It’s been a while since I did any kind of round-up post, and I’ve been thinking a lot about Arthurian novels. Arthurian legend is probably my absolute go-to favorite for fantasy literature. I love a ton of different kinds of sci-fi and fantasy, of course, but if I had to pick one specific subgenre that really blows my skirt up, it has to be Arthurian. I’ll take it in just about any setting, I’ll read it without forgetting, I’ll read it at school, I’ll read it in the pool, I love stories of Arthur the King… I’ll stop. Ahem. Sorry.
Anyway, in no particular order, below are some of my favorites and I hope some are new to you!
Our Man On Earth (The Swithen Book 1) by Scott Tilek. An account based on some of the oldest extant manuscripts describing Merlin.
Black Horses for the King (Magic Carpet Books) by Anne McCaffrey. My beloved author wrote an Arthurian novel (yay!) about horses (winning!!), which is even better. All about the quest to find the perfect breed of warhorse for Arthur and his knights.
The Kingmaking: Book One of the Pendragon’s Banner Trilogy by Helen Hollick. An historic retelling, stripped of magic and placed in a realistic medieval setting. One of the best, on par with Bernard Cornwell’s Arthurian Trilogy (The Warlord Chronicles: Books 1, 2 & 3: Excalibur / Enemy of God / The Winter King), which is also legit.
The Guinevere’s Tale Trilogy (Daughter of Destiny, Camelot’s Queen, and Mistress of Legend) by Nicole Evelina. The Arthurian legends told from Guinevere’s perspective. The tales get a fresh, feminist revision with a fierce new look at Camelot’s queen.
Child of the Northern Spring: Book One of the Guinevere Trilogy by Persia Wooley. Guinevere is a Welsh princess tomboy who was raised to become a queen.
Knight Life by Peter David. Arthur and Morgan in modern Manhattan, as told by the hilarious Peter David, whose Star Trek books I have universally loved. Especially Imzadi.
Song Of The Sparrow by Lisa Ann Sandell. Actually, this is the story of the Lady of Shallott, told in verse, and it is lovely.
The Excalibur Murders: A Merlin Investigation by JMC Blair. Excalibur is stolen and a squire is murdered, so Merlin has to use his magic to solve the crime.
The White Raven by Diana Paxson. An historical setting of the Tristan and Iseult story, placed in medieval Cornwall. It is told from the perspective of Branwen, Iseult’s cousin and lady in waiting. Alas, I think this one is out of print, but I know you can get it from used bookstores and Amazon, because that’s how I got my copy. Just sayin’…