Arthurian Retellings Reading List

Initially created for Wyrd and Wonder 2023, I decided to pull together an Arthurian retellings list. I have always been low key interested in Arthurian legend. Like many things in life, we all have many interests but not enough time in which to truly delve deep into them. So I satisfy my interest with reading Arthurian retellings. And there are some great ones out there to read.

Since there are many works on Arthurian legend, this list is not comprehensive. Instead, this Arthurian retellings list contains books I have read. It also has some which I have not yet read, but would like to in the long term. My intention is to create a working list. That is, I plan to update it as I read my way through more Arthurian tales. I am always open to recommendations, so if you have any that fall under this topic, please let me know in the comment section.

Young Adult

Once & Future duology

once & future by a.r. capetta and cory mccarthysword in the stars by a.r. capetta and cory mccarthyAuthor: A.R. Capetta and Cory McCarthy
Series: Once & Future
Age Category: Young Adult
Publisher: Jimmy Patterson
Publish Date: 2019; 2020

Status: Unread.

Once & Future Synopsis

Sword In the Stars Synopsis

Gwen & Art Are Not in Love

Gwen & Art Are Not In Love by Lex CroucherAuthor: Lex Croucher
Series: None
Age Category: Young Adult
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Publish Date: November 28, 2023
Print Length: 416

Status: Read and reviewed.

Synopsis

The Legendborn Cycle duology

Legendborn by Tracy DeonnBloodmarked by Tracy DeonnAuthor: Tracy Deonn
Series: Legendborn
Age Category: Young Adult
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books; Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Publish Date: 2020; 2022

Status: Unread.

Legendborn Synopsis

Bloodmarked Synopsis

Camelot Rising

The Guinevere Deception by Kiersten WhiteThe Camelot Betrayal by Kiersten WhiteThe Excalibur Curse by Kiersten WhiteAuthor: Kiersten White
Series: Camelot Rising
Age Category: Young Adult
Publisher: Ember; Delacorte Press
Publish Date: 2020; 2021

Status: Unread.

The Guinevere Deception Synopsis

The Camelot Betrayal Synopsis

The Excalibur Curse Synopsis

Emry Merlin duology

The Other Merlin by Robyn SchneiderThe Future King by Robyn SchneiderAuthor: Robyn Schneider
Series: Emry Merlin
Age Category: Young Adult
Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers
Publish Date: 2021; 2023

Status: Unread.

The Other Merlin Synopsis

The Future King Synopsis

Adult

The Mists of Avalon

The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer BradleyAuthor: Marion Zimmer Bradley
Series: Avalon #1
Age Category: Young Adult
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Publish Date: May 1, 1984
Print Length: 876

Status: Unread.

Synopsis

Spear

Author: Nicola Griffith
Series: None
Age Category: Adult
Publisher: Tordotcom
Publish Date: April 19, 2022
Print Length: 192

Status: Read and reviewed.

Synopsis

Idylls of the Queen: A Tale of Queen Guenevere

Idylls of the Queen by Phyllis Ann KarrAuthor: Phyllis Ann Karr
Series: None
Age Category: Adult
Publisher: Wildside Press
Publish Date: August 27, 2013
Print Length: 238

Status: Unread.

Synopsis

Morgan Is My Name

Morgan Is My Name by Sophie KeetchAuthor: Sophie Keetch
Series: Unnamed trilogy
Age Category: Adult
Publisher: Random House Canada
Publish Date: June 13, 2023
Print Length: 368

Status: Unread.

Synopsis

Perilous Times

Perilous Times by Thomas D. LeeAuthor: Thomas D. Lee
Series: None
Age Category: Adult
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Publish Date: May 23, 2023
Print Length: 496

Status: Read and reviewed.

Synopsis

The Cleaving

The Cleaving by Juliet McKennaAuthor: Juliet E. McKenna
Series: None
Age Category: Adult
Publisher: Angry Robot
Publish Date: April 11, 2023
Print Length: 384

Status: Read and reviewed.

Synopsis

The Dragon Ring

Author: Fil Reid
Series: Guinevere Book 1
Age Category: Adult
Publisher: Dragonblade Publishing, USA
Publish Date: January 11, 2022
Print Length: 312

Status: Read and reviewed.

Synopsis

Half Sick of Shadows

Author: Laura Sebastian
Series: None
Age Category: Adult
Publisher: Ace
Publish Date: July 6, 2021
Print Length: 443

Status: Read and reviewed.

