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ezchaos
September 18th, 2003, 02:47 PM
Something I've always noticed when I hit the local bookstores is the large amount of fantasy books devoted to the King Arthur legend. Why, it looks like one could spend a couple of years just reading them. There's books that retell the legend in the author's own way. There's books written from different points of view like Guineviere and Merlin. Some are set in our present time. I think I've even heard of one set in a scifi universe.
I've even heard some of these books are good, like The Mists of Avalon and The Forever King.

Personally, I've only read The Once and Future King years ago. While I liked that book, the Arthurian sub-genre (don't you love that?) never really did anything for me.

Is there anybody out there that simply loves this legend and will read anything about them? If so, please elaborate. Tell me what your favorite retelling are.

Chlestron
September 18th, 2003, 03:52 PM
I liked the Forever King a bit.

One of the books that I really liked was the Dragon and the Unicorn though it's more about Merlin than the whole Arthur legend. I know that there are sequals to it, but I don't remember what they're called.

As for the legend itself, there is a sort of mystery about it. It has all the makings of a compelling story - humble beginnings, magic swords, wizards, betrayal, murder, and a lot of other things.

Julian
September 18th, 2003, 04:17 PM
I'm ambivalent on this. I love the Arthur legend itself, but tend to stay away from retellings, especially if their main claim to fame is that it's the same story, but told from a particular character's point of view (very often Guinevere, by the way).

However, there is one part of the legend that never fails to fascinate me, and that's the Fisher King.

An Arthurian book that springs to mind that I liked a lot is "The Winter Prince" by Elisabeth E. Wein, which was published by Baen in, I believe, 1994, and probably will be hard to get now. It's a relatively slim, poetic and terse take on the Arthur thing - with the Fisher King present.

Richardb
September 18th, 2003, 06:19 PM
I'd put in a vote for the Forever King as an interesting and original take on the arthurian legend. Good read.

Blackwing
September 19th, 2003, 04:42 AM
I really like the old legends, like Percival and Gawain and the Green Knight and Lancelot du Lac, which was originally in French. For a long time now, I've been looking for a retelling that I would like. The closest that I've come to is the Prince Valiant comicbook and that's not new and the Knights have actually only a minor part in it. (Although Val in a Knight of the Round Table in the comic.)

My problem is that I find King Arthur himself, well, kinda boring. And I don't much care for Merlin by himself, but I like him as sort of part of the Fellowship of the Round Table. I love the Knights themselves, especially Gawain, Tristan and Lancelot. And I love them in the older legends, in the pagan setting, not so much in the glued-on Christian setting, which admittedly is more famous.

The Arthurian setting is kinda the default for fantasy: knights in shinging armour and evil knights, castles, evil to slay...

Oh, and I dislike the Once and Future King. It makes Merlin and the knights seem ridiculous (at least in the beginning) and focuses on King Arthur.

Gildor
September 19th, 2003, 07:11 AM
Oh, and I dislike the Once and Future King. It makes Merlin and the knights seem ridiculous (at least in the beginning) and focuses on King Arthur.

It does :confused:

Well I think they redeem themsleves in the later books, though I quite like the first book, silly in some parts especially the part with Morganna le Fay ( don't know if thats rights ) and something about a castle made out of food :p

I read it an age ago :)

Wulfa_Jones
September 19th, 2003, 09:17 AM
I have always been interested in the Arthurian stories... I did some study on the topic while at University in Wales (where history would roughly place the man who the stories may have been based upon).

While my favourite telling of the stories is not really fantasy but it is still fiction. The Winter Kings trilogy by Bernard Cromwell it is quite a clever story told by a former warrior of Arthur and how the orginal story gets diluted into the legends we know and love today.

I have also read the some of the Steven Lawhead (?) books but was not fond of them.

Legolas
September 19th, 2003, 10:50 AM
Oh, I am a sucker for King Arthur books. Merlin is my favorite character in them as I tend to like stories about wizards. My favorite King Arthur type novel is The Merlin Trilogy . I've got The Mists of Avalon but have not read it yet.

Iskaral Pust
September 19th, 2003, 01:50 PM
I'm not a big fan of the books, but The Mists of Avalon is one of my favourite stand-alones of all time. Just the whole way it's told - it chiefly follows Morgan le Fay's quest to stop the advancing tide of Christianity. There are so many reasons I love the book - well worth reading regardless of wheather you like the legend.

Julian
September 19th, 2003, 05:42 PM
Originally posted by Legolas
My favorite King Arthur type novel is The Merlin Trilogy .

Legolas, help me redeem my stupidity. "The Merlin Trilogy"...

Author? Titles of volumes? Are you talking Mary Stewart here?