12 Arthurian Retellings

by Hope Hanson
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Honestly, I just love retellings in general. It doesn’t matter if a book is influenced by a fairy tale, folktale, or a literary classic; as long as an author is putting a new twist on an old story, you can count me in. But some of my favorites are retellings of Arthurian legends, simply because I love all those old stories. So, here’s a list of 12 Arthurian retellings, because why not?

The Merlin Saga by T.A. Barron

This series is one of my all-time favorites. These books actually sparked my love of Arthurian legend, so they definitely have a special place in my heart. Really, it’s the first five books in the saga that focus on the tale of a young Merlin, but I enjoyed reading the later books in the series just as much.

Half Sick of Shadows by Laura Sebastian

Half Sick of Shadows Cover

Elaine of Astolat is such a tragic figure in Arthurian legend who meets totally unfair end, and I love what Sebastian has decided to do with her story. I haven’t picked up a copy yet, but I’m definitely excited to read this. I want to find out more about this version of Elaine because she sounds so fascinating; after all, she can see the future, and what isn’t exciting about that?

Cursed by Thomas Wheeler

I actually first saw the trailer for the Netflix adaptation before I learned it was originally a book. For this one, Wheeler drew on a more complicated area of Arthurian legend: The Lady of the Lake. There are a lot of different tales and threads of stories about her in the legendarium, and I want to read this because Wheeler’s take seems super interesting. (And because the show looked pretty awesome, but I want to read the book first.)

Once and Future by Amy Rose Capetta and Cori McCarthy

Once and Future Cover

I’ve heard quite a bit about this book, and I love all of it. The science-fiction setting seems like it would be super entertaining, so I’m looking forward to reading it and seeing how that goes. Hopefully, it’ll end up being just as amazing as I’m expecting it to be.

The Guinevere Deception by Kiersten White

This list is apparently going to be overwhelmed by books on my TBR. Anyway, I forget who recommended this to me, but someone on Bookstagram did one time when I mentioned my love of Arthurian retellings. But I really want to read this one because Guinevere is one of my favorite figures. Additionally, based on the plot description, I think this book includes some court politics–and you know how much I love that.

The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley

When it comes to Arthurian retellings, The Mists of Avalon is something of a classic. It’s also one of the books that have been on my physical TBR for the longest time. Seriously, I don’t even know how long I’ve owned it for, at this point. But I promise I’ll read it soon! Anyway, this book tells the stories of Arthurian legend from the perspectives of the women in the tales, and I’m super excited to read about that.

Guinevere’s Gift/Guinevere’s Gamble by Nancy McKenzie

Unfortunately, this quartet was never finished; only two books were ever published. Still, these books are great for younger readers interested in Arthurian retellings. And, to be honest, most of the loose ends are just larger plot arcs; the stories in the individual books are wrapped up nicely. So, no massive cliffhangers!

The Once and Future King by T.H. White

This one’s another classic when it comes to Arthurian retellings! I don’t even own a copy of this, but I definitely want to read it at some point.

Queen of Camelot by Nancy McKenzie

Okay, I really want to read this one! I loved McKenzie’s other Guinevere-focused series when I was younger. So, I’d be super interested to see how I like her more adult-oriented books about Guinevere. Hopefully, I’ll end up loving them just as much!

Sword Stone Table edited by Swapna Krishna and Jenn Northington

This book looks so interesting! It includes so many unique, new takes on different stories and characters in Arthurian legend, and I think I’ll love every single one of them. I actually only recently found out about this book, but I’ll definitely be buying myself a copy soon because I just need to read it.

The Merlin Codex by Robert Holdstock

This trilogy focuses on Merlin’s adventures prior to Arthur. Honestly, I love the concept, especially since the first book ties in Greek mythology. Seriously, what more could I possibly ask for?

The Fall of Arthur by J.R.R. Tolkien, edited by Christopher Tolkien

How could I not include the Tolkien book? Anyway, this is an unfinished poem of Tolkien’s that details the final campaign of Arthur and his knights. The book also includes essays written by Christopher Tolkien that explore the tales of Arthurian legend, as well as their influences on Tolkien’s legendarium.

So, there you have it: 12 Arthurian retellings that I either already love or am extremely excited to read! There are so many more, too, but these are the ones I wanted to include here.

If you have any favorite books based on Arthurian legend not mentioned here, though, drop a comment down below and let me know about them! I’m definitely open to learning even more. Additionally, if you enjoyed this post, use the Extras tab above to access more of the same content. I have quite a few lists you can scroll through!

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