Synopsis

The Arthurian Saga series

the crystal cave by mary stewartthe hollow hills by mary stewartthe last enchantment by mary stewartthe wicked day by mary stewartthe prince and the pilgrim by mary stewart

Author: Mary Stewart
Series: The Arthurian Saga
Age Category: Adult
Publish Date: 1970 and later

Status: Unread.

The Crystal Cave (book #1) Synopsis

Scholarly Works

This section contains books that one might consider “scholarly.” That is, they analyze how writers portray characters or the legend over time.

The Once and Future Queen: Guinevere in Arthurian Legend

The Once and Future Queen by Nicole EvelinaAuthor: Nicole Evelina
Series: None
Age Category: Adult
Publisher: Lawson Gartner Publishing
Publish Date: November 21, 2017
Print Length: 278

Status: Unread.

Synopsis

Magic in Merlin’s Realm: A History of Occult Politics in Britain

Magic in Merlin's Realm by Francis YoungAuthor: Francis Young
Series: None
Age Category: Adult
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publish Date: May 12, 2022
Print Length: 406

Status: Unread.

Synopsis

The Classics

This section contains works that one might generally consider “classic” Arthurian legend and retellings through the mid-20th century.

Idylls of the King

Idylls of the King by Alfred, Lord TennysonAuthor: Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Series: None
Age Category: Adult
Publisher: Penguin Classics
Publish Date: 1859-1885 (first published)
Print Length: 384

Status: Unread.

Synopsis

Le Morte d’Arthur

Wikipedia has a great page about the history and editions of this 15th century classic. In summary, LE MORTE D’ARTHUR is Sir Thomas Malory’s reworking of many older materials to tell a complete tale about Arthur from his conception to death.

Volume 1

Le Morte d'Arthur Volume 1 by Sir Thomas MaloryAuthor: Sir Thomas Malory
Series: Le Morte d’Arthur, Volume 1
Age Category: Adult
Publisher: Penguin Classics (ed. 1970)
Publish Date: 1485 (first published)
Print Length: 528

Status: Unread.

Volume 1 Synopsis

Volume 2

Le Morte d'Arthur Volume 2 by Sir Thomas MaloryAuthor: Sir Thomas Malory
Series: Le Morte d’Arthur, Volume 2
Age Category: Adult
Publisher: Penguin Group (ed. 1970)
Publish Date: 1485 (first published)
Print Length: 592

Status: Unread.

Volume 2 Synopsis

The Once and Future King

The Once and Future King by T.H. WhiteAuthor: T.H. White
Series: None
Age Category: Adult
Publisher: Ace
Publish Date: January 1, 1958 (first published)
Print Length: 656

Status: Unread.

THE ONCE AND FUTURE KING is a rework of four previously-published books by White: THE SWORD IN THE STONE (1938), THE WITCH IN THE WOOD (1939), THE ILL-MADE KNIGHT (1940), and THE CANDLE IN THE WIND (1958). A final part called THE BOOK OF MERLYN was published separately in 1977, about a decade after White’s death. White based these works loosely on the 1485 work LE MORTE D’ARTHUR by Sir Thomas Malory.

Synopsis

I know there are plenty more retellings and classic works of Arthurian legend. Consider this a relatively short list. However, if there’s a retelling you love that I missed, particularly a more recent one, please let me know in the comment section below. I’m always looking for newer reimaginings of such an old myth both to read and add to this Arthurian retellings list.

This post was last updated on December 11, 2023.

37 thoughts on “Arthurian Retellings Reading List

    1. Thank you! I was completely unaware of Mary Stewart’s books, and there are a lot of them! You definitely should read some of the newer Arthurian retellings! I was surprised to see that there are a fair number of YA ones, too.

  1. I love this list!!! The Legendborn duology is on my TBR and I heartily recommend the Mary Stewart books even though they are quite old now.

    1. Thank you! I bought the Fairyloot Legendborn duology special editions a few weeks ago, so I’m looking forward to reading them when they arrive. But it’ll be a while. Good to know about the Mary Stewart books!

    1. Thank you! And I’m glad that you find this useful. It was definitely a nice exercise that allowed me to find some new-to-me retellings as well, even though some of the modern retellings are closer to 40 years old.

