Fantasy Faction

Fantasy Faction => Fantasy Book & Author Discussion => Topic started by: Saraband on August 08, 2014, 09:29:41 PM

Title: Any good Arthurian Fantasy?
Post by: Saraband on August 08, 2014, 09:29:41 PM
I read a few threads but didn't find one specifically about fantasy books set in Arthurian legend.

I have read a few books about this topic in a historical & scientific perspective, so I was now wondering if there were any good fantasy novels out there?

My TBR is already huge, but I think it is hungry, so I intend to feed it a bit more!

 ;)
Title: Re: Any good Arthurian Fantasy?
Post by: Eclipse on August 09, 2014, 01:00:34 PM
Would The Red Knight by  Miles Cameron count?

http://www.orbitbooks.net/interview/miles-cameron/
Title: Re: Any good Arthurian Fantasy?
Post by: Brother of the Sixth Order on August 09, 2014, 01:02:18 PM
The Sword in the Stone and The Once and Future King by T H white are the some of the best Arthurian fantasy novels or if you like it a little bit more realistic then the Warlord Chronicles by Bernard Cornwall i would also recommend to you as well.
Title: Re: Any good Arthurian Fantasy?
Post by: Eclipse on August 09, 2014, 01:05:25 PM
Just added The Once and Future King by T H White on my TbR pile thank you
Title: Re: Any good Arthurian Fantasy?
Post by: ScarletBea on August 09, 2014, 01:26:17 PM
I'm quite a big fan of Marion Zimmer Bradley's Mists of Avalon. Read it first when I was 16 and it shaped all my understanding of Arthur's legend.
Title: Re: Any good Arthurian Fantasy?
Post by: Saraband on August 09, 2014, 02:00:10 PM
I'm quite a big fan of Marion Zimmer Bradley's Mists of Avalon. Read it first when I was 16 and it shaped all my understanding of Arthur's legend.

I watched the movie when I was in my teens, and enjoyed it, but never had the curiosity to see if the books were any better. Maybe I'll give them a go this time. My memory is ridiculous, so it will probably even feel like a new story to me  :)

Thanks for the other suggestions, too! Already added the titles mentioned to my TBR list  ;D
Title: Re: Any good Arthurian Fantasy?
Post by: P.Boyle on August 09, 2014, 02:57:31 PM
Pendragon Cycle  http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/l/stephen-lawhead/  , Camulod  http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/w/jack-whyte/
Title: Re: Any good Arthurian Fantasy?
Post by: Elfy on August 09, 2014, 03:06:50 PM
Firelord by Parke Godwin. Arthur as he never was, but probably should have been.
Title: Re: Any good Arthurian Fantasy?
Post by: ScarletBea on August 09, 2014, 05:28:25 PM
I'm quite a big fan of Marion Zimmer Bradley's Mists of Avalon. Read it first when I was 16 and it shaped all my understanding of Arthur's legend.

I watched the movie when I was in my teens, and enjoyed it, but never had the curiosity to see if the books were any better. Maybe I'll give them a go this time. My memory is ridiculous, so it will probably even feel like a new story to me  :)

Movie? I didn't know they had made a movie of that book - checked, and one of the review titles is "If you liked the book, you'll hate the movie", so that must have been a reason why it passed me by, hehe
The arturian movie I remember, that is now probably incredibly dated but I loved at the time, is Excalibur, which I loved and must have watched when I was 13 or something ;D
Title: Re: Any good Arthurian Fantasy?
Post by: Tyche on August 09, 2014, 08:48:54 PM
The movie/musical Camelot gives another point of view, too.  I've read some others and can't remember the names or even the author any more.  I also just searched 14 bookcases for them, and couldn't find them.  However, Le Morte d'Arthur would be a good starting point, if you haven't already read it.  Possible recommendation is that you do an Internet search for Arthur, Science Fiction (or Fantasy) and see what pops up.  Arthur has been covered a lot, and in a lot of different ways (including from Merlin's point of view).  That you would tackle something like this tells me that you think you have a fresh approach, and I wish you luck with it.
Title: Re: Any good Arthurian Fantasy?
Post by: Saraband on August 09, 2014, 08:56:55 PM
The movie/musical Camelot gives another point of view, too.  I've read some others and can't remember the names or even the author any more.  I also just searched 14 bookcases for them, and couldn't find them.  However, Le Morte d'Arthur would be a good starting point, if you haven't already read it.  Possible recommendation is that you do an Internet search for Arthur, Science Fiction (or Fantasy) and see what pops up.  Arthur has been covered a lot, and in a lot of different ways (including from Merlin's point of view).  That you would tackle something like this tells me that you think you have a fresh approach, and I wish you luck with it.

Thanks for the tips, but I'm only interested as a reader, not as a writer :) I actually read excerpts from Le Mort d'Arthur at university, and studied them from a historical perspective. From what I've read, it is also the source for some of the authors mentioned in this thread, such as T. H. White.

