The Road to Camlann

Road to Camlann: The Death of King ArthurRoad to Camlann: The Death of King Arthur by Rosemary Sutcliff
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This tragic tale is a classic, and Sutcliff does fairly well in the retelling. 3 stars for the retelling. 5 stars for the story itself.

Lancelot's illicit love for Guinivere brings the downfall of Camelot, dividing the knights of the round table against each other. The story asserts that Lancelot is the greatest knight in the kingdom, because of his superior fighting skills against all other knights, and also because he heals a wounded foreign knight by laying his hands on him, who had a dream that the best knight of Camelot would heal him.

What the story says less directly is the great treachery and disunity that is caused by the unconfessed sin of Lancelot in pursuing and thinking it right for him to have Guinevere. He returns to Arthur too late to save his kingdom, having destroyed it himself.

Much more could be said about Mordred's deceitful malice, Gawain's fierce but impulsive loyalty, and Guinevere's noble denial of Lancelot's later advances. Suffice it to say that this is a story to think about things that are true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report (Phil 4:8), while taking warning from the downfall that comes from eschewing self-control, peace, goodness and faithfulness (Gal 5:22).

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