  2. This is such an awesome list!! I loved the books by White, Mallory, Griffith, & Stewart. So many of the others are on my TBR. I look forward to seeing this list grow and will definitely check back on it every now and then to add more Arthurian books to my TBR. 🙂 Also, The Dark Is Rising series by Susan Cooper is grounded in Arthurian legend, but I’m not sure if it meets your criteria to make it on this list since it is not a direct retelling per se.

    1. Thanks! And I thought I remembered you reading White’s YA trilogy. That one has been on my TBR for aaaages. Thanks for the Susan Cooper recommendation. I don’t have any Middle Grade books in this list, but it’d be good to add them. I’m fairly loose with the definition of a retelling, but they look like good candidates to add.

  3. It’s interesting how many Arthurian retellings exist, but many people know neither of them nor of the older variants of the “first legend.”

    1. Yea I didn’t realize just how many there were until I started making this list. And I had to cut myself off otherwise I wouldn’t have finished this post for a while. I would like to read the “original” retelling of some of the earlier legends, that is Le Mort d’Arthur. I specifically looked for it at my last library sale, but didn’t see it. I’ll keep checking. And I haven’t even delved into the source material that inspired Sir Thomas Malory and later. Do you know any off the top of your head? If not that’s ok–I can do some internet sleuthing later.

      1. If I’m remembering correctly, then you might have to search for English Literature Anthologies, university-level. I suggest looking into Old and Middle English renditions of the tale. Good luck.

  4. I have a review in the works for Merlin’s Booke by Jane Yolen. I really enjoyed it

  5. Love this list, especially the scholarly ones because I love nonfiction about myths! This is Arthurian-adjacent but I really enjoyed the Merlin saga from T.A. Baron when I was younger

    1. I haven’t heard of the Merlin saga, so thank you for the recommendation! I was also intrigued by the scholarly books…might have to track them down soon.

  6. If you have the time, Peter David’s Modern Arthur series is worth the time (as I recall): Knight Life, One Knight Only, and Fall of Knight. And, yes, the titles do give an indication of some of the humor involved

    1. Awesome, thank you for the recommendations! I’m not surprised one bit that I didn’t stumble upon so many other retellings.

      1. If they’re not the most retold stories in English, I can’t imagine what would be. Probably impossible to track them all down (but keep trying!)

        1. Oh there’s absolutely no way I could track them all down! I’d need a whole portion of my site to be about that haha. Would be cool to do, though.

  7. I love this post, especially how you’ve split it by genre as well! I just bought Perilous Times because of the way you’ve talked about it… some of these I knew about already but I’ve definitely added some new ones to my list thanks to this.

    1. Yay, I hope you enjoy PERILOUS TIMES! I’m thinking about ordering the UK edition because I like the cover art a lot. Glad to see my list has inspired you to add more to your TBR! 😉

  8. My husband has been trying to get me to read The Once and Future King for so long haaha I need to read it. Saving this post for future reference because wow! There are so many books on here!

    1. I almost got it at the bookstore a few weeks ago, but decided to hold out for the next library sale & hope there’s one in there. 😛 It’s been around for ages so I hope I can find a decent used copy somewhere local.

  9. If you’re interested in adding books for slightly younger readers, The Metropolitans is my favorite modern Arthurian retelling (and I’ve invested a possibly unhealthy amount of time in reading Arthurian material). Edwin Arlington Robinson’s book-length poem “Merlin” also offers an interesting perspective, particularly in its treatment of often-overlooked Dagonet. Secret Camelot is a great compendium of slightly obscure legends.

    1. Ooo thank you for all the recs! I’ll definitely have to update this retellings list in the future. There was no way I would’ve found “everything” in my first pass at this, so I’m loving all the recs everyone’s given me. Secret Camelot sounds very intriguing.

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  11. Can someone help me find a retelling of Isolde’s story? It was written as prose poetry. Would’ve been published before 2010, but after 2000. Isolde has a crush on Lancelot. Lancelot leaves on business to escort Arthur’s future wife Guinevere, but falls in love with her on the way back (we don’t see him fall in love with her since its from Isolde’s perspective. Its just that Lancelot comes back changed.) Tristan is in the story too and he clearly has feelings for Isolde. I feel like she was good with plants. I think there is a scene where she gets shot with an arrow and floats down a river near death, but survives. She ends up with Tristan in the end.

    Edit nevermind I found it: Its not Isolde’s story it is Elain of Astolat which is why I was struggling to find it. The novel is called Song of the Sparrow.

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