I searched on the internet too, but people here are always more helpful & their opinion more trustworthy. So, keep them coming!  ;)
Title: Re: Any good Arthurian Fantasy?
Post by: Jaedia on August 09, 2014, 11:50:15 PM
I started collecting Arthurian books in my teens. Always had such a fascination with this legend, I think it must be the fantasy geek in me. I think everything I have has already been listed here. When in doubt, I like to browse Goodreads for suggestions. This list (https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/97.Best_Arthurian_Fiction) could be a good start. What you find could be trash, or maybe a forgotten gem, never know. :)
Title: Re: Any good Arthurian Fantasy?
Post by: Doctor_Chill on August 10, 2014, 12:02:03 AM
I tried The Once and Future King back many many moons ago. I'd recommend that. And Le Mort d'Artur. Like you, I've read excerpts of it in classes and loved it. But not from a historical perspective.

The arturian movie I remember, that is now probably incredibly dated but I loved at the time, is Excalibur, which I loved and must have watched when I was 13 or something ;D

After studying Le Mort d'Artur, I remember having to sit through Excalibur. It's good, if you like symbolism crammed down your throat. ;) *Shudders* So much green light.
Title: Re: Any good Arthurian Fantasy?
Post by: Nighteyes on August 10, 2014, 12:20:38 AM
Pendragon Cycle  http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/l/stephen-lawhead/  , Camulod  http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/w/jack-whyte/

Agreed with this. (Though quite random that this is their one and only post. Are you Stephen Lawhead?)
Title: Re: Any good Arthurian Fantasy?
Post by: ScarletBea on August 10, 2014, 10:16:14 AM
The arturian movie I remember, that is now probably incredibly dated but I loved at the time, is Excalibur, which I loved and must have watched when I was 13 or something ;D

After studying Le Mort d'Artur, I remember having to sit through Excalibur. It's good, if you like symbolism crammed down your throat. ;) *Shudders* So much green light.

You watched it about 20 years too late - as I said, it hasn't aged well, hehehe
Title: Any good Arthurian Fantasy?
Post by: Charlemagne on August 11, 2014, 01:06:04 AM
I'm a big fan of Bernard Cornwell's Arthurian series starting with The Winter King. Very entertaining, gritty, and irreverent. How Arthur would have been if the legend hadn't been so hopelessly romanticized (and I love those stories).
Title: Re: Any good Arthurian Fantasy?
Post by: Phil Norris on August 11, 2014, 01:08:22 PM
I'll also recommend Cornwell's Warlord series - The Winter King, Enemy of God and Excalibur - honestly the most believable Arthur telling I've ever come across. Is it fantasy? No, the is Druidic magic performed by Nimue and Merlin but it is grounded magic and portrayed in such a way that you can tick both YES/NO to the question "is this magic".

Arthur in this is nothing like anything I've come across before. He is never king, there is no Camelot and the round table is neither and gets a barest of mentions. For me this makes the story 100% more believable, it is as much a story of Arthur as it is of the birthing pains of a nation.
Title: Re: Any good Arthurian Fantasy?
Post by: Jaedia on August 11, 2014, 05:38:32 PM
I'll also recommend Cornwell's Warlord series - The Winter King, Enemy of God and Excalibur - honestly the most believable Arthur telling I've ever come across. Is it fantasy? No, the is Druidic magic performed by Nimue and Merlin but it is grounded magic and portrayed in such a way that you can tick both YES/NO to the question "is this magic".

Arthur in this is nothing like anything I've come across before. He is never king, there is no Camelot and the round table is neither and gets a barest of mentions. For me this makes the story 100% more believable, it is as much a story of Arthur as it is of the birthing pains of a nation.

Ooh! Is this Bernard Cornwell's research into the real origins of the legend perhaps? Then it's just been bumped up my pile!
Title: Re: Any good Arthurian Fantasy?
Post by: fairbetty on August 11, 2014, 08:38:04 PM
If you haven't read any Mary Stewart, you MUST read her. The Crystal Cave, The Hollow Hills, and The Last Enchantment are all Merlin's perspective on the Arthurian legend, some of my favorite books ever.

And she follows up that trilogy with a fourth book that will REALLY wow you: The Wicked Day. It's Mordred's story. I loved it.

I'm curious to know what you think!
Title: Re: Any good Arthurian Fantasy?
Post by: JamesLatimer on August 12, 2014, 08:54:34 AM
I just read Steinbeck's (yes, the Steinbeck) version/translation of Malory's 'Morte' which he calls 'The Acts of King Arthur and his Noble Knights.  It is not a novelisation or retelling, but a direct adaptation, though with a bit more smoothing here and there than the literal translations into modern English. I was curious what it would be like, and really enjoyed it.  Unfortunately, he never finished it.  I think I saw it back in print recently, though I'm not sure it's any more complete (i.e. notes and reconstructions) than the old version I had.

You can't not read TH White though. Required reading. ;)