The Next Chapter

Why the King Arthur legend lives on in Jack Whyte's fiction

The historical fiction and fantasy writer discusses his latest book, The Burning Stone.
Jack Whyte is the author of The Burning Stone. (Viking Canada)

This interview originally aired on Nov. 12, 2018.

Jack Whyte is passionate about the past. The author of several historical fiction novels, including the Arthurian-rooted Dream of Eagles series and the Templars Trilogy, has a new book out called The Burning Stone.  It's a tale of revenge, dark secrets and a mysterious cataclysm that wiped out a Roman legion.

Origin story

"The Burning Stone is a prequel to the very first novel that I ever wrote, published back in 1992. It takes place 50 years before the events in that book during the reign of the emperor Diocletian in Rome. The more I write, the more I enjoy writing. The challenge is finding different ways to say the same basic thing without being mind-numbingly repetitive. That's what keeps me going."

Deconstructing the past

"I don't do in legends, I deconstruct legends. That's what I tried to do with my King Arthur story, to strip away all the layers of rust and dirt and obfuscation that have come between us today and what actually happened back in the days when it took place."

Jack Whyte's comments have been edited for length and clarity.