnished legend. The ups and downs of forbidden love. And there's a sequel. Great stuff.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)
on Oct. 22, 2011 :
It took a few chapters for me to get into this book, but after roughly the twelfth chapter, I was hooked! The story changed and became more exciting once Lancelot and Arthur were reunited, especially toward the end when both of them were finally honest about their feelings.
This book is the first of a series, the second "Lancelot and the Sword" was just released; I can honestly say the series gets better and better. I would recommend this series to anyone with an open mind and heart.
Also, if you like the Arthurian age, I HIGHLY recommend "The Silurian" series by LA Wilson. It is more of a gritty and brutally realistic spin on the Arthurian tale, but very much in the same romantic direction as this series.
(reviewed long after purchase)