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Mordred, Bastard Son

A new ebook version coming in the winter 2014/2015, from Alkemara Press. Keep in touch and get book updates from Douglas Clegg – just click here to sign up for his free email newsletter.


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His mother — Morgan le Fay — was called “Witch-Queen,” and his father, Arthur, is King of the Britons.

Conceived in violence, born to royalty, raised in exile — Mordred comes of age among his mother’s mystical clan in a forest far from King Arthur’s lands. But when he meets an outlaw knight — a man beloved of his father but a threat to all Mordred holds dear — all that he has ever learned of life is challenged and threatens to destroy him.

My first book of Mordred’s life is currently in trade paperback. It is the first in a proposed trilogy, but can be read as a stand-alone novel. This is a fantasy novel with a strong love story within it.


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From The Advocate Magazine:
“Clegg has spun a meticulously-researched and beautifully-written tale that is at once supremely romantic and tragic, yet somehow also a poignant, modern portrayal of sexual awakening, coming out, and being separate from the mainstream of society at a very young age…”

From Publishers Weekly:
“Though usually portrayed as the worm in the bud that was Camelot, Mordred, the illegitimate offspring of King Arthur and sorceress Morgan le Fay, gets sympathetic treatment in Clegg’s revisionist Arthurian fantasy…Born into exile on the Isle of Glass, the young Mordred knows his father only through the stories bitter elders tell of Arthur’s theft of Excalibur from the Lady of the Lake. Mordred flourishes under the instruction of his mother and the wizard Merlin, but he’s distracted from his education in druidic mysteries by his adolescent passion for a hermit living in the nearby wilds… refreshingly original…”

Booklist (Starred Review!)
“Clegg puts an inspired wrinkle in the hoary tale of Arthur and the grail by casting Arthur’s kindred enemy, Mordred, as a gay man. An injured stranger in a cloak and odd, paganish mask, is captured and held in a monastery, igniting wild speculation among the locals, who believe him a notorious traitor. And so he is. He is Mordred, the bastard son of Arthur Pendragon and his half sister, the witch-queen Morgan Le Fay, and he now awaits trial for murder and treason…The tale he unfolds culminates in an unholy betrayal of his own magical talent by someone he loved and trusted all his life. This is the riveting first volume in a trilogy. How excellent.”


Dear Reader,

Have you ever wanted to understand someone who seemed so different from you — to see the other side of the coin?

To not take an accepted tale at face value, but to explore the complexity of a fascinating individual’s life — and to dispel the myths created by only one version of the tale of his existence?

I always felt Mordred, the only son of King Arthur of the Britons, had a darker and more complex story to tell — after all, he’s been maligned through history as the one who destroyed Camelot, toppling the legendary kingdom of purity and light.

Here he is, a bastard in a time when bastardy ruined lives, the child of a half-brother and half-sister’s unbridled passion (or was it something darker even than passion?)

What is Mordred to do but follow the path that destiny has beaten into the earth for him?

From this, I began Mordred’s story, mostly in his own words, as he grows up on the Isle of Glass within the caverns of the Lady of the Lake, a guardian of the Old Ways, a defender of the Witch-Queen, Morgan le Fay, and a student of the mage, Merlin — the one who keeps the sacred knowledge.

I went with Mordred on a journey from the forests of Broceliande to the Celtic Otherworld, Annwn, and into the arms of the other outcast of his world, once the greatest knight from among King Arthur’s court. Betrayals, wars, love, terror, and vengeance all play a part in Mordred’s story.

Mordred, Bastard Son is very different from any novel I’ve written. This tale is set somewhere between the Dark Ages of western European history and the legends of the Arthurian world. I’d like to ask you to come along to get to know the greatest villain of the legend — in his own words, with his own truth.

With best wishes,
Douglas Clegg

AUTHOR NOTE: Fans of King Arthur legends, particularly alternative ones, of slash fiction, of gay novels as well as those novels not classified as “gay,” will enjoy this story. I wrote it for everyone who loves an exploration of a legend through adventure, mysticism, and even a good battle or two.

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