It's out! On Kindle, that is.
The real books will be on their way soon. But for those who Kindle, or those who just fancy a taster, Amazon is the place:
I'll also provide updates on the publicity as it happens. A couple of magazine articles are pending, including a big piece in History Today (August edition). We'll keep you posted.
But that's enough about The King Arthur Conspiracy. I'd also like to draw your attention to another new book. Not one that I've been involved with in any way. It's the first of a trilogy.
The Chronicles of Iona: Exile by Paula de Fougerolles is a novel about "the two men who laid the foundations of the Scottish nation" - Aedan mac Gabrain, King of the Scots, and St Columba. The author describes them as "a real-life sixth-century Merlin and King Arthur".
The similarities between St Columba and the literary invention that is Merlin had occured to me whilst I was researching and writing my history of Arthur. Aedan mac Gabrain was Arthur's father (the first man on record to be known as Arthur, that is). The original Merlin (a name of later date) was fairly close in age to the historical Arthur. He also did not look much like the Merlin we have come to know and love.
Arguably, St Columba did look a bit more like the traditional Merlin. Hair cut in the Druidic tonsure (shaved at the front, long at the back), with a blackthorn staff and stained eyelids, Columba might have passed for a Merlin figure.
But the "real" Merlin was an enemy of Columba. I've even wondered whether their antipathy had anything to do with Geoffrey of Monmouth's invention, in the twelfth century, of the name Merlin.
You see, Columba's adoptive name meant "Dove". And the hunting bird known as the merlin is scientifically known as Falco columbarius. Merlin, you could say, was the raptor who hunted the Dove.
Anyway, that's all by the bye. Please feel free to check out The King Arthur Conspiracy on Amazon. And then, when you've done that, and ordered copies for everyone you know, check out this page:
The Chronicles of Iona - potentially, a companion-piece to The King Arthur Conspiracy: How a Scottish Prince Became a Mythical Hero.