This imaginative reinvention of the Arthurian legend begins eleven years after the High King's fall. Arthur has been taken by his sister Morgan to Ynys Afallon, the healing isle, where it is rumored he will one day return to save Britain in its darkest hour. Without Arthur, Britain is sinking leaderless into a Dark Age of superstition and brutality. Bedwyr-the last of Arthur's Companions-returns from Rome where he has been serving as a mercenary in the imperial army. Although Bedwyr betrayed the dying Arthur's trust, hiding the famous sword Caliburn insteadof throwing it into the lake as he had been ordered, he is given a chance to make amends, and in the process rediscovers his lost nobility. In Britain meanwhile, Arthur's grandson Irion is desperately trying to live down the ignominy of his father Medraut's betrayal of Arthur. Because of Medraut's treachery Arthur's kingdom fell to the invading Saxons, the Companions died in battle, and Camelot fell into ruin. Once in Britain, Bedwyr reluctantly joins with Irion to rally the British defense against Ceawlin, the Saxon warlord who threatens to finally conquer Arthur's kingdom.
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