The Swithen Book 5: Wonderly Wroth ready for pre-order!

Greetings folks! I hope you are well and my, I must say you look smashing today.

I am delighted to announce that the fifth book of my Arthurian series, The Swithen, is finally approaching being finished, and is now available for pre-order! I’m delighted because this one took a bit longer for me, almost two years, and was definitely a challenge to keep focused on during the pandemic. 

If you don’t know, The Swithen is my interpretation of the REAL King Arthur saga (i.e. not the movie version) and the promise of my series is that I cannot change anything from the medieval Arthurian legend as written 1136-1485. I plan twenty-five novels to tell the full Arthurian saga in all the scope and majesty it deserves, and with this novel, we’re one-fifth of the way there! I’m also happy about that… five novels in!

Now, there’s not much in the Middle English sources about this period of Arthur’s life, so, like Book 4, this one is 95% original (but it has to slot seamlessly into the real legend). It was inspired by one paragraph in Malory’s Le Morte D’Arthur that says while Arthur was being made to pull the sword again and again—while the rulers of the country made sure there wasn’t anyone older—he was put into training with the knights that served his real father, King Uther Pendragon. The thought of Arthur hanging out with and getting to know the knight characters I love from previous books was just too much to pass up, so I decided that we had to have a novel that fills in this time.

Anyone who’s read my books knows that I love the character of Ulfius, who was Uther’s main knight and best friend. Ulfius had a huge part in Book 3, and we get a lot more Ulfius fun here. Arthur is also being trained by the foremost knight of his biological mother Igraine, that knight being Bretel.

The main thrust of the story is that on the knight Arthur was conceived through magic and trickery (all depicted in Book 3: The Void Place), while Merlin made Uther look like Igraine’s husband, he also made Ulfius look like Bretel. His doing so lost Igraine’s trust in Bretel forever… so when Bretel finds out that it was his good friend Ulfius that was responsible for all this, he becomes murderously furious—or Wonderly Wroth,which is the reason behind the title.

There’s also a big separate thread in which Viviane, the Lady of the Lake, lets Merlin know that he’s not the only supernatural power in the realm. We have some fun deviousness with Morgan Le Fay plotting Arthur’s destruction. And King Lot is not about to let a teenage boy become king—not without a good war (that’ll be Book 6). A number of other familiar Arthurian characters begin to weave their stories, which will play out over the next twenty novels.

Which is also part of the excitement of this book for me… the first three books laid down the stories leading up to Arthur’s birth (events which loom large over his story… the past is very much present in this series). But now Arthur is with us, and the main thrust of the story is underway. From Book 4 onward, we begin constructing a vast interconnected society of characters and their densely-woven storylines, all of which will play out over the course of a massive fantasy saga unlike any other—and guess what? No making it up as we go along. The ending is planned now, all twenty-five books are planned out now. And BTW, this story has endured for almost a thousand years. But it has never been told in such detail and clarity, making the themes and interconnections clear for modern readers.

So if you like, get on over and pre-order The Swithen Book Five: Wonderly Wroth. It’ll be only $0.99 until it is released, at which point it will increase in price. 

Thanks for reading! Now to get started on Book 6…  

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