Best Arthurian Novel?

Lacedaemonian

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Stephen Lawhead is an awful writer.

Bernard Cornwell's Warlord Trilogy is by far and away the best I have read.

I have not heard of A.A.Attanasio until that is you dropped his name into several threads and he wrote the blurb on the back of your book. :)
 

Snowdog

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For me there's one that stands head and shoulders over all other Arthurian books I've read, which is The Once And Future King by T. H. White. It doesn't read like a modern fantasy though, and some may find it hard going.
 

Culhwch

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For mine it's Bernard Cornwell's Warlord Chronicles. Just brilliant. I tried to read The Mists of Avalon but it never grabbed me. I also just read Susan Cooper's Over Sea, Under Stone which is tied into Grail mythology, and it wasn't bad, though it's aimed squarely at younger readers. Never read Lawhead or Attanasio, I'm afraid.
 

Wiggum

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Mary Stewart's Aurthurian Saga is quite good.

I liked Lawhead's through Merlin, but then it got a little too based on the glory of the church for me.
 

j d worthington

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If you're referring to me, Teresa -- normally I'd love to. But I haven't actually read these books in a good thirty years, so I don't really feel qualified. And my copies, I'm afraid, are in storage, so I'd have some trouble refreshing my memory on details. But I'd be happy to join in with what I do remember, if someone else got the ball rolling.

This may be a first on here -- I'm actually keeping my mouth shut!!!
 

aarti

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I just recently read Stewart's Merlin trilogy and thoroughly enjoyed it! I would take part in discussion but I'm not quite sure how to start a new thread yet ;-) I haven't read The Wicked Day yet, though, so maybe I am not completely qualified.

I think Stewart's trilogy started a spurt of Arthurian obsession for me, so I have a lot of books, but I haven't actually read any of them yet. I am particularly looking forward to Gillian Bradshaw's trilogy that begins with Hawk of May. Has anyone read that one? And I have the first book of Cornwell's trilogy as well. I don't usually like the books that focus on Guinevere or Lancelot, as I don't much care for either of those two!
 

Culhwch

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aarti said:
I don't usually like the books that focus on Guinevere or Lancelot, as I don't much care for either of those two!

Then start The Winter King immediately! I shall say no more.

Can I get some titles for the Stewart books? My interest is suitably piqued...
 

Teresa Edgerton

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I've read the Gillian Bradshaw books, aarti -- in fact I read them again within the last year or so. I liked them a lot, particularly the first and third (although the third one is about Guenevere).

After Stewart and White, I think they're my favorite take on the Arthurian legend. I didn't care for Cornwell, which I know is blasphemy around here. Still, there it is.

But it's actually quite easy to start a thread. I had no difficulty doing it the first time, and I'm the web's leading technophobe and Luddite reactionary. Just go to the top of the list of topics in the forum where you want it to go (in this case it would be either Historical Fiction or General Discussion), and just above the long reddish-colored bar, you'll find a much smaller black bar that says "New Thread." You click on that, and from there on it's just about the same as typing a reply, except that you have to type in a Title in space for it at the top of the window.
 

PenDragon

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I can't choose between Bernard Cornwell's Warlord Trilogy and Mary Stewart's Merlin books (which I've reread a few times) as a favourite.

I remember enjoying the three Lawhead books but that was a long time ago, I also liked the Mists of Avalon, that had some good vivid stuff in it (the kingship ritual with the Stag stands out). Patrick's McCormack's Albion: the last companion is really good, it's set post Arthur but tells some of the tale with flashbacks.

I really should read Mallory's Morte D'Arthur at some point.
 

j d worthington

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PenDragon said:
I really should read Mallory's Morte D'Arthur at some point.

My suggestion: make sure that you read the Caxton edition of the Morte d'Arthur, as Mallory's Works gets mind-numbingly dull with the lists of jousts. This is one of the very rare times I agree with an abridgement of the writer's original.
 

aarti

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Culhwch said:
Then start The Winter King immediately! I shall say no more.

Haha- I do actually have it sitting here on my shelf :) Though I don't have the second or third in the series. But I actually haven't read any Arthurian books in some time. I feel like I should finish off Stewart's The Wicked Day first, and then start on another series. Probably Bradshaw's, if only because those have been on my shelf longer.
 

aarti

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Teresa Edgerton said:
I've read the Gillian Bradshaw books, aarti -- in fact I read them again within the last year or so. I liked them a lot, particularly the first and third (although the third one is about Guenevere).

After Stewart and White, I think they're my favorite take on the Arthurian legend. I didn't care for Cornwell, which I know is blasphemy around here. Still, there it is.

Yes, I know the last Bradshaw book is about Guinevere. I do have it, but I don't know if I'll like it ;-) I have heard the most about Hawk of May in that series. I have also heard a lot about Rosemary Sudcliffe's Sword at Sunset, another one I have sitting on my shelf. (I have a lot of books sitting unread on my shelves).

I actually haven't read T. H. White's The Once and Future King at all. So maybe I should put that on my list, too!

And can you start a topic even if you're not a moderator? If so, I'll make an effort to do so now.
 

Teresa Edgerton

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Anyone can start a thread, and members are encouraged to do so (although it's always a good idea to see if someone has already begun a thread on the same topic). New blood, new ideas, new threads -- that's how the forums grow.

I love T. H. White's Once and Future King. The early parts are rather whimsical (which may not be to everyone's taste, although it was to mine) but as the story progresses the characters become more and more complex and parts of it are quite heart-wrenching.
 

GOLLUM

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I'm not big on Arthurian stories but I'd say T.H. White's Once and Future King is a must read for those so inclined. Mary Stewart's novels ring bells but not sure if I've read them.....
 

j d worthington

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GOLLUM said:
I'm not big on Arthurian stories but I'd say T.H. White's Once and Future King is a must read for those so inclined. Mary Stewart's novels ring bells but not sure if I've read them.....
I think you'd remember. These were accepted as Literature long before nearly any other fantasy except Tolkien, Eddison, Dunsany and Cabell....
 

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