Happy New Year. My holiday was cut a little short as I’ve been gearing up for the publication of The Bear King on January 9.
This is the final volume in the Dark Age trilogy which imagines how the legend of King Arthur could have arisen out of history. And this ending is summed up neatly on the cover above as: A nation falls but a king will rise…
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 . . .
If you’re thinking about sampling my new Dark Age series, now’s the time. The first book in the trilogy, Pendragon, will be available at just 99p as a Kindle Monthly Deal for a very short period. 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.
Bridging the gap between ‘Game of Thrones’ and Bernard Cornwell comes the second chapter in James Wilde’s epic adventure of betrayal, battle and bloodshed . . .
It is AD 367, and Roman Britain has fallen to the vast barbarian horde which has invaded from the north. Towns burn, the land is ravaged and the few survivors flee. The army of Rome – once the most effective fighting force in the world – has been broken, its spirit lost and its remaining troops shattered.
Yet for all the darkness, there is hope. And it rests with one man. His name is Lucanus who they call the Wolf. He is a warrior, and he wears the ancient crown of the great war leader, Pendragon, and he wields a sword bestowed upon him by the druids. With a small band of trusted followers, Lucanus ventures south to Londinium where he hopes to bring together an army and make a defiant stand against the invader.
But within the walls of that great city there are others waiting on his arrival – hidden enemies who want more than anything to possess the great secret that has been entrusted to his care. To seize it would give them power beyond imagining. To protect it will require bravery and sacrifice beyond measure. And to lose it would mean the end of everything worth fighting for.
Before Camelot. Before Excalibur. Before all you know of King Arthur. Here is the beginning of that legend . . .
Pendragon received a lot of attention, including an award nomination. Dark Age takes the story to a new level, showing how the Arthurian myths we know may have arisen from history.
The new novel (Dark Age, out in October) is now with the editor, ready for the next phase. In the meantime, I wanted to flag up that its predecessor, Pendragon, has been nominated for a major award: the annual Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize for Best Published Novel. The five other shortlisted titles look fantastic and I’ll certainly be dipping into them before the award is announced in September. With all the great books published last year, it really is an honour that Pendragon made it into such prestigious company. More details here.
Pendragon has been receiving some great reviews. That’s always hugely gratifying when you’ve laboured over a novel for a year, but it’s particularly nice when people ‘get’ what you’re trying to do. Here’s a couple: