If all you had left was your heart, would you give it to your enemy?
A generation after Arthur Pendragon ruled, Briton lies fragmented into warring kingdoms. The powerful Saxon King, Cerdic of Wessex, spent the last twenty years hunting down Arthur’s noble knights. Alden du Lac, the once king of Cerniw and son of Lancelot, has nothing. Betrayed by Cerdic, Alden’s kingdom lies in rubble. Annis, daughter of King Cerdic of Wessex, has been secretly in love with Alden for what seems like forever. She will not stand by and see him die. She defies father, king, and country to save the man she loves from her father’s dungeons. Alden and Annis flee Wessex together.
However, I always felt slightly deflated by the ending of Arthur’s story. There is a terrible battle at Camlann where Arthur is mortally wounded. He is whisked away to Avalon and that is the last that we hear of him. Likewise, his knights if they have not already been killed, tend to end their days as hermits. I never really bought into that ending. It was just too final and far too vague.
I started to research the era and was fascinated with what I learnt. In particular I became very interested in a Saxon called Cerdic. In AD 519, Cerdic of Wessex - according to The Anglo-Saxon Chronicles – became the first West-Saxon King of Britain. His journey to being crowned is quite extraordinary. He landed in Hampshire at the end of the fifth Century. He and his son, raged war across the Southern kingdoms of England – conquered most of them, and brought a sort of unity to the south that had not been seen since the Roman era.
But here is where it got interesting for me. Cerdic’s exploits and Arthur’s legendary legacy became entwined. Some say the their armies once met at Badon Hill. I wanted to explore this possibility some more, and this is where my inspiration for The Du Lac Chronicles came from.
The Du Lac Chronicles is set a generation after the fall of King Arthur and I wanted to create a story where the knights did not end up in monasteries and then disappeared into the shadows of history. I wanted to write about what happened after Arthur died. In particular, I wanted to write about the changing ‘Saxon’ world that these knights now found themselves in.
The Du Lac Chronicles follows - through the eyes of Lancelot du Lac’s sons - Cerdic of Wessex’s campaign to become High King. The world the du Lac’s had known was to be changed forever by this one man’s determination to enslave the kingdoms under the Saxon yolk. In my story these men, these knights, do not die easily and they certainly do not become hermits!
Mary Anne Yarde
# # #