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Arthur: Book Three of the Pendragon Cycle (The Pendragon Cycle #3)

3.99  ·  Rating Details ·  7,626 Ratings  ·  150 Reviews
In a forgotten age of darkness, a magnificent king arose to light the land

They called him unfit to rule, a lowborn, callow boy, Uther’s bastard. But his coming had been foretold in the songs of the bard Taliesin. And he had learned powerful secrets at the knee of the mystical sage Merlin.

He was ARTHUR—Pendragon of the Island of the Mighty—who would rise to legendary greatn
ebook, 448 pages
Published October 13th 2009 by Harper Voyager (first published 1989)
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Richard Derus
Rating: 2* of five

The Publisher Says: In a forgotten age of darkness a magnificent king arose to light the world.

They called him unfit to rule—a lowborn, callow boy, Uther's bastard. But his coming had been foretold in the songs of the bard Taliesin. He had learned the uses of power from his guide and protector, Merlin. He was Arthur, Pendragon of the Island of the Mighty—who would rise to legendary greatness in a Britain torn by violence, greed and war; the Lord of Summer who would usher in a g
Jane Maree
Oct 22, 2016 Jane Maree rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A really cool and epic Arthurian retelling. The best I've ever read. It's all so real and I can totally see every single part happening in real life.

The characters are all very real and 3-D, not really relatable in the sense of the word, but there are certainly things to connect with. The story tellers each have a unique voice and cadence and I really love how it doesn't switch POVs except in each book 'part' so I can get stuck nice and comfortably inside one person's head.

The writing style is o
Oct 17, 2007 Kevin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: heroes
I read this book in high school. I'm sure I read it before the year I graduated, but since I can't remember the specific year, I'll just put 96.

This book was fantastic when I read it in High School. It was truly a different perspective to the story of King Arthur than in books that I originally read on Arthur.

It's interesting that in many depictions of Arthur, the version of Christianity that he is depicted of following differs from story to story, and in this version, Arthur's Christianity pr
Aug 01, 2010 Elise rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Then, upon waking one morning, it came into my mind that Morgian, Queen of Air and Darkness, was fear driven. It is so simple! Why did she act now after all these years? Because something drove her to act – and the something was fear. Morgian was afraid.

I'm so glad I got around to re-reading this book! It's such a brilliant book about the Arthurian legend! It shows Arthur becoming a great and strong king to rule over Britain but also focus' on the other people that helped get him there, with a
Toby Brennen
Sep 30, 2011 Toby Brennen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just finished the 3rd in Stephen Lawheads 'Pendragon Cycle', "Arthur". While it took me longer to get through than the previous two books, it was no less entertaining. Lawhead continues to weave wonder fiction around history and myth. While the depth of character was maintained in this book, the storyline was not nearly as detailed as the earlier ones. To portray Arthur as a master strategist, the story is filled with the history and detail of many battles. The unfortunate thing is that the stor ...more
Jan 06, 2011 Brian rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I continued my Arthurian travails with The Pendragon Cycle series. This is a modern sci-fi / fantasy take on the Arthurian legends. The first book started off as an interesting fantasy take on Arthur with some Atlantis thrown in. I thought it was pretty original and easy reading at first. However, the characters were pretty weak and didn't keep me totally engaged. As the series progressed, it dragged more and became a lot more preachy and the characters were just too shallow. The prose was overl ...more
Jodi Woody
May 25, 2013 Jodi Woody rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Continuing on in the Pendragon series, "Arthur" is a great read. I love this series and having a thing for Arthurian Legend, I have read a lot of these. This is now my favorite Arthurian series. I love the rich language, the writing reminds me of J.R. Tolkien. Lawhead is a great storyteller and his characters come alive. This series is written with Arthur and Merlin as followers of Jehu (Jesus) and is full of honor and bravery. Some of they typical Arthurian characters are missing and some have ...more
May 11, 2009 Jayne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Good story == I have been re-reading the five book series of King Author by Stenphen R. Lawhead. The books begin at the tail end of the Roman heydays and the implosion of Atlantis. They take the reader through the few people who escaped to Britain and establish a community there. Heir to these people if Merlin and King Author. The stories are greatly embellished and provide believable tale of Authur, his round table, knights, many battles and the search for the holy grail. Good reading! These bo
Apr 26, 2008 Ainsley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The archetypical Western Canon hero can be quite boring. Having a stiff upper lip, square jaw, abjuring preemptive action and being achingly pious can result in a distinct lack of dramatic tension for the reader. Lawhead's Arthur overcomes all of the above disadvantages (and more) and coming across as a genuinely interesting and inspiring character. Lawhead also adopts a multiple first person narrative to good effect in this book. Highly recommended, but be sure to read the first two books in th ...more
Dec 11, 2010 JC rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great ending to a fun series. This was probably my favorite book in this series as most of the characters were quite familiar to me (from King Arther and Queen Gwenhwyvar to Merlin of course). The book is a tale of Arthur uniting the British "Summer Kingdom" together and so there is a lot of battles and war. All the same, I quite enjoyed the story and was very impressed overall with Stephen Lawhead's ability to tell this story and his knowledge of the British legends. I plan to read more from hi ...more
Gwenhwyfar McIntyre
Aug 07, 2011 Gwenhwyfar McIntyre rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
Lawhead is a brilliant writer in many aspects but also not so brilliant in others, his lengthy scenes and descriptions can drag on too long and be completely unrelated to the story. But a lot of the time I do enjoy his writing and how he portrays each character, I especially like how Arthur is portrayed as a strong and yet vulnerable young king.

