Greetings readers and exceedingly fine people!
I hope you are doing well and surviving okay. I am fascinated by all the different phases of this pandemic, and it seems right now we’ve moved into “I’m ready for the crisis to be over–so it IS over! (even though it’s still going strong).” Quite a strange time. But I hope that you are well and taking care of yourself and the ones you love–and also the ones you don’t love, and strangers, too.
I am very happy that the reviews coming in for Book 4: The Flower of Chivalry are so overwhelmingly positive. I was hoping they would be, since the tone is so light and happy (until it turns dark and terrifying) and there are some good surprises, so I’m really thrilled that it is being well-received so far.
For each book this far I have written a “Legend to Novel” piece that compares what’s in the actual Arthurian legend to what’s in the novel, calling out what is new or enhanced, but I didn’t think I would do that for this one, since this book is 95% original. The only thing that is in the legend is that Arthur pulls the sword at the end, and the way in which he does it. But then it occurred that even so, there are characters from the original legend that appear, and also themes that will blossom in future novels that are being set up here, so I have written Legend to Novel: The Flower of Chivalry.
This novel also has another female character (after Merlin’s mother) who doesn’t receive so much as a name in the original that has been fleshed out into a maor character here, and that is Arthur’s adoptive mother. I call her Nerida.
Can you believe that a character who raises Arthur as her own child is barely even mentioned in the story of his life? Of course the foster father, Sir Ector, is a major character and receives much coverage in the legend, but his mother is a giant void.
It goes to show how women in the legend are treated as just largely irrelevant. I am not making a giant feminist statement by giving the women of the story equal weight and complexity to the men, I am just evening out the telling and trying to be realistic. Nevertheless, it’s great that readers are responding and I am proud when people say that this filling out of the female characters is one of the distinctive features of the series. People look at me funny when I say that the real Medieval Arthurian legend is largely about gender relations, but when you fill out the women’s side of the story it becomes more prominent.
All right–time to me to sign in to my real job–the one that pays the bills! Again, I wish you peace and patience through this crisis, and if you’re up for a rollicking good time, go read Legend to Novel: The Flower of Chivalry.