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Fate of Camelot [MultiFormat]
eBook by Cynthia Breeding

eBook Category: Historical Fiction/Romance
eBook Description: LOVE. ILLUSION. When a god desires a mortal woman. Accompanied by Gwenhwyfar, King Arthur is healed on the holy isle of Avalon. But Avalon is surrounded by the ever-shifting Land of Faerie. When Myrddin attempts to pass them through, Cernunnos, god of the Wild Hunt, captures Gwenhwyfar and keeps her in Avalon, intending to make her his mistress. Can a half-fey prince keep her from her Fate? Enraged that Gwenhwyfar has been abducted, Lancelot swears he will bring her back to Camelot. A vision of the Holy Grail allows him to find the portal to the Land of Faerie, but Morgan le Fey has other designs for him. Will Lancelot's love for Gwenhwyfar be strong enough to endure in a world where Time is distorted and illusion reigns?

eBook Publisher: Highland Press/Excaliber, Published: 2008, 2008
Fictionwise Release Date: September 2009


2 Reader Ratings:
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"Cynthia Breeding's FATE OF CAMELOT focuses on the later days of Camelot: the Grail Quest and King Arthur's healing at Avalon. Cynthia Breeding reshapes the medieval Arthurian texts by returning to the medieval texts themselves, history and modern scholarship. Using these as a springboard for her imaginative vision of the last days, Cynthia Breeding presents a vision of the more mysterious aspects of the Arthurian legends as she incorporates both the pagan and Christian elements. If a reader wants a romanticized and simplified Hollywood version of Camelot, readers should turn elsewhere than the tales of Cynthia Breeding. On the other hand, FATE OF CAMELOT will appeal to Arthurian junkies, especially those versed in the medieval Arthurian literary traditions. FATE OF CAMELOT is closer to the term roman arthurien than the modern romance tradition. Cynthia Breeding incorporates the magical paranormal into FATE OF CAMELOT and yet her details are so grounded in the medieval tradition, both of Arthurian romance as well as the chronicle tradition (medieval historical writings), as seen in Geoffrey of Monmouth etc, giving her story both a historical and magical atmosphere. In many Arthurian tales, Guinevere is a rather flat character. Cynthia Breeding gives her a depth of character as the reader sees both her love for Lancelot and her devotion to the realm as its queen. The reader feels the pull she experiences between both men. In addition, the reader feels more of the deep friendship between Arthur and Lancelot seen in Malory's Arthurian tales. In this area, Cynthia Breeding is more faithful to the medieval Arthurian tradition than a glamorized Hollywood version. She does not gloss over the difficulties of the Gwenhwyfar's role as queen and as woman but rather develops them to give the reader a vision of a woman who lives her role as queen and lover with all that she is. In her narrative style, Cynthia Breeding pays homage to the medieval texts with a style characterized by dialogue and seemingly episodic (but not unrelated) as stories unfold together and yet different elements come together chronologically and thematically. In many ways, I felt like I was reading a medieval story itself and in style, I find it close to Malory himself... but a Malory who is not a man but a woman, with a woman's insights (oh how feminist medieval scholars all craved to hear a woman telling this story!). FATE OF CAMELOT combines both the Christian and pagan elements in proper proportion to create a tale that does not avoid the French cleric author's vilification of women but rather speaks back to it by incorporating it within the whole context. Some modern readers might be thrown by her narrative structure just because it is so authentic to the period but for me, it was part and parcel of the brilliance of this book."--Merri,Merrimon Reviews

"This is a well-researched, unique take on the Arthurian legend. Camelot enthusiasts will enjoy the strong Lancelot storyline, which focuses on Lancelot and Gwenhwyfar's romance and the search for the Holy Grail."--Keitha Hart, Romantic Times

"Fate of Camelot offers a mythical, medieval treat for King Arthur fans. Cynthia Breeding's knowledge of the subject, coupled with a vivid imagination truly make this story a delight to read. The Quest occurs while Camelot tries to heal. Family bonds are tried, especially the bond between Lancelot and his son Galahad. Cynthia Breeding offers insight to the relationship, shedding light upon medieval traditions. Mixing romance with history, the author has created a factual account that will satisfy the romance reader's appetite as well."--Laurel Letherby, The Mystic Castle


Prologue

The gloaming had settled early on the eve of All Hallows Day. The nave of the church at Glastonbury Abbey was dark and somber as the newly appointed bishop, Dubricius, emerged from the gloom of the chancel. He was about to step out the side door when the music stopped him. From where it was coming he didn't know, but it was more hauntingly beautiful than any choir he'd ever heard. The melody rose softly, a light sound of whispering and sighing on the wind. Even as he strained to hear, he caught the scent of apple blossoms.

