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A Good Novel/Novel Series About the Arthurian Legends.


So I am wanting to write a novel about the Arthurian legends. It will be my practice novel before I go into my huge fantasy novel series. In order to help keep the creative juices flowing, I want to also read a novel or novel series while I write it. While I have read and heard of some, some suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks!:)


If you already know what your specific interests in literature are, then it should be pretty easy to find a suitable novel based on your tastes.

The Lord of the Rings and the Conan the Barbarian books are important to read as research to become a good writer because you get a better understanding of how Fantasy got its starting foundation some 100 years ago.

The Dragonlance series was started in the 80's and went on into later years. They are easy reading and can help teach an author how to keep the dialogue of an ensemble cast from becoming confusing.

For an enjoyable autobiography series, I fell in love with the works of James Harriet long ago, his first in the series 'All Creatures Great and Small' is so amusing and engrossing that I think I could read it at least once every year.

To develop style there are many choices. Personally I love Hunter Thompson, The Rum Diary and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas are gritty period pieces.

For a solid lesson in skill, I would try a sample of Stefan Zweig.


I'd recommend The Winter Prince by Elizabeth Wein, and Sword of the Rightful King by Jane Yolen.

Winter Prince is told from the viewpoint of Mordred, and is set in post-Romanized Celtic Britain, eliminating many of the French influences on the legend. It really flips Arthurian legend upside down. And the ending will make you cry. Just fair warning.

Sword of the Rightful King, like Winter Prince, does away with the later French additions. However, this one is set in early Anglo-Saxon Britain instead of Celtic. It's still got a lot of the classic elements of Arthurian legend, but with an original spin on them. Because this is Jane Yolen, the book's got this amazing sense of mysticism and magic to it. Definitely worth a reading.


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Well, I guess if no one else is going to mention it I will mention Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley. It won the 1984 Locus award for Best Fantasy Novel and Isaac Asimov called it "The best retelling of the Aurthurian saga I have ever read."

It can be pretty dry, heavy on detail, and I struggled through parts of it, but it says really interesting things about the roles of Paganism and Christianity at the time. It also tells the story through the perspective of the women (Morgan La Fay and Guinevere etc) so it has a different take than the male centric we have traditionally seen.


You might also research historical information not only on Arthur but the various incarnations of his Britain. How historical or fantasy do you want to go.

There are several RPG and game material on Arthur that may be an asset to you. I know there are some Arthurian based pen and paper books at DriveThruRPG.com - The Largest RPG Download Store! I just cant remember their names


I'd recommend the Warlord Chronicles by Bernard Cornwell and both Ghost King and The Last Sword of Power by David Gemmell.