King Arthur's story retold? :)

Daisydaresya

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#1
Can anyone recommend me a good retelling of the King Arthur story?

Picture attached just cause its cool! (supposedly this is meant to be the "round table" of king arthur! - its in winchester, uk near where I went to boarding school)

Daisy x
 

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Brian G Turner

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#2
Two that immediately come to mind are Bernard Cornwell's Warlord Chronicles, which got some discussion here: The Warlord Chronicles Trilogy by Bernard Cornwell

Cornwell also wrote the Anglo-Saxon Last Kingdom series, the first two books of which were made into a really good TV series last year, but is perhaps more famous for Sean Bean's Sharpe.

There's also the Pendragon Cycle by Stephen Lawhead, starting with Taliesen.

I'm sure other recommendations will be forthcoming. :)
 

Toby Frost

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#4
The Once and Future King set of novels by T.H.White is very good. It starts off as a children's/YA book (The Sword in the Stone) but the novels become increasingly grown up as they go on.

I think John Steinbeck's book The Acts of King Arthur and his Noble Knights is brilliant but it might not be to everyone's tastes.
 

The Big Peat

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#6
For me, the Cornwell books are the gold standard in terms of an entertaining retelling. They do take a deliberate historical slant (insofar as you can with Arthur) so might not be what you're looking for, but I'd look at them at least.

Rosemary Sutcliff put out versions of the story. They're alright. Remember trying to get into TH White and failing (but his reputation is quite a big one). I remember reading The Mists of Avalon and being super impressed but then I learnt a bit more about the author and there is a caveat over suggesting that as a result.
 

Daisydaresya

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#7
Two that immediately come to mind are Bernard Cornwell's Warlord Chronicles, which got some discussion here: The Warlord Chronicles Trilogy by Bernard Cornwell

Cornwell also wrote the Anglo-Saxon Last Kingdom series, the first two books of which were made into a really good TV series last year, but is perhaps more famous for Sean Bean's Sharpe.

There's also the Pendragon Cycle by Stephen Lawhead, starting with Taliesen.

I'm sure other recommendations will be forthcoming. :)
I read this many years ago (at least 25) and really enjoyed it - would I enjoy it today? Honestly I don't know, times & tastes change etc


Here is a thread I started a while back about Arthurian HF.


OMG you guys <3

That is so much to chew through!

In your expert opinions where should I start? ;)
 

Daisydaresya

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#8
For me, the Cornwell books are the gold standard in terms of an entertaining retelling. They do take a deliberate historical slant (insofar as you can with Arthur) so might not be what you're looking for, but I'd look at them at least.

Rosemary Sutcliff put out versions of the story. They're alright. Remember trying to get into TH White and failing (but his reputation is quite a big one). I remember reading The Mists of Avalon and being super impressed but then I learnt a bit more about the author and there is a caveat over suggesting that as a result.
I dunno I kinda like the history bit... much better than a fairy tale. as long as it doesn't read like a text book ya know.

Yeah.. TH White showed up first in my google searches... whats the caveat?
 

The Big Peat

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#9
It certainly doesn't read like a text book! Its a blood and guts attempt to be faithful to what Arthur would have been like in real dark ages Britain. Look it up.

Caveat with Mists of Avalon - the author Marion Zimmer Bradley, has been very complicit with the sexual abuse of children (and may have been an abuser herself). Some can overlook that in an author, some can't.
 

svalbard

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#10
I dunno I kinda like the history bit... much better than a fairy tale. as long as it doesn't read like a text book ya know.

Yeah.. TH White showed up first in my google searches... whats the caveat?
I would suggest Helen Hollick's Pendragon Banner series. Very strong on history and it also reads like a Greek tragedy. It is powerful.

Firelord by Parke Godwin has a brilliant twist on the Merlin and Lancelot story.

Cornwell's Warlord Chronicles are the gold standard in modern retellings as has already being mentioned.

Those would be the three authors who I would highly recommend.
 

hitmouse

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#11
Can anyone recommend me a good retelling of the King Arthur story?

Picture attached just cause its cool! (supposedly this is meant to be the "round table" of king arthur! - its in winchester, uk near where I went to boarding school)

Daisy x
Hah. The Round Table in the Great Hall in Winchester. One of my childhood haunts along with the other mediavel parts of that city. It actually dates from Tudor times and might have been commissioned by Henry VIII, who was a bit of a fan. I think his eldest son (drowned) was called Arthur.
Well worth a visit.
 

svalbard

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#12
An interesting retelling of the legend set in Texas at some time in the late 19th century.

Arthur as a Lawman, Merlin a Preacher, Lancelot a gunnslinger etc.

Screenshot_2017-01-04-14-06-44.png
 

AndrewT

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#13
Can anyone recommend me a good retelling of the King Arthur story?

Picture attached just cause its cool! (supposedly this is meant to be the "round table" of king arthur! - its in winchester, uk near where I went to boarding school)

Daisy x
I highly recommend Keith Baine's modernization of Le Morte D'Arthur which I may have read three times between ages 10 and 15. There are a number of versions so I am posting the ISBN-13 below with a picture I will try to upload. You can get them used from Abe's or Alibris. This is a very fast easy version that is suitable for adults and young adults alike. It's a highly entertaining book for becoming acquainted with the Arthurian myths without getting bogged down in archaic prose. I am pretty sure it covers all of the legends including stuff you may have never heard of such as Arthur's war with the Roman Empire where a young Sir Launcelot earns his spurs as the unstoppable war machine to rival the biblical Samson. Hope you enjoy.

ISBN-13: 978-0451622204
 

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Caledfwlch

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#14
I dunno I kinda like the history bit... much better than a fairy tale. as long as it doesn't read like a text book ya know.

Yeah.. TH White showed up first in my google searches... whats the caveat?
Warlord Chronicles. Totally.
It's not the Arthur you know - its set in the real Dark Ages, and is based a fair bit on the ancient (and far older than the one your familiar with) and original Welsh legends. Arthur is not an English king riding to save England, he is a British/Welsh Warlord fighting to drive the English back into the sea. It's literally set in Britain's last days, when the British/Welsh are losing ground as the invading English & Irish pour in from overseas. And to top it all, the bigoted christians are causing huge amounts of trouble, Pagans are being murdered, there are Christian revolts.
It uses the basic structure of the anglicised stuff - battles like Mynydd Baddon (Mount Badon) and Camlan will happen, Camelot though is not a place, its an idea of a peaceful, just land.
He apologises as he is basing it on the Welsh for having Lancelot even in the story, as he doesnt exist in the Welsh stories, but, especially given the origin of the stories, and the fact there is no "France" or French people at the time the novels are set, remakes Lancelot into a Breton.

Amazing trilogy, and because its one of the very few to portray Arthur as a real man, with real hopes and dreams and weaknesses, its all the more heart breaking when the end reaches the obvious end, at Camlan.
They are told from the point of view of Derfel Cadarn, a saxon, captured as a child and brought up by Merlin, who becomes one of Arthur's War Lords, now an elderly monk. When He starts telling the story, its about the Struggle of the Britons to keep out the foreign invaders overrunning this island, its Britons v English & Irish to simplify it, as he is telling the story as an elderly Monk, the Britons have lost. The Island of the Mighty is no more, there are now 3 "nations" of different peoples, Wales, England and Scotland.
 

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