A softly wavering light began to glow from the vestibule. As he watched, the flame grew stronger and he realized someone--no, two boys--were holding large candlesticks. A man walked in front of them carrying a spear, and an auburn-haired girl bearing a platter followed him. Weapons weren't allowed in the church and the young bishop started to call out and then stopped, his mouth dropping in amazement.

The golden-haired maiden at the end of the procession bore a chalice. He had a glimpse of silver and gold and then the cup began to glimmer with an unearthly glow until all was brilliant around it. The maiden became a silhouette as the beacon blazed with brightness illuminating the whole church. The bishop whimpered and covered his face, for the luminescence blinded him.

Then suddenly, the radiance was gone. When he lowered his hands, the nave was deserted; only one cool silver moonbeam slanted its way across the floor.

* * * *

The story is old; I am older still. It is I who carries the chalice in the eternal procession toward Enlightenment. My name is Astrala, and I am the maiden sworn to protect what the Christians call the Holy Grail.

I find it strange that the Christians so readily accept the gifts of the Goddess, yet shun Her ways. On Samhain, that night just after Dubricius had been made a bishop, we scared him when all we meant was to make peace. But then, when the Romans took over the Church, much of the Christos' intent was stripped away. They made even the Procession false.

They mistook the spear of Lugh, the Shining One, for the spear of the Roman, Longinus, who pierced the Christos' side. The platter didn't catch blood from the spear as they say; it wasn't a platter at all, but the flat stone of destiny called the Lia Fail. That stone would set the Wheel of Fate spinning for Camelot. The blessings of Belanos gave the candles that great fiery blaze; the fire of which would forge the sword of Nuada, known to our Lady, Nimue, as Caladvwlch and to Arthur as Excalibur.

As for the Grail, the Dagda brought it to us after he'd successfully escaped from Arawen, god of the Otherworld. It is truly a cup of abundance; those who are worthy will realize their hearts' desires.

And that is where this tale begins. The Goddess, the Great Mother, lent the cup to the carpenter's son when he completed his druidic training on the Isle of the Mighty. Ah ... but that is another story.

Joseph of Arimathea brought the cup back to the Isle after the Christos was so brutally murdered. As a foil, he let it be rumored that the Magdalen took it with her when she fled to Gaul. Joseph meant to give the chalice back to the Ladies of Avalon, but his son, Josephe, didn't trust the priestesses. Even then, so shortly after Jesu's death, His message was being twisted.

Josephe gave the Grail to his father's friend, Nascien, who took the cup north. For certes, the Great Mother could have stopped him, but his was a goodly soul so she thought to leave the chalice in the world a while longer.

Destiny is an interesting thing. As the generations passed and the centuries drifted by, Joseph's daughter's descendants eventually begat Pelles of Carbonek, father of a scheming young woman named Elaine. Tragically, Pelles misused the Grail and I removed it from the world. Meanwhile, Joseph's son's lineage bore King Lancelot I, grandfather to the man who would marry Elaine, albeit not by his choice, and beget Galahad.

Galahad--bless the child and pity him--struggled through childhood. Separated from his father as a baby, his mother filled his head with vicious stories of Lancelot's desertion and devotion to Queen Gwenhwyfar. Galahad's was an old soul and the vision of the Grail came to him early, filling him with peace and contentment while his mother raved. When Galahad was eight, he finally met his father and was terrified of the tall warrior who was Arthur's right-hand man. Only the feeling of peace from his visions sustained him through the rigorous soldiers' training he never wanted, but had to endure.

Galahad's cousin, also from the line of Nascien, dreamed of the Grail as well. Peredur was raised in as much innocence as Galahad was in turmoil. Our own Woman of the Forest taught him to be true to his nature. If he, as he so often does, blunders along blithely expecting goodness ... were we wrong? Many believe him to be foolish and naïve, but he wanted everyone to experience the good will the Grail vision brings. Our Lady didn't argue the point. It was then that I returned the Grail to mankind.

There are quests of a different sort than Galahad and Peredur set out on. Quests of love, where one would risk his life to be with his soul's mate. One man would have to venture into the land of Faerie, where even the priestesses of Avalon do not go, and withstand the tempting illusions of Morgan le Fey, Queen of Faerie. That man would have to challenge Cernunnos, the demi-god of the Wild Hunt, and that man would break a life-long friendship. But ... love drives a man.

And so, this quest begins with Lancelot, pagan prince of the Lady of the Black Lake of Brocéliande.


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