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ISBN:0765301180
Author: J. Robert King
ISBN13: 978-0765301185
Title: Lancelot Du Lethe (Mad Merlin)
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ePUB size: 1255 kb
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Language: English
Category: Fantasy
Publisher: Tor Books; 1st edition (December 14, 2001)
Pages: 464

Lancelot Du Lethe (Mad Merlin) by J. Robert King



Lancelot du Lethe is the second book featuring King's unique take on the Arthurian legends. Gone are the various pantheons of gods, as this book is mostly about the land of Britain itself, its ties with the Fey folk, and how Christianity is pushing everything aside. King plays with the legends even as he includes many things that we all know and love about them

Lancelot du Lethe is the second book featuring King's unique take on the Arthurian legends. King plays with the legends even as he includes many things that we all know and love about them. While sticking to the basics of the legend, King adds so much more to the tapestry that it reads like a new tale.

Lancelot Du Lethe book. This retelling of the celot story won’t dethrone Rosalind Miles’ version as my favourite, but I really enjoyed King’s supernatural explanation of events

But in Lancelot du Lethe the knight is only partially of the mortal realm. This ensuing war of loyalties and love threatens the uneasy peace not just mortal realm but of the entire netherworld of the multipantheons of gods as well.

He harbours a secret of his own that draws her to him even more, a secret that even he doesn’t know. They are fated to be lovers, and this adds the main conflict to the story

Tagged as historical, fantasy, arthurian. but in Lancelot Du Lethe the most famous of the Knights of the Round Table is only partially of the mortal realm. This ensuing war of loyalties and love threatens not just the uneasy peace of the mortal realm, but of the entire netherworld of the multi-pantheons of gods as well.

Mad Merlin (Volume 3) J. Robert King Tor/Forge. Mad Merlin told the story from a god's point of view. Lancelot Du Lether told the story from a lover's point of view. Mad Merlin (Volume 2) J. Mad Merlin (Volume 1) J. In the tradition of The Mists of Avalon and Mythago Wood,.

Mad Merlin, Том 1. J. Robert King. In the tradition of The Mists of Avalon and Mythago Wood, J. Robert King weaves an epic tale of Avalon, Excalibur, the Once and Future king, and the magician Merlin as he draws on the ideas and writings of Joseph Campbell to shape and interpret the legendary Arthurian mythos. At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.

In addition to Mad Merlin and Lancelot du Lethe, which he wrote for Tor Books, J. Robert King is the author of Blood Wars, an award-winning Planescape trilogy. He lives in Wisconsin. Robert King is the author of several Magic: The Gathering novels, and has walked paths leading through Forgotten Realms, Dragonlance, and Ravenloft. In addition to Mad Merlin and Lancelot du Lethe, which he wrote for Tor Books, J. Wizards of the Coast novels and short stories by J. Robert King: Artifacts Cycle II. Artifacts Cycle I.

