She thinks nothing of writing 150,000 of a novel before getting a commission and is one of the most disciplined and determined writers I know. She also wrote I am the Great Horse, one of my all time favourite YA novels, so when I heard Katherine was venturing into Arthurian territory, I knew readers were in for a treat.
Sir Thomas Malory's Morte d'Arthur is probably my desert island book; I have several editions and have read it many times, since discovering it at university. My Medieval tutor once set me an essay title: 'Malory, the least intelligent author ever to become an English classic.' That was Cambridge in the 60s for you - utter codswallop. (I don't think I used that phrase in my essay).
Sword of Light is out this week and I was naturally very happy to join in Katherine's (and Rhianna's) blog tour. But I didn't expect she'd plunge back into one of my books to make her points.
Read and enjoy!
Katherine Roberts won the Branford Boase Award for her first children’s novel “Song Quest” (reissued this month by Catnip Books). She is the author of the Seven Fabulous Wonders series (now available as ebooks for Kindle), and the Alexander the Great novel “I am the Great Horse”.
With apologies to Malory… Sword of Light by Katherine Roberts
When the lovely Book Maven heard I was writing a series about King Arthur’s daughter, she kindly sent me one of her own Arthurian books – the beautifully illustrated “Women of Camelot”, which faithfully retells the stories of Arthur’s women from Sir Thomas Malory’s “Morte D’Arthur”.
Since my heroine Rhianna Pendragon is not mentioned in these stories, I thought it might be fun to send her through the mists on her enchanted horse to Malory’s Camelot, and see what the ladies of legend make of her.
Oh, a darling little granddaughter! I’m so pleased Guinevere has finally given my son a baby… to think we all believed her childless, when all the time her little girl was hidden away in Avalon with Lord Avallach and his wild fairies. I don’t care if she’s a girl rather than a boy as everyone hoped. She’ll make someone a lovely queen one day.
Guinevere (Arthur’s wife)
I didn’t have much choice. Merlin took my baby away when she was only a few days old, to keep her safe. He said if I didn’t let him take her through the mists to Avalon, that witch Morgan would kill her… better if she had. Now I can hardly recognise the child! She’s grown up wild. Worse, she’s got a fairy boy sniffing around – Elphin of the violet eyes – a totally unsuitable suitor for a princess of Camelot. We are going to have to have a serious mother-and-daughter chat very soon. I think there are going to be tears…
Morgan (le Fay)
Your own tears, probably, foolish woman! Thought you and Merlin could hide Arthur’s daughter from me, did you? I can see through the mists between worlds, so I knew all along where she was… I just couldn’t touch her, until Mordred killed Arthur and we lured her out of Avalon. Now she’s here in the land of men, and no fancy Avalonian armour or magic sword will keep her safe from ME! The throne of Camelot belongs to Prince Mordred. All other threats to the succession must be removed.
Nimue (Lady of the Lake)
I must say it was a surprise when she turned up at my lake on her fairy horse, demanding I give her Excalibur. I’d expected a boy. I wasn’t going to give her the sword at first, but then she swam down into my underwater cave to take it off me! Not even Arthur dared do that. So I thought, why not give the girl a chance? I doubt she’ll complete her quest to bring Arthur back from the dead, since she hasn’t discovered the answers to all my riddles yet. The one about the Grail always gets them. But she’s certainly brave.
Lyonet (the Savage Damsel)
A girl after my own heart! I’ll train her to use that sword if Arthur’s knights don’t. More girls should learn to fight and stand up for themselves in this world. Then maybe evil men would stop imprisoning us in towers, and we wouldn’t have to be rescued all the time. Go, Rhianna Pendragon!
Morgause (Morgan’s sister, Mordred’s mother)
Huh! I’m going to be Queen Mother at Camelot soon if things go to plan, and the girl claims she’s never even heard of me! I was the one who slept with my silly half brother to sire that ungrateful little bastard Mordred so my sisters and I could sit him on the throne after Arthur’s death… yet apparently in her world, Morgan’s claimed all the credit, and Elaine and I don’t even exist! What did I do wrong?
Rhianna Pendragon (King Arthur’s daughter)
I’ve enjoyed meeting you all, but I’m afraid I can’t stop for dinner. I might have got the Sword of Light back from Nimue, but I’ve still got to find the Lance of Truth, the Crown of Dreams, and the Grail of Stars… and deal with my cousin Mordred, of course. Keep the throne warm for me. See you soon.
The Pendragon Legacy quartet about King Arthur’s daughter is published by Templar with the first book SWORD OF LIGHT now available in hardcover
Katherine’s website is at www.katherineroberts.co.uk and you can follow Rhianna Pendragon on Twitter at www.twitter.com/PendragonGirl