The Skystone (The Camulod Chronicles, Book 1)
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Everyone knows the story-how Arthur pulled the sword from the stone, how Camelot came to be, and about the power struggles that ultimately destroyed Arthur's dreams. But what of the time before Arthur and the forces that created him?
How did the legend really come to pass?
Before the time of Arthur and his Camelot, Britain was a dark and deadly place, savaged by warring factions of Picts, Celts, and invading Saxons. The Roman citizens who had lived there for generations were suddenly faced with a deadly choice: Should they leave and take up residence in a corrupt Roman world that was utterly foreign, or should they stay and face the madness that would ensue when Britain's last bastion of safety for the civilized, the Roman legions, left?
For two Romans, Publius Varrus and his friend Caius Britannicus, there can be only one answer. They will stay, to preserve what is best of Roman life, and will create a new culture out of the wreckage. In doing so, they will unknowingly plant the seeds of legend-for these two men are Arthur's great-grandfathers, and their actions will shape a nation . . . and forge a sword known as Excalibur.
is quite specific, Publius. The dragons will return to the hills of the Pendragon when the Romans leave Britain. Caius thinks that might not be far in the future.” “You mean his theory about the Romans having to go home to defend the Motherland?” “Yes.” I nodded. “Very well, I’m thinking. That is why your brother wants me to live here in Aquae Sulis, isn’t it? To be prepared?” She nodded, and her next words were unequivocal. “Yes, and to help us build ourselves a new life while we wait for
The end.” Poor Plautus was baffled. “The end of what, in the name of God?” Firma snorted with disgust. “Of everything! The end of the chain of supply that keeps the Roman Mob fed and clothed. The end of the web of commerce that keeps the Empire from collapsing. The end of the status quo. The end of Rome’s dominion. Shall I go on? Caius, here, has been prophesying it for years, and we have all been laughing at him and calling him an alarmist.” “But what about the government?” This voice
fact alone, my friends. No food, unless you grow your own! The cities are going to starve. You heard Terra and Firma. It is happening already.” His next words fell on us with the force of hammer blows, bludgeoning our disbelief. “The entire world is going to go down into chaos when Rome falls, and the biggest danger facing anyone today is the temptation to believe that it cannot, or that it will not happen. Believe me, my friends, the only people who will survive that fall will be those people
tears gave way, first to aching sobs and then, later, to self-conscious, delightful little shudders as she burrowed ever closer into my grasp, fitting herself to the shape of me and becoming once again the woman who filled my universe. And at length she fell asleep, her hair spread across my chest, one bare thigh resting on my belly. As I drew some bedding gently across her to protect her from the chill night air, I made up my mind to do everything in my power to expand the tenor of her daily
Equus’s distaste for Cuno was obvious. I mentioned the bargain I had struck with Cuno, and Equus merely nodded, neither approving the bargain nor condemning it. Later, when Cuno had gone, I asked Equus about him and learned that he had drifted into town a few years earlier and worked for several months with the old wheelwright whose business he now owned. The old man had died without heirs, and Cuno had assumed the position of wheelwright to the town, marrying Phoebe shortly after that. He was