nonfiction

Once Upon A Bookshelf: The Betrayal of Arthur

betrayal-of-arthur-1999-coverThe Story

From the back of the book:

A prophecy of a golden age, a magic sword and a chosen one… This is the legend of King Arthur… or is it?

From the manuscripts of a twelfth-century English cleric to a New York bestseller, tales of King Arthur and his court permeate our world. But where did the stories start and how much is true? Were Guenevere and Lancelot traitors? Was Merlin a wise man or magician? And was King Arthur a great and glorious king or a tragic man doomed from conception?

Sara Douglass, a leading writer of fantasy, pierces the heart of this legend. A scholar and academic in medieval history, she explores the fascination, manipulation and permutations of this captivating myth that has intrigued the western world for centuries.

The Response

I will admit that I was worried about this book. It’s been sitting on the TBR for the past four years, and I was torn about whether I really wanted to read it. See, I have a love for the Arthurian mythos (well, for most of it, there are certain parts of the mythos *cough*Lancelot*cough* that I loath, but for the most part I love the legends)… and I was worried that this would make me loath all things Arthurian. But it was written by Sara Douglass, whose writing I adore, so it couldn’t lead me too astray into something I really hated, right?

So it was with much misgivings that I went into this book, and while it opened my eyes up to the true character of Arthur, it was certainly extremely informative and (surprisingly) enjoyable. HIGHLY enjoyable.

The Bottom Line

Highly recommended to people who are interested in learning more about Arthurian legends than just the story itself. Unfortunately, this book is now out of print, but it’s definitely worth the hunt for in second hand sources. I, personally, have drastically marked up my copy of this book and will be keeping it for a very long time to look back at when necessary.


©2011 Courtney Wilson / Once Upon A Bookshelf. To read the full review on the Once Upon A Bookshelf website please click on this link.