I don’t care what critics or anyone else says. That Starz show features probably the most worthless, weasel-faced, selfish toolbag of an Arthur in the history of time immemorial. I honestly never thought it possible to make Camelot, Arthur, Morgan, Igraine and even Merlin seem so utterly lame. I mean, Camelot is supposed to a most congenial spot for happy-ever-aftering not a shrine to stupidity located somewhere near the Cliffs of Moher. And don’t even get me started on how many opportunities were wasted in terms of revamping legends or using Merlin’s magic to accomplish simple tasks.
Anyway, because that show is so godawful and just an utter insult to legends I have held near and dear since childhood, I feel obligated to suggest books that do various aspects of King Arthur, Merlin, his knights, and pretty much anyone living in or near Camelot more justice.
(Note: With the exception of newer Morris and Barron books, I have read all of these titles. But that was long before GoodReads or this blog became a part of my daily life.)
Anything that was written by Chretien de Troyes
The Lost Years of Merlin series by T. A. Barron
Mordred’s Gift and Mordred’s Curse by Ian McDowell
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight translated by J. R. R. Tolkien
The Squire’s Tales series (The Squire’s Tale, The Squire, His Knight, and His Lady, The Savage Damsel and The Dwarf, Parsifal’s Page, The Ballad of Sir Dinadan, The Princess, the Crone, and the Dung Cart Knight, The Lioness and Her Knight, The Quest of the Fair Unknown, The Squire’s Quest, and The Legend of the King) by Gerald Morris
The Sword in the Stone and The Once and Future King by T. H. White – Sort of obvious picks, but still good.
The Winter Prince by Elizabeth E. Wein
Excalibur: The Legend of King Arthur by Tony Lee and Sam Hart
The Kitchen Knight by Margaret Hodges
Merlin and the Dragons by Jane Yolen
Of Swords and Sorcerers by Margaret Hodges
Young Arthur by Robert D. San Souci
Young Guinevere by Robert D. San Souci
Young Lancelot by Robert D. San Souci
Young Merlin by Robert D. San Souci
If anyone has any suggestions along similar lines, let me know. It’s been far too long since I’ve read any Arthurian-related fiction.