Arthurian Legend

Tristan und Isolde

By Richard Wagner

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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.

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The Iron Grail

By Robert Holdstock

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"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.

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The Acts of King Arthur and His Noble Knights

By John Steinbeck

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"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."

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Witch of the North

By Courtway Jones

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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.

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Grail

By Stephen R. Lawhead

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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.

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Gawain and Lady Green

By Anne Eliot Crompton

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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.

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The Prince and the Pilgrim

By Mary Stewart

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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.

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The Pendragon Chronicles: Heroic Fantasy from the Time of King Arthur

By edited by Mike Ashley

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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."

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The Once and Future King

By T.H. White

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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.

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