Overall I really enjoyed this book.
Dos três que já li desta série este foi o que menos gostei... Demasiada guerra e batalhas (eu sei, eu sei!) e história interessante só nas últimas 50 páginas... Estava a pensar pôr de lado por uns tempos os últimos dois livros, mas agora quero saber o que o Lawhead faz da história depois destes acontecimentos!!!
Douglas Hayes
Sep 07, 2010 Douglas Hayes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lawhead is a Christian writer that has the ability to weave Christianity into the fabric of a story (even historical fiction) without cheapening the faith or ruining the story. This is what he has accomplished in his telling of Arthur story.

Imagine beginning with the destruction of Atlantis, the conversion of the Druids and Christianization of the British Isles. A fantastic story!
Apr 07, 2012 Phil rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I'm a fan of Arthurian legend, but Lawhead's treatment is distant and a little impersonal. There are far better versions of the tale of King Arthur. I recommend Mary Stewart's "Merlin" trilogy.
Jan 02, 2011 Suzanne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: absolute-faves
Just as good the second time around! :D
Devon Flaherty
The Pendragon Trilogy, by Stephen R. Lawhead, which includes Taliesin, Merlin, and Arthur. I read old paperbacks from Avon Books which I received as hand-me-downs from my aunt. The original publication dates were 1987, 1988, and 1989.

Turns out I was confused about these books. I had figured out the order of the trilogy as Taliesin, Merlin, and Arthur, but here and there I would see other titles in the series. So, once I had finished the trilogy, I researched and discovered that the “trilogy” was
Oct 24, 2016 April rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, myth-legend
The third book in Lawhead's Pendragon Cycle. This book details the rise and fall of Arthur, the king of the Summer Kingdom. In this book we meet many of the famous knights of the round, as well as their enemies, though under different names. At points the book can be slow but the story overall is well written. Each character has a life of their own and is wound together. There are three different narrators of this book, each giving a different aspect of Arthur's life. The book tells of how and w ...more
Nov 29, 2013 Molly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, 5-stars
Artur é o terceiro livro do Ciclo Pendragon, de Stephen Lawhead. Foi bom grande gosto que entrei nesta história. Comecei por Taliesin, passei por Merlim e agora terminei com Artur. Existem mais três livros do autor com as personagens, mas são como que "à parte" ou derivados.

A lenda do Rei Artur, de Merlim, Morgana e todos os que a ela estão associados (Cavaleiros da Távola Redonda...) sempre foram elementos da minha curiosidade e do meu interesse. Já vi séries e filmes. É um tema que me agrada
Jan 28, 2013 Kayle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Finally finished it! I've been so busy lately that this book took me way longer to finish than it should have. But I'm done now.