The Arthurian epic that began in Mad Merlin continues in Lancelot du Lethe, the story of the greatest knight, paramour, and traitor the Round Table has ever known. The story of Lancelot is one of striving for perfection only to fall short due to the sins of the flesh. But in Lancelot du Lethe the knight is only partially of the mortal realm. He and Guinevere share a mystical bond of which Arthur cannot be a part, for they are both of the bloodline of the fey, immortally destined to be betrothed. This ensuing war of loyalties and love threatens the uneasy peace not just mortal realm but of the entire netherworld of the multipantheons of gods as well.Drawing from Joseph Campbell, and from sources both historical and literary, this is a new take on the story of Camelot's most famous knight, told as only the author of Mad Merlin can.
Reviews: 7
Tebei
This is a very different look at the story of Lancelot and Guinevere. Of all three books I liked this one the least. It was brilliant and I did enjoy it very much but I just felt that it lacked the fire of the other two. That, I have come to believe, is because Lancelot as a character was reactionary rather than proactive. Life happened around him and he responded to it - at time heroically but he did little that was not in reaction to circumstance. This I suppose is what made him so different from Arthur who sought to mould the world around him and create something different than what had always been. It is however a story rich in detail and fraught with betrayal that isn't betrayal and yet in the end it is what divides them all. I would read the other two first and then this as it rounds both out in many ways and fills in some blanks that the other two left open to speculation.
Lamranilv
This book isn't as good as Mad Merlin, but it's still a great addition to the trilogy. I have yet to finish it, but so far so good.
grand star
good book
Balladolbine
Lancelot du Lethe is the second book featuring King's unique take on the Arthurian legends. Gone are the various pantheons of gods, as this book is mostly about the land of Britain itself, its ties with the Fey folk, and how Christianity is pushing everything aside. King plays with the legends even as he includes many things that we all know and love about them. This is a better book than the first and it doesn't contain any of the problems the first book had. It does, however, have a couple of its own.
As good as Mad Merlin was, this book is just so much richer that it's hard to believe. Anybody familiar with the Arthurian legends knows of the ill-fated love between Guinevere and Lancelot, and how the betrayal of Arthur affects Camelot and everything around it. While sticking to the basics of the legend, King adds so much more to the tapestry that it reads like a new tale. While Mad Merlin added the war between the gods, Lancelot du Lethe adds a great deal of detail to the land of the Fey, and the magical world that lies beneath and between the real world of man. Guinevere is of this land, and while she is married to Arthur in order to bring peace and stability to the land, she is drawn to Lancelot and his otherworldness. He harbours a secret of his own and draws her to him even more, a secret that even he doesn't know about. They are fated to be lovers as well, and this adds the main conflict to the story. The choices that King has the characters make are hard choices, and there are always consequences to them. He doesn't give them an easy way out like some authors do.
Guinevere is much more developed in this book than the last one. It was about Arthur and Merlin, and Guinevere was mainly a means to an end, a character that served a purpose and wasn't a whole lot more. Here, though, she comes into her own. She is a kind and good queen, but she is a woman who is living in a sexless marriage because if she gives in to Arthur, everything will be destroyed. When Lancelot shows up, she is inexplicably drawn to him. Their romance is tragic, even more tragic than in many tellings of the legends. Lancelot is a good man as well, and he knows what he feels will hurt Arthur. He continues to try and deny his feelings but he feels like he must follow his heart. King masterfully tells the story of how they dance around each other and their feelings, and Arthur's feelings as well, until ultimately something has to give. These are all good people, and the reader feels the tragedy even more because of that.
Other characters are not so well drawn, as they interact with these three only peripherally. I sometimes questioned the choices King made in this. Morgan le Fay and her son Mordred don't really come across very well. Morgan has plans for Lancelot but these plans are foiled more out of authorial fiat than by anything Lancelot actually does. She does have a hand in the tragic ending, much like in the legends, but she plays a relatively minor role overall. This is a shame because she's in the book a lot, and always lurking in the background and behind Mordred's plans as well. Mordred also doesn't come across as very interesting, and if King wasn't keeping to the basics of the legend, I would have liked to have seen a more interesting villain. As it is, his character is given more weight by his place in the stories that King is using than by King himself. And Merlin only makes a couple of token appearances. His first appearance is superfluous, however, and his second only provides a story element before he goes back to his wonderful life with his lady love. I think it would have been a better book either without him, or with a meatier part to the story.
Again, King does a wonderful job with the tools he is given and extrapolates very well, giving the story a fresh feel even as we know the basics of what is going to happen. The prose is again wonderful, with rich descriptions and vivid scenes. The interesting thing is how he extends the tales, and King delivers in spades. Sure, there are familiar items: other knights (Galahad, Gawain), the Holy Grail and the Spear of Longinus). However, the rich descriptions of the fairy world, the way King uses the fairies to supplement the intrigue in the real world, and the tragic elements King adds to the romance, all do their jobs nicely. Even when you know what's going to happen, you really don't. That's the perfect way to retell a legend.
There is another minor problem with the book, however. This is the almost anecdotal feel to the book. It almost seems like a set of stories with an overarching theme, almost like a "Stories of King Arthur and the Round Table" with stories that mainly center on Lancelot. While this may give it a feel of the old legends, I found it kind of distracting in a 450 page book that's not really a short story book. This problem is alleviated later on once events start rolling down the hill to their inevitable oblivion. But at first, it is a problem.
I will say that the ending is very fitting, though. King really outdoes his first book there. It's tragic yet it also has a glimmer of hope. It also provides the perfect bookend with the first book. Together, they make a wonderful visit to the land of Arthur, taking you back to the old days of jousts, chivalry, warriors in plate armour, and romance. I had a great time on my trip.
David Roy
Bralore
While I don't consider this two-book series ("Mad Merlin" and Lancelot du Lethe") one of the heavyweights of Arthurian retellings, I did find it pleasant and enjoyable. I'm probably being a tad generous in handing out four stars instead of a more appropriate three, but I'm torn just enough to give Mr. King the benefit of the doubt.
This book both adheres to the stock story of Mallory and varies wildly from it. It follows most of the major events of Mallory, such as the kidnapping of Guinevere, Lancelot's stewardship of the Joyous Garde, the birth of Galahad and his travails with the Holy Grail, and countless others. Its major departure, however, lies in the Otherworld origins of both Guinevere and Lancelot, their joint history as changelings, and the ensuing betrothals at their births. Mr. King uses these events to justify Lancelot and Guinevere's respective betrayals of Arthur and manages to have them all make nice-nice at the end. The ultimate end of the story and the impending end of Lancelot's days were downright poignant.
This is really obscure, but I found myself thinking of the fabulous baseball movie, "Eight Men Out", after I finished this book. The end that Lancelot came to in "Lancelot du Lethe" reminded me of the end that Shoeless Joe Jackson came to in the movie. If you saw the movie, you'll know what I mean. If not, I apologize for the oblique reference.
Anyway, I found this book to be a satisfactory addition to the genre of Arthurian literature and would recommend it to all fans.
Washington
When Merlin first sees the newborn Lancelot he knows that the infant will one day destroy all that King Arthur accomplished at Mount Badon and Camelot. The lad's father King Ban asks Merlin to bless his heir, but the mage wonders if the world would be a better place if he killed Lancelot right then and there. Reluctantly, Merlin blesses the baby stating he will one day be the best knight.

Years later, Lancelot is considered the bravest knight of the Round Table. However, he and Arthur's Queen Guinevere feel a strong attraction to one another, but both try to do the honorable thing by avoiding one another even as their fey blood screams for these soul mates to converge. Arthur knows Lancelot owns the heart of his beloved wife and feels impotent. The wannabe lovers feel hopeless to stop the inevitable betrayal of Arthur that will disrupt the mortal and mystical planes as never seen before.

LANCELOT DU LETHE, the sequel to MAD MERLIN, is a superb retelling of the Camelot triangle. The lead trio is written as doomed heroes caught in a destiny beyond their control, making them seem human yet majestic. The secondary cast provides further insight into the threesome while deepening a powerfully written plot that adheres to the legend while dramatically freshening up the Camelot lore. Fantasy fans will fully enjoy J Robert King's exciting epic tale that keeps him firmly on the genre's throne.

Harriet Klausner