Arthur: The Once and Future Story

Thomas Berger
With these tales, the author pays homage to the lives of King Arthur, the Round Table knights and their ladies, while introducing inspired new twists to the stories of old.
Anne Eliot Crompton

Gawain's story - In the two voices of Gawain and Lady Green, this retelling of the Arthurian legend unfolds. Crompton's characters from Merlin's Harp take readers back to the time of Camelot, a place where honor and chivalry are as much a part of life as is breathing for Sir Gawain.

Stephen R. Lawhead

Arthurian Britain is invoked with robust verisimilitude in Lawhead's fifth novel in his Pendragon Cycle. The narrator here is Gwalchavad, a member of Arthur's elite guard whose soldierly frankness lends credibility even to fantastic events. Indeed, one of Lawhead's achievements is his integration, true to the medieval mind, of the mundane and the miraculous. Myrddin (Merlin) is engagingly drawn as both a curmudgeon and a sage. Arthur is interesting for his blend of youthful folly and courage. Interspersed with Gwalchavad's accounts are passages voiced by the enchantress Morgian, Myrddin's evil arch-foe, as she schemes to overthrow Arthur and steal the Holy Grail.

Rosalind Miles

A feminist retelling of the Arthurian legend is seen through the eyes of its heroine, Queen Guenevere, who is courageous and beautiful even when she is forced to choose between her king and the noble knight Sir Lancelot.

Courtway Jones
A new variation on the Arthurian tale, this version invents a new, older half-brother for Arthur and a brutal, tribal Britain as a setting. Jones's details of life and culture reflect his interest in anthropology and give the novel vivacity. Pelleas, a bastard of Uther's and intended for sacrifice to the Oak King, god of the druids, is saved by Myrddin and survives to help raise his younger half-brother.
Roger Lancelyn Green

"King Arthur is one of the greatest legends of all time. From the magical moment when Arthur releases the sword in the stone to the quest for the Holy Grail and the final tragedy of the Last Battle, Roger Lancelyn Green brings the enchanting world of King Arthur stunningly to life."

Mary Stewart

The Merlin Trilogy is Mary Stewart's take on the Arthurian legend in three books: The Crystal Cave, The Hollow Hills, and The Last Enchantment. These books have Merlin, Arthur's wizard mentor, as their focal point, and the result is a charming, engrossing tale providing a unique perspective on a familiar tale.

Fred Saberhagen

Dr. Elaine Brusen's research into the nature of time and space opens a gateway connecting the 21st century with England's post-Arthurian Dark Ages. This creates a nexus of magical energy that centers on the resting place of one of legendary history's most powerful individuals. Saberhagen juxtaposes the perils of a wandering troupe of medieval actors, a Viking warrior's holy quest, the legend of the Fisher King, and a modern scientist's search for the ultimate truth to create an intoxicating blend of romance, adventure, danger, and time-travel.

Anne Eliot Crompton
Niviene, daughter of the Lady of the Lake, sister to the faerie knight who would come to be known as Lancelot, and student of Merlin, finds her destiny in the court of the legendary Arthur.
Peter S. Beagle
Classics from the master of psychological fantasy:
Professor Gottesman and the Indian rhinoceros -- The last and only -- Come Lady Death -- El Regalo -- Julie's unicorn -- The last song of Sirit Byar -- Lila the werewolf -- What tune the enchantress plays -- Uncle Chaim and Aunt Rifke and the angel -- Salt wine -- Two hearts -- Giant bones -- King Pelles the Sure -- Vanishing -- The tale of Junko and Sayuri -- The rock in the park -- We never talk about my brother -- The rabbi's hobby.
Steven R. Lawhead

At the dawn of his reign, a young king must prove his greatness...or lose a realm. Arthur is king -- but darkest evil has descended upon Britain's shores in many guises. Fragile alliances fray and tear, threatening all the noble liege has won with his wisdom and his blood. In this black time of plague and pestilence, Arthur's most trusted counselor Myrddin -- the warrior, bard, and kingmaker whom legend will name Merlin -- is himself to be tested on a mystical journey through his own extraordinary past. So Arthur must stand alone against a great and terrible adversary. For only thus can he truly win immortality -- and the name he will treasure above all others: Pendragon.

