The Last Companion

The Last CompanionSynopsis

It is ten years since Arthur died at Camlann. Among the few who survived that dreadful last battle was Budoc, once one of Arthur’s Companions and now a hermit and guardian of a sacred wood. Arthur left no heir. The ambitious Princes of Britain vie with each other to take his place, but while they quarrel among themselves, Arthur’s realm of Albion lies at the mercy of the Saxons in the East and the Irish in the West. Arthur’s legacy is in danger of being lost. Thirty years before, after his great victory at Mount Badon, Arthur sailed North to the mist-enshrouded Western Isles, taking with him a select band of his chosen warriors. There he underwent the Trial of Sovereignty in the hope of uniting the island behind him. He returned with a mysterious chalice, the symbol of Sovereignty, and was declared Emperor of Albion. Now Arthur’s old enemy Vortepor of Dyfed seeks the chalice for his own purposes. His tool is the Irish renegade Eremon, who leads a raiding party that destroys first the village near the Sacred Wood and then a ship full of Saxons in search of new land to settle. Only the British girl Eurgain and the young Saxon Ceolric escape. They are found by the British warriors Gorthyn and Nai, who have their own reasons for hating Eremon. Together with Budoc, this unlikely band of allies vow to prevent Eremon from finding the chalice.

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“The Albion trilogy is refreshingly different from most novels of Arthurian Britain. It is steeped in the early (pre-Galfridian) Welsh myths, legends, and histories, and is almost completely uninfluenced by Geoffrey or the Romances. While there are strong elements of fantasy, such as scrying and the echo of legends in present events, the setting is mostly realistic, even gritty. McCormack’s descriptions of life are full of detail and completely convincing. He captures expertly the economic, social and political realities of dark-age Britain, in particular the complex relations between Britons and Saxons.”
The Heroic Age

“This is one of the most vivid and exciting books I have read for a long time. A different take on the Arthurian legend, drawing on the ancient traditions and spinning them into something new. If this is not what Britain in the fifth century was like, then it is certainly how it should have been! Read it!”
5 out of 5 stars: A vivid & exciting new take on the Arthurian legend.