Gawain Legacy, The

Gawain Legacy, The

If you try to control all the secrets, they may end up controlling you.


Fleeing a loveless marriage, Lara finds herself in the company of Will who is also running from his past. Will claims to have found the beginning of a trail of clues in a stolen medieval manuscript of "Gawain and the Green Knight".
Travelling with him to Chester to begin deciphering the clues, Lara realises that Will has attracted the attention of enemies who seem capable of anticipating their every move. Lara's only hope is to find what lies at the end of the trail.
But Lara discovers she has made some powerful enemies of her own with a hidden agenda...


Are you looking for something a little different to read this summer? If so, there are worse ideas than to pick up The Gawain Legacy. Lara is running from her past littered with tragedy and a loveless marriage. As she is preparing to write a new chapter in her own life, she meet Will, whose attempted suicide pulls her into a journey seven centuries in the making. Will has in his possession a manuscript with clues left by a fourteenth century poet, which brings with it a complex and enigmatic trail across the country and into France. But Will and Lara, are not the only ones interested in the secrets at the end of the trail. Being chased by unknown adversaries, Lara and Will must not only follow the clues, but evade capture by Will’s pursuers. The chase brings treachery, betrayal, and secrets not only hidden in the manuscript, but in Lara’s own past. The Author uses in depth knowledge of Arthurian legends and ancient language, bringing history to life as each page turns. The landscapes are authentic, and the idea is original, and the tale snakes in and out of history almost seamlessly. But like any good snake, there is a twist in the tail. The story has a sci-fi element that seems to come out of nowhere. Leaving the fourteenth century poet and his work, a drug that is designed to unfold the fabric of time itself raises the stakes and changes the story. Just as the plot reaches its thinnest point, the revelation resuscitates the readers interest in the plot, and the novel begins to almost read itself. The Author’s prowess is slick, intelligent, and startling. Although the reader is energised by the plot and the novels pace, it is not entirely flawless. The story is perhaps too complex for the small size of the novel, with so much in it, there are times when the reader is still confused by the methods that lift each curtain. Perhaps in places the story is too intelligent. Furthermore your empathy for Lara is tested by her almost inhuman infallibility. Her character is tested consistently, and yet she never seems to waver from her angelic moral code. All in all the novel could have been longer, allowing not only for better description of the code breaking, but to allow for more comprehensive characterisation. With this said, you are never compelled to put the novel down and forget it. The reader must complete the quest, this will not go unfinished, and it will definitely leave your bookshelf more than once. If you like Dan Brown, and if you like Daniel Keyes, then you will adore The Gawain Legacy. From amazon, at just over six pounds, there are fewer books of such calibre at such a low price. Perhaps you could also check out his library of other works that have flown beneath the radar for too long. I rate this book 3.5/5 ~ Adam Ward,

Absolutely loved this book. Fast paced and exciting from the very beginning. I read it in 2 evenings because i couldn't put it down. You can really see the author's enthusiasm for medieval literature shine through, he makes Gawain even more interesting and exciting. A few reviews have compared this book to Dan Brown, I disagree, The Gawain Legacy is well written and much less predictable. I would recommend it to anyone. ~ Holly Cook, Goodreads and Amazon

You feel submerged within the plot from the first page and will be unable to put the book down until you finish it. The characters are believable, the twists and turns are unexpected, you can’t predict what will happen next, although you try and the ending will play on your mind weeks after. A truly enthralling read! ~ Natasha,

A really good read, this is a well paced and strong story. The characters are three dimensional, the dialogue is 'real' and flows well and the sense of place is excellent. The story keeps you guessing right to the end with lots of twists and turns changing what you were confident you had figured out into - well, I didn't see that coming. ~ Sara Geller,

I think this is Mackley's best novel yet. First of all, I think the title itself draws you into it, and it excited me to read it as well. It was a really great read and very enjoyable. Definitely a recommended read. ~ Denisa,

A story that runs at a breakneck pace from the first page. It keeps you guessing right up to the breathless finale. This has the mystery of The Da Vinci Code along with echoes of Kate Mosse and Barbara Erskine. The mysterious Will has uncovered a series of clues in a stolen manuscript of Gawain and the Green Knight. Lara is vulnerable and desperate having just left her husband and she follows him to Chester to uncover the first clue. But whatever treasure lies at the end of the trail is also being sought by another group. There are twists and turns throughout. I promised myself I’d only read “one more” chapter and stayed up halfway through the night. ~ Mayflower

A real page turner full of twists and turns. Imagine if Dan Brown actually knew his stuff, and could write, and you have The Gawain Legacy. ~ Zoe Lehmann, Amazon

Reminiscent of Dan Brown, this book comes out of the gate engaging and quick of pace. Will and Lara's adventures to unravel the supernatural mysteries of the poem, Gawain and the Green Knight, is full of suspense, surprises, interesting characters, and unexpected turns. Mackley obviously knows a lot about his subject and uses such detail to engage reader curiosity and lead us further and further along on what turns out to be a bit of an unwitting "power journey" for the protagonists. The book's message is a poignant reminder to heal and release ourselves of the past. ~ Dielle,

Puzzles and false trails abound in this supernatural thriller based around medieval poem, "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight." While this might not be in the same league as AS Byatt's "Possession", it may well provide some much-needed light relief to students studying the Gawain Poet for the first time, as well as introducing readers to this classic of English Literature. ~ Elizabeth Hopkinson, author of Silver Hands.

A medieval mystery par excellence and an unusual love story as well. Thoroughly researched and full of fascinating ploys, we travel with the main characters through England and France following the unfolding puzzles as they develop. The shock of the truth, when we eventually find it, is deeply shocking. The author’s extensive knowledge of medieval history makes the story believable and immensely interesting. I particularly like the sensual, rather erotic Holywell scene at the end. I haven’t read anything like this before and found it a real treat. ~ Saznut, Amazon

Quite literally, don't judge a book by it's cover. I did, but I read the book anyway and within the first few pages I was hooked. Mackley has related feelings of the everyday person and made the pages come alive. When you think you've sussed the plot out, he throws you completely off the scent. If you're looking for a thought-provoking, informative yet interesting book, this one will do the trick, but beware, you won't be able to put it down. ~ Meg Bowles

The opening of the plot is rather dramatic and suspenseful; instead of being introduced to the characters you are faced with immediate questions. Who are the characters? What is going on? What follows is a mystery full of twists and turns and original ideas. You sympathise with the two main characters yet something in the way the plot unfolds and the carefully chosen language fills you with a niggling dread because you know that something is coming but, you do not know what it could possibly be. The book is written in a very inventive way because it keeps you guessing. Every time you think that you have one element worked out something else pops up to dispel this. Mackley creates an abundance of situations with an abundance of clues and characters who are never what they say they are. This means that they only way you going to get all the answers is to keep reading to the end; however, this is not problem because the book is fast paced and compels you to want to know what happens. If you like a book that is not as straight forward as it seems; that can frustrate and intrigue you in equal measures; that make you audibly yell at the pages in a crowded cafe and get odd stares then this is the book for you. One warning though; don't think you have it all worked out because believe you me, nothing is what it seems. ~ Alicia Spivey

Jon  Mackley
Jon Mackley Jon Mackley is a Senior Lecturer in English and Creative Writing at the University of Northampton, UK and Assistant Adjunct Professor at Ric...
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