The Lance Thrower
Published in Canada as Clothar the Frank, Jack Whyte’s latest epic, The Lance Thrower, further fleshes out his body of work A Dream of Eagles (The Camulod Chronicles in the US). This authentically rendered novel centers about Lancelot – traditionally Arthur’s friend and Guinevere’s lover – and only dovetails with the previous seven novels toward its end. Known as Clothar the Frank to his British contemporaries, Lancelot spends his early life in Gaul, where Roman influence is still strong. Here the reader follows his fortunes: as the foster son of King Ban of Benwick and his beautiful wife Vivienne (the Lady of the Lake), as a dispossessed heir longing to take vengeance on the man who usurped his father’s throne, as the star pupil of Bishop Germanus of Auxerre, who eventually sends Clothar to Camulod to urge Merlyn to crown Arthur Riothamus – King of all Britain.
In this novel, we meet Perceval, Tristan and Bors, Lancelot’s companions in adventure, and we are brought to the point in time where The Metamorphosis concluded. Most of the characters from the other novels barely feature in this one, so it could be read without previous knowledge of the series. However, certain happenings remind returning readers that The Lance Thrower is linked to the earlier novels, and its ending makes it clear that there will be a sequel. Jack Whyte’s research is, as usual, impeccably presented, and he expertly balances action with description. In The Lance Thrower, he once again demonstrates his ability to transport readers into a world so real, they question whether events could have unfolded in any other way.