Persia Woolley

Guinevere continues her story begun in Child of the Northern Spring, picking it up in the early years of her marriage to King Arthur and stopping after Mordred's arrival at court and Lancelot's departure. Through her eyes, the reader sees the marriage and the kingdom take shape, experiences her kidnapping, and observes the romance of Tristan and Isolde. The stories are familiar, but the suspense is in learning how they are to be related.

The individuals are not drawn larger than life or made mystical. Arthur is often aloof, preoccupied with his own concerns. Guinevere's relationship with Lancelot develops slowly and believably. The prose is richly textured, evoking the sights and sounds of castle and countryside, the qualities of knight and of servant.
(From the publisher's description)

John Steinbeck

"Steinbeck's only work of fantasy literature-in an illustrated deluxe edition John Steinbeck's retelling of Malory's beloved Arthurian stories....Featuring the icons of Arthurian legend-including King Arthur, Merlin, Morgan le Fay, the incomparable Queen Guinevere, and Arthur's purest knight, Sir Lancelot of the Lake-these enduring tales of loyalty and betrayal in the time of Camelot flicker with the wonder and magic of an era past but not forgotten."

Nikolai Tolstoy

Merlin's world in all its complexities is memorably depicted in this first of three fictional studies by the author of the nonfiction The Quest for Merlin . The legendary figure tells his own story from his birth, including some mystical episodes. This book culminates in the battle of Dineirth, where Merlin has accompanied King Maelgun the Tall.

Alice Borchardt

Set in a Britain freshly rid of Roman rule, this tale is loosely based on Arthurian legend. Readers meet a noble Arthur, a wise Morgana, a mesmerizing yet nasty Merlin, and a very different sort of Guinevere. Raised by wolves and endowed with ivy-like skin armor reminiscent of Celtic tattoos, this young woman is no frail maiden in need of a Lancelot.

Young Guinevere blossoms into womanhood while finding herself at the center of a struggle for the soul of her country. On one side is the powerful arch druid Merlin, who has sold out to Romano-British slaveholders. On the other side are matriarchs, sorcerers, and sorceresses, all of whom honor the old ways.
(From the publisher's description)

Jack Whyte

This is the saga of the colony known as Camulod and the relationship between Merlyn and Uther Pendragon, the man who will father the legendary Arthur.

Irene Radford
Merlin's daughter, Wren, is sworn to preserve the natural balance of the world--and although her rightful place should have been in Avalon, she is instead forced to confront an overwhelming evil which may well destroy her entire civilization.
Robert Holdstock

"The first is a man who needs you and will use you. He will weaken you dangerously. The second is a man you betrayed, though you believe otherwise. He wishes to kill you and can do so easily. The third is a ship that is more than a ship. She grieves and broods. She will carry you to your grave."

These three warnings greet Merlin on his return to Alba, the future England, to the deserted fortress of Taurovinda---the Hill of the White Bull. He is not the only one making the journey: Urtha, High King of the Cornovidi, is coming home to reclaim his stronghold, and Jason is sailing in on the Argo to seek his younger son, hiding somewhere in the kingdom. But Urtha's fortress has been taken by warriors from Ghostland; they claim it as their own. There will be war against the Otherworld. In this sequel toCeltika, Robert Holdstock weaves myth and history into a fabulous tale of honor, death, and magic. At its center, moving along his never-ending path, is Merlin himself, an enchanter in the prime of his life, reckless, curious, powerful, yet a stranger to his own past---a past that is catching up with him.

Helen Hollick
As the rightful son of Uther Pendragon, Arthur dreams of uniting the warring kings of Britain. Gwenhwyfar's hope, as the only daughter of Cuncedda, the Lion Lord of Gwynedd, is to join Arthur's cause. Hollick's first novel re-creates the uneasy political climate of fifth-century Britain, a land suffering under the rule of the tyrant Vortigern.
Mike Ashley, editor

This collection of 72 stories by noted fantasy authors including Tanith Lee, Jane Yolen, and Charles de Lint focuses on the enigmatic figure of Merlin. Many of the stories are original to this volume.

Marion Zimmer Bradley

Even readers who don't normally enjoy Arthurian legends will love this version, a retelling from the point of view of the women behind the throne. Morgaine (more commonly known as Morgan Le Fay) and Gwenhwyfar (a Welsh spelling of Guinevere) struggle for power, using Arthur as a way to score points and promote their respective worldviews.