I didn't like this book quite as well as the first two, although it was still great. I felt like too much time was covered in it. It starts out in the beginning with teenaged Arthur pulling the sword from the stone and goes all the way until the tragic end to his reign with the occasional flashback to Arthur's childhood. It felt like Mr. Lawhead was simply trying to co
Oct 08, 2016 Tracy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another worthy viewpoint on this legend
Mar 15, 2008 Jessi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this book as a whole. The ending of it made me very thoughtful and a little depressed. I like when books leave a strong feeling in my heart. That's a sign that it was a good book. The thing I didn't like was the lack of relationship and feeling in the story. Until the end, the story revolved around war and basic male camaraderie and fealty. Aneirin was by far my favorite part of the book.

Edit: I have finished this series finally. I went back and read the third book of Arthur again to wra
Jan 09, 2016 Ian rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Arthur had the privilage of being set up by the two previous books in this series, which went to extreme pains to set the stage for the rise of the legendary King Arthur. The disadvantage both it's predecessors (Taliesin, Merlin) seemed to suffer from somewhat- the lack of a strong, central villain character- appeared to be designed purposefully to add to the subtle rise of vile Morgian, whom I assumed we would be battling fiercely in Arthur.
The story of Arthur's quest for High Kingship is di
This is the third book in the Pendragon series, and (at last!) we come to the story of King Arthur.

The book begins with the teenage Arthur pulling the Sword of Britain from the stone in the churchyard, where it was embedded by Merlin years before. The story follows the years of Arthur putting down rebellions among petty British kings, establishing himself as High King of Britain, battling various barbarian hordes, and building the Kingdom of Summer. The book ends with the mortally wounded Arthu
Tori Wade
Overall I thought this book ended well, but it tended to drag on a bit. In general I was hoping for a book of Arthur's peaceful reign and meetings of the round table knights in their gleaming armor. However, that was not the case. I understand why, but after 2 full books building up the hopes of a Kingdom of Summer, I thought it would be more grandiose.

I must note that Lawhead's treatment of Morgan was very good. He had created this image of an evil fiend, but through the second book even, I saw
Brad McKenna
I'm a wee bit disappointed by this series. Taliesin was pretty dang incredible. Merlin was pretty dang good, with only a lull in the middle of the book. Arthur was pretty dang ok. The first two books were at least partly narrated by the titular character. This book didn't give Arthur's point of view even once. It was broken down into three parts, with three different narrators.

The first was Pellas, Merlin's right-man. The second was Bedwyr, Arthur's right-hand man. The third was Aneirin, Merlin
Dec 02, 2016 Stéphanie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantastique
Il y a nombre de réecritures du cycle arthurien, chacune avec ses qualités et ses défauts. Et malgré la plume de l'auteur, les trois tomes n'ont fait que confirmer une première impression : cette saga ne saura pas me toucher. La faute probablement à la religion chrétienne mise tant en avant comme unique voie de secours aux personnages que cela en devient étouffant. Tous embrassent la cause divine, jusqu'à balayer leurs anciennes croyances. Il est difficile de s'habituer à ce Merlin qui se place ...more
Dec 20, 2016 Audra rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I need to read this one again, but I remember Arthur and loving this book.
Vicky Shirley
It's been a while since I read Lawhead. I read Taliesin and Merlin a while ago, but then failed to follow through with this one. Hopefully I'll finish the whole cycle soon. I read this one fairly quickly, but I enjoyed the earlier stories a lot more. Lawhead retains first person narration throughout, with the story of Arthur's ascension to power and his death being told by Pelleas, Bedwyr and Aneirin (who later becomes Gildas, the historical author of the Ruin of Britain I presume). I failed to ...more
Jun 28, 2016 Maureen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arthurian-legend
I really wanted to love this series re-read. Alas, yet another Arthurian saga with its lustre weakened with time.

Elements of Taliesin were interesting, and most of Merlin, but I had to force myself to finish Arthur. The title king was a cipher and we never got the story through his eyes. The Emrys (Merlin) took a back seat too. Lawhead's entire trilogy, much like Stewