Wednesday, September 16, 2009

King Arthur

Are there any really cool King Arthur stories out there? I can name a few, I think, but I still don't find many that are done to my satisfaction. Stephen Lawhead probably got the closest with Bernard Cornwell a close second. After that, I'm not sure how to rank them. There are so many and for me, so few hit the mark.
Let me try and make a list. My criteria is "coolness" not accuracy. It bugs me when people argue accuracy for King Arthur since we can't even prove definitively if he exists AND there are already conflicting stories that are hundreds of years old. It's hard enough to find consistency with today's "Legends" (Star Trek, Star Wars, Superman, Tarzan) let alone on that is 1500 years old.
Anyway, the Green Gates Arthurian fiction list ranked in order of coolness:
  1. Stephen Lawhead's "The Pendragon Cycle"
  2. Bernward Cornwell's "The Arthur Books" Series
  3. Mary Stewart's "Merlin" Series
  4. Dafyd Ab Hugh's "Arthur Warlord" duology
  5. Jack Whyte's "Camulod Chronicles"
  6. Marion Zimmer Bradley's "The Mists of Avalon" (I never loved the rest of the series)
  7. Excalibur (the movie)
  8. King Arthur (the movie)
  9. The Last Legion (movie)
  10. Cherith Bladry's "Exiled from Camelot"
  11. Clemence Housman's "The Life of Sir Aglovale De Galis"
  12. TH White's "Once and Future King"
  13. Douglas Clegg's "Mordred Trilogy"
  14. Vivian Vande Velde's "Book of Mordred"
  15. Howard Pyle's "Story of King Arthur and His Knights"

I haven't read every Arthur book, but I have read these. I may amend the list as I read more.

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