Crashing into 2020 was a brutal awakening after a lazy holiday period with my brain pretty much switched off. This is the first time I’ve got a book out in the New Year so I had to propel myself into the publicity period from a standing start. There are easier ways.
As most people know, I’ve been writing historical novels for the past few years – history being one of my particular and peculiar interests – and I chose to publish them under the pseudonym of James Wilde to avoid any confusion for readers who a) prefer my fantasy work or b) don’t like history.
On January 9, The Bear King hits bookshelves, real or digital. This is the final volume in the Dark Age trilogy which imagines how the legend of King Arthur could have arisen out of history.
You can tell that from the strapline above: Before King Arthur. Before Camelot. Before Excalibur. Don’t say I don’t make it easy for you.
Bridging the gap between ‘Game of Thrones’ and Bernard Cornwell comes the third and final chapter in James Wilde’s epic adventure of betrayal, battle and bloodshed . . .
AD 375 – The Dark Age is drawing near . . .
As Rome’s legions abandon their forts, chaos grows on the fringes of Britannia. In the far west, the shattered forces of the House of Pendragon huddle together in order to protect the royal heir – their one beacon of hope.
For Lucanus, their great war leader, is missing, presumed dead. And the people are abandoning them. For in this time of crisis, a challenger has arisen, a False King with an army swollen by a horde of bloody-thirsty barbarians desperate for vengeance.
One slim hope remains for Lucanus’ band of warrior-allies, the Grim Wolves. Guided by the druid, Myrrdin, they go in search of a great treasure – a vessel that is supposedly a gift from the gods. With such an artefact in their possession, the people would surely return and rally to their cause? Success will mean a war unlike any other, a battle between two kings for a legacy that will echo down the centuries. And should they fail? Well, then all is lost.
In The Bear King, James Wilde’s rousing reimagining of how the myth of King Arthur, Excalibur and Camelot rose out of the fragile pages of history reaches its shattering conclusion . . .
…but you have to be quick. Pendragon is available now as Kindle Monthly Deal, for just 99p. It’s a great chance to sample this series from my pseudonym James Wilde, which Amazon describes as ‘bridging the gap between Game of Thrones and Bernard Cornwell.” You can find it here.
Here is the beginning of a legend. Long before Camelot rose, a hundred years before the myth of King Arthur was half-formed, at the start of the Red Century, the world was slipping into a Dark Age…
It is AD 367. In a frozen forest beyond Hadrian’s Wall, six scouts of the Roman army are found murdered. For Lucanus, known as the Wolf and leader of elite unit called the Arcani, this chilling ritual killing is a sign of a greater threat.
But to the Wolf the far north is a foreign land, a place where daemons and witches and the old gods live on. Only when the child of a friend is snatched will he venture alone into this treacherous world – a territory ruled over by a barbarian horde – in order to bring the boy back home. What he finds there beyond the wall will echo down the years.
A secret game with hidden factions is unfolding in the shadows: cabals from the edge of Empire to the eternal city of Rome itself, from the great pagan monument of Stonehenge to the warrior kingdoms of Gaul will go to any length to find and possess what is believed to be a source of great power, signified by the mark of the Dragon.
A soldier and a thief, a cut-throat, courtesan and a druid, even the Emperor Valentinian himself – each of these has a part to play in the beginnings of this legend…the rise of the House of Pendragon.
Dark Age is out and on the shelves of your local bookstore. I’m caught in that bizarre publishing time-trap of existing one year ahead of everybody else – I’m currently working my way towards the end of the The Bear King, the third and final volume in the Dark Age trilogy.
If you’ve enjoyed the adventures of Lucanus, this examination of the historical origins of the King Arthur myth, of Camelot and Excalibur and all the rest, and if you’re keen to see where it all goes (and likely not where you expect), this one is for you.
“Like a story, the important thing about life is how it is played out. It does not matter where you stop. Stop wherever you want to, but just attach a good ending.” ~ Seneca