This is Real Life Sale
 
 

Special Offers see all

Enter to WIN a $100 Credit

Subscribe to PowellsBooks.news
for a chance to win.
Privacy Policy

Visit our stores


    Recently Viewed clear list


    Interviews | March 9, 2015

    Rhianna Walton: IMG Erik Larson: The Powells.com Interview



    Erik LarsonI've been a fan of Erik Larson's riveting brand of narrative history for years, and his latest book, Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania,... Continue »
    1. $19.60 Sale Hardcover add to wish list

    spacer
Qualifying orders ship free.
$1.98
Used Hardcover
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
Qty Store Section
1 Local Warehouse Science Fiction and Fantasy- A to Z

Arthur the King

by

Arthur the King Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

At the top of his form, historical novelist Allan Massie revisits Britain in the dark years after the collapse of Rome, when the land is being ravaged by bitter struggles for power among warring kings. Or so it is until the arrival of Wart, a servant boy who has been tutored by a troupe of strolling players as well as by the politically astute magus Merlin. Reinventing old stories like that of the sword in the stone, Massie replaces the magic in Merlin's wondrous deeds with natural philosophy. In the often-incredible stuff of Arthurian legend and sixth-century history, Massie seeks out more mythic truths as romance confronts unheroic realities in Wart's transformation into the statesman-king Arthur. In Massie's tale, too, Arthur's marriage to Guinevere is a matter of political convenience. Lancelot is a sickly neurotic with little sense of honor. Mordred hides behind religious piety as he undermines Arthur's kingdom with a military dictatorship. An increasingly troubled and isolated monarch—as unsympathetic to his thuggish knights' lust for battle as he is to their quest for the Holy Grail—Arthur does have one long-loyal friend. His name is Cal—a common man blessed with common sense—and an invention of Massie's brilliant own mind.

Review:

"In this second volume of his historical trilogy (after The Evening of the World, set in the dying days of the Roman Empire), Massie presents a cheerily erudite deconstruction and retelling of the Arthurian legend. The linear events of the narrative are familiar: as a young boy, Arthur is schooled by Merlin, then claims the throne of England by pulling the sword Excalibur from its stone. Massie's version, however, fashions alternate histories for familiar characters (chronicling, for example, Merlin's wretched childhood and describing the twisted use he makes of his powers) and takes a playful, humorous tone ('Nor was Arthur enamored of mathematics, even though Merlin took great joy in that subject and excelled (as he supposed) in expounding it'). Once crowned king, Arthur is portrayed as a strategist and statesman whose marriage to the Saxon maiden Guinevere is one of convenience; his true love is his half-sister, Morgan le Fay, and he has a fondness for pretty youths (as does Merlin). Similarly, the machinations of the Knights of the Round Table are seen as a series of political maneuvers, particularly when the knights jockey for position as the quest for the Grail begins. Readers looking for the standard heroic take may be disappointed, but those of 'a speculative and skeptical turn of mind, which takes nothing on trust or unexamined' will appreciate this bracing chronicle. Agent, Weidenfeld & Nicolson. (Dec.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Synopsis:

Familiar legend comes freshly minted in this boldly original retelling of King Arthur's tale and all its woes and wonders.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780786713844
Author:
Massie, Allan
Publisher:
Carroll & Graf
Subject:
Fantasy - General
Subject:
Historical - Arthurian
Subject:
Arthur
Subject:
Camelot (Legendary place)
Subject:
FICTION / Fantasy / General
Subject:
Role Playing & Fantasy
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
20041111
Binding:
Hardback
Language:
English
Pages:
304
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 19 oz

Other books you might like

  1. Banquet of the Lords of Night New Hardcover $24.75
  2. Wicked: The Life and Times of the...
    Used Trade Paper $2.50
  3. Crucible #02: The Wounded Hawk Used Mass Market $4.50
  4. The Tree Bride Used Hardcover $5.50
  5. Hell or High Water: Surviving... Used Hardcover $7.95
  6. Before the Frost: A Linda Wallander...
    Used Hardcover $8.95

Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » A to Z

Arthur the King Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$1.98 In Stock
Product details 304 pages Carroll & Graf Publishers - English 9780786713844 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "In this second volume of his historical trilogy (after The Evening of the World, set in the dying days of the Roman Empire), Massie presents a cheerily erudite deconstruction and retelling of the Arthurian legend. The linear events of the narrative are familiar: as a young boy, Arthur is schooled by Merlin, then claims the throne of England by pulling the sword Excalibur from its stone. Massie's version, however, fashions alternate histories for familiar characters (chronicling, for example, Merlin's wretched childhood and describing the twisted use he makes of his powers) and takes a playful, humorous tone ('Nor was Arthur enamored of mathematics, even though Merlin took great joy in that subject and excelled (as he supposed) in expounding it'). Once crowned king, Arthur is portrayed as a strategist and statesman whose marriage to the Saxon maiden Guinevere is one of convenience; his true love is his half-sister, Morgan le Fay, and he has a fondness for pretty youths (as does Merlin). Similarly, the machinations of the Knights of the Round Table are seen as a series of political maneuvers, particularly when the knights jockey for position as the quest for the Grail begins. Readers looking for the standard heroic take may be disappointed, but those of 'a speculative and skeptical turn of mind, which takes nothing on trust or unexamined' will appreciate this bracing chronicle. Agent, Weidenfeld & Nicolson. (Dec.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by , Familiar legend comes freshly minted in this boldly original retelling of King Arthur's tale and all its woes and wonders.

spacer
spacer
  • back to top

FOLLOW US ON...

     
Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.