Sword at Sunset: Question Five


So there were lots of elements of Arthurian legend, and legendary history incorporated into the book:

  • Arthur being the illegitimate child of Uther.
  • Mordred, the child of Arthur's inadvertent incest with his half sister, being his doom.
  • The big name Saxons- Hengest and Horsa, Aelle, Cerdic (and I really loved the take on Cerdic).
  • Vortigern and the Night of the Long Knives.
  • The decisive Battle of Badon.
  • The Mallory take that King Arthur was crowned Roman Emperor.
  • Guinevere cheating on Arthur with the most prominent of his knights.

And there are other parts missing, the main ones being.

  • Merlin
  • The Holy Grail

What did you think of this take on the King Arthur story, the use of the Arthurian elements, and what was "left out"?


  • 1

    Lots of good elements here for the history buffs who like to marry legend to history. She also gives us the Lady of the Lake (or at least, the tossing of the sword into the lake) and Avalon (The Isle of Apples), which I assume is Glastonbury Tor, which in some Arthurian sleuth texts is said to have once bee surrounded by a mere.

    Some, but not all of the battles, including Cat Coit Celadon (spelled differently in this book) and the River Glein.

    One little detail that I smiled at was the image of Arthur carrying the image of the virgin - here represented by a flower.

    The role of Lancelot was filled by Bedwyr. Kay was Cei. Not sure about Galahad and the others. I liked how Vortigern and Ambrosius were worked in.

    Missing are the round table and Excalibur, as well as those you mentioned.

  • 1

    The "historical Arthur" tack can be effective. I have seen it done more than once.

  • 0

    Oh yes, no round table. Though the Companions were Arthur's fellowship of knights. And of the knights only Lancelot/Bedivere (Bedwyr), Gawain (Gwalchmai, though much changed from other versions) and Cei (Kay) seem to be there.

    I did love the Arthur carrying the image of the virgin piece.

    I would say Ambrosius' sword definitely fulfils the role of Excalibur... it's the sword which is the sign of a king, and it's thrown into a lake at the end!

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