Iconoclastic, provocative, hugely entertaining. A historical novel with a difference – as you'd expect from the award-winning author of Osama and Central Station.
Everyone thinks they know the story of King Arthur and his knights of the Round Table. Geoffrey of Monmouth, Malory's Morte D'Arthur, Marion Zimmer Bradley's Mists of... whatever. You can look it up on Wikipedia. You can see it in those pretty Pre-Raphaelite paintings.
But there was never a painting that showed the true Britain, the clogged sewer Rome abandoned just as soon as it could. A Britain where petty warlords murdered each other in the mud, and all the while the Angles and Saxons and – worst of all – the Jutes, were coming over here and taking our lands and taking our jobs and taking our women.
And what of the only man who could stop them... What of Arthur, King of the Britons? An over-promoted gangster, in thrall to that eldritch parasite, Merlin.
Excalibur? A shady deal with a watery arms dealer.
The Grail Quest? Have you no idea about the aliens and the radioactive blight?
Well, you'd better read this then.
Currently based in Laos, in South-East Asia, Lavie is an Israeli who has lived in places as exotic as Vanuatu, South Africa and Britain. As well as a clutch of highly regarded short stories and novellas, his website World SF has attracted much attention for focussing specifically on the SF and fantasy produced in non-English speaking countries of the world.