Camelot by Giles Kristian – An Audio Book Review



Britain is a land riven by anarchy, slaughter, famine, filth and darkness. Its armies are destroyed, its heroes dead or missing. Arthur and Lancelot fell in the last great battle and Merlin has not been seen these past 10 years. Now the Saxons are gathering again, their warbands stalk the land, their king seeks dominion. As for the lords and kings of Britain, they look only to their own survival and will not unite as they once did under Arthur and his legendary sword Excalibur. 

But in an isolated monastery in the marshes of Avalon, a novice of the order is preparing to take his vows when the life he has known is suddenly turned upside down in a welter of blood. Two strangers – the wild-spirited, Saxon-killing Iselle and the ageing warrior Gawain – will pluck the young man from the wreckage of his simple existence. Together, they will seek the last druid and the cauldron of a god. And the young man must come to terms with his legacy and fate as the son of the most celebrated yet most infamous of Arthur’s warriors: Lancelot. 

For this is the story of Galahad, Lancelot’s son – the reluctant warrior who dared to keep the dream of Camelot alive….


Author: Giles Kristian

Narrator: Phillip Stevens

Series: Arthurian Tales #2

Publisher: Penguin Audio

Genre: Historical Fiction/Arthurian Legend

Running Time: 20 hrs 10 mins

My Rating of ‘Camelot’: 4 out of 5

Purchase: Audible UKAudible USAmazon UKAmazon US



One thing that Galahad is frequently told and thinks within his own head is that ‘you are not your father’. Much in the same way that, ‘Camelot’ is in no way the first book ‘Lancelot’. I felt bad for thinking that, almost like it was an insult of sorts to the author and the hard work he has put in for such a wonderful book (and it is wonderful). But then you hit the author’s note at the back and he says how this is not a true sequel to Lancelot and is more of a companion of sorts. I breathed a sigh of relief that I would have loved to have breathed much sooner.

In Lancelot we had a lot of build up to the main story. It started with Lancelot as a child and worked all the way up to him as an adult and one of the most famous warriors, and infamous lovers, that Britain has ever known. In Camelot, we don’t have much of the build up with Galahad. He starts out training to be a monk and that’s pretty much all the growing up with him we do. I’d have liked more just so I could get a deeper connection with him that I felt I had, but I don’t think it was either possible due to the time and events going on, nor did it detract too much from my enjoyment of the book. After all, that experience in ‘Lancelot’ gave me one of my favourite connections to a character (Lancelot’s sparhawk) and one of my all-time most hated antagonists (Melwas).

In Camelot, Giles Kristian is getting the band back together (with a new front man this time). Lancelot ended with our hero leaving his son on a windy hilltop to go off and fight the saxons. This book features that self same boy and his destiny to carry on the fight in reuniting Britain against the saxon hoard.

Characters that were more of a main focus are either entirely absent (for reasons in the prior book) or take a much lesser role in this one. It feels almost like the old guard standing to one side and allowing the new to inherit the earth.

As with Lancelot, events in this book deviate from pretty much any Arthurian retelling you have heard or seen before. And thank god for that. Who wants to sit through two hefty tomes of a rehashed story when, what we have been given instead is a fresh, new and far more unknown version of events. With Camelot, and the story that preceded it, Kristian has created a brilliant story and used the characters in such wonderful and interesting ways. There are, as you will notice (and as you will read in the author’s note if you don’t notice) nods of the head to the traditional events from retellings of old, just with a new twist.

If I had one complaint to go along with the ‘I’d have liked the same in-depth childhood build up with Galahad that we had with his father’, it would be how fast Galahad turns into a warrior. He spends so very long living the life of an aspiring monk and yet, in so short a time, he is fighting and killing men who have been fighting and killing for the best part of their entire lives.  I know he was the son of the greatest warrior to walk the land, but fighting isn’t a genetic trait. In all fairness, he isn’t the greatest warrior himself. Much of his skill is talked up by Merlin and the other knights in order to make him more feared by the saxons. So it could have just been my needling too hard for criticism.

One high point, after such a minor lowpoint, is that Kristian has a real knack for building up to a fight and giving you that ‘big fight feel’. If ever he gets tired of writing great books, he could easily become a booker for wrestling, or a boxing promoter.

I hope there is more to come in this series as I am very much interested in what happens next with Galahad’s band of warriors.

7 thoughts on “Camelot by Giles Kristian – An Audio Book Review

  1. “ events in this book deviate from pretty much any Arthurian retelling you have heard or seen before” Well…that’s good because honestly I have seen/read so many versions of this story now that it is becoming a little tiresome. This one sounds good though, and as always your review was a pleasure to read😊

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Have you read Once & Future comic? It’s an interesting and very enjoyable retelling of Arthurian myths 😀 Wakizashi has a review if you’re keen.
    I’m hesitant to pick this up. I was never much of a fan of Galahad, preferred Percival, tbh. Glad it’s not a sequel to Lancelot, though! Loved Lancelot, but wouldn’t like a sequel – it ended perfectly as it was 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s a loose sequel, just not the sort of sequel that most books tend to be. Lancelot works well without needing to pick anything else up.

      In the author’s note he said Lancelot was meant as a stand alone. It wasn’t until his agent, fans etc … told him he ‘couldn’t leave that poor, fatherless boy alone on that windy hilltop’ that he decided to write more 🙈

      Liked by 1 person

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