T.H. White

This is a well-loved retelling of the Arthurian legend, from Arthur's birth to the end of his reign, and is based largely on Sir Thomas Malory's Le Morte Darthur.  The musical Camelot was based on it, as was Disney's The Sword in the Stone.  After White's death, a conclusion to The Once and Future King was found among his papers; it was published in 1977 as The Book of Merlyn.

edited by Mike Ashley

Sixteen stories based on the Arthurian tradition, by such authors as John Steinbeck, Jane Yolen, Andre Norton, and others. Also included are a helpful guide to Arthurian names and characters and a bibliography of "100 Years of Arthurian Fiction."

Mary Stewart

Returning to the era of Arthur and his Camelot, Stewart has given life to two lesser-known characters from Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur. She enlarges upon and gives wonderful detail to Alexander, a young prince who sets off on a quest to avenge his
father's assassination and to Alice, a gentle young lass who accompanies her father on pilgrimages to Holy shrines. Their stories are told in five alternating chapters until they meet, fall in love, and vanquish the foe in the exciting climax.

Alice Borchardt

This Guinevere is no starry-eyed princess, only good for looking beautiful and breaking kingdoms in two. Guinevere, Queen of the Dragon Throne, calls upon the spirits of the dead to aid her fledgling army in battling pirates, an action that changes her own soul irrevocably. Meanwhile, a shape shifter and childhood friend named Black Leg (soon to be Lancelot) goes on a hero's quest to prove himself worthy of his beloved Guinevere.

 

Deepak Chopra
Holistic health guru Chopra makes his fictional debut with a symbolic tale mixing Arthurian legends with a modern-day detective story.
Jack Whyte
Merlyn finally realizes his quest and, after Arthur successfully withdraws the Sword of Kingship from the stone, presents him as the rightful High King of Britain.
Rosemary Sutcliff
A retelling of the adventures and exploits of King Arthur and his knights at the court of Camelot and elsewhere in the land of the Britons, based on Sir Thomas Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur.
Bernard Cornwell

Cornwell's Arthur is fierce, dedicated and complex, a man with many problems, most of his own making. His impulsive decisions sometimes have tragic ramifications, as when he lustfully takes Guinevere instead of the intended Ceinwyn, alienating his friends and allies and inspiring a bloody battle. The secondary characters are equally unexpected, and are ribboned with the magic and superstition of the times. Merlin impresses as a remarkable personage, a crafty schemer fond of deceit and disguise. Lancelot is portrayed as a warrior-pretender, a dishonest charmer with dark plans of his own; by contrast, Galahad seems the noble soldier of purpose and dedication. Guinevere, meanwhile, no gentle creature waiting patiently in the moonlight, has designs and plots of her own. The story of these characters and others is narrated forcefully and with dry wit by Derfel Cadarn, one of Arthur's warriors, who later becomes a monk.

John Steinbeck
Adopting the structure and themes of the Arthurian legend, Steinbeck created a "Camelot" on a shabby hillside above Monterey on the California coast and peopled it with a colorful band of knights. As Steinbeck chronicles their thoughts and emotions, temptations and lusts, he spins a tale as compelling, and ultimately as touched by sorrow, as the famous legends of the Round Table.
Richard Wagner

Setting: legendary times.
The story is about Tristan, whose name meant sadness, and was given to him after his mother's death in childbirth. Because he was the nephew of King Mark of Cornwall, it was Tristan's duty to provide an escort for King Mark's betrothed, the beautiful and fiery Isolde, on her way to join King Mark and become his bride. On the long journey, Tristan and Isolde realize their passion for each other and attempt suicide by drinking what they believe to be a death potion; however, Isolde's maid, not willing to help Isolde die substitutes a love potion, causing them to fall even more deeply in love. What follows is the sad tale of their love, separation and death.

Courtway Jones

The story of Morgan le Fay - Morgan, daughter of Igraine the Gold and Gorlais, Duke of Cornwall, is sent away after her beloved father is killed by Uther Pendragon's men. Schooled in the mysteries of the Great Mother by the Lady of the Lake and later taking her place among her mother's people, the matriarchal Gaels, Morgan learns to fight, heal, rule and judge. After being raped by Briton king Lot, she marries Pictish King Urien and lovingly raises his sons from a previous marriage. She leaves that unhappy union to become a member of her younger halfbrother's court, where the damage that will be wrought by Arthur's seneschal and
foster brother, Kay, is already apparent. The death of her favorite stepson drives Morgan to set up her own small kingdom, a Gaelic matriarchy, in the north.