03 April 2014

Excerpt Thursday: LEST CAMELOT FALL by Danny Adams

This week, we're pleased to welcome author Danny Adams with his latest novel,  LEST CAMELOT FALL. Join us again on Sunday for an author interview, with more details about the story behind the story. The author will offer a free DIGITAL copy of Lest Camelot Fall to a lucky blog visitor.  Be sure to leave your email address in the comments of today's post or Sunday's author interview for a chance to win. Winner(s) are contacted privately by email. Here's the blurb.

Millions of people around the world know the legend of King Arthur, but the stories always end with Arthur’s death and never reveal what happened to the surviving Knights of the Round Table—or Camelot itself. Lest Camelot Fall begins with Arthur’s death and tells of the survivors’ struggle to keep Camelot’s flame of freedom burning against the darkness both of Saxon invaders and native British would-be tyrants.

Lucian Aurelianus is a descendant of Roman emperors and British kings alike, as well as being Arthur’s cousin. He receives an urgent summons to Camelot from Merlin only to arrive after the slaughter of the Battle of Camlann, in time to see Arthur’s body taken away to Avalon. Soon afterward Lucian’s brother, Constantine, claims the right to be High King of Britain—and exiles anyone who challenges him, including the surviving Knights. At the same time, the sons of Arthur’s nephew and mortal enemy, Modred, have joined forces with the Saxons, along with soldiers from a reborn Roman Empire with designs on Britain, for a final attack against Camelot.

Lucian decides he must stay to help Merlin and the Knights—and his increasingly despotic brother—if anything of Arthur’s dream is to survive. Ultimately he will do whatever it takes to keep Camelot alive, even when that means challenging the armies of southern Britain, enduring Saxon slavery, and the possibility of taking what is left of Camelot and leaving Britain behind forever.

**An Excerpt from Lest Camelot Fall**

My nightmare had become prophecy. Camelot was very likely facing a unified army. One wielding the Saxon’s overwhelming numbers and Roman tactics they learned from Modred…and maybe others.

The next moment, I was staring up at the ceiling from the floor, my back scraped hard against the stone of Merlin’s wall. Vaguely, I was aware of the slamming closed of Camelot’s gates. Only slightly more distinctly, I heard Merlin’s voice imploring me to get up. Then I was aware we were not alone in the room.

“Forgive me, Master Merlin,” Sir Bedivere said, “but it seems King Constantine left your door open.”

“Odd, considering how many other doors he slammed shut these past weeks,” Merlin said. I tried to gather my senses enough to watch both men and follow the conversation simultaneously.

“He left this door wide open,” Kay chuckled, flanked by the other knights. “Wide enough for all four of us to enter.”

“Then I pray you all enter. What would you have of me?”

“Of both of you,” Bedivere said, and I finally felt shame at being on the floor. With one hand against the wall and Merlin’s under my other arm, I unsteadily rose.

“Where was my sword taken?” I asked hoarsely.

“The armory, Prince Lucian. You may wish to carry it, but you have not been called to war. Not yet.”

I liked the sound of that less than Camelot’s battle horn.

“King Cynric has requested a meeting,” Bedivere continued. “Constantine has granted his request. We meet within the hour at the Round Table. Your brother has requested Sir Bors, Sir Kay, Sir Lavaine, and myself to join them, along with Master Merlin.”

Not me, though. Not surprising.

“You’d better get walking,” I told them.

Bedivere shook his head. “Your brother may not have asked for your presence, but the other knights and I have. Quite frankly, Lucian, we refused to attend if you were not there—unless your absence is your own decision. Or you were too ill to attend. What say you, Prince?”

I didn’t bother hiding my suspicion. “Why are you so interested in my attending? Obviously I’m not wanted.”

“An excellent reason to go,” Kay offered.

“You are a prince of Camelot,” Bedivere said. “It is fair and your right that you should be present at a war council.”

Bors grunted. “And as the King’s protection, we aren’t allowed to speak.”

“We would be honored to have you attend,” Lavaine told me.

“Don’t look at me for more answers, my prince,” Kay, the eldest knight, said with mock wide-eyed innocence. “I don’t want to be there at all.”

I pulled my arm from Merlin’s grip and glanced outside again. Most of the enemy army remained outside; Gerallt and Cynric had entered under a flag of safe passage and with only a handful of men. As I stared at the slowly-closing outer gate, I knew it was time to shove aside whatever I might feel for my brothers.

“When we go to the Round Table, Sir Bedivere,” I told him, “I would appreciate you giving me some lessons along the way.” At his confused stare I explained, “Where to sit would be a good start, unless it truly does not matter. I would also much appreciate a quick explanation of how to behave in the presence of…enemy kings.”

Especially if all the kings surrounding me are my enemy, I did not add.

Learn more about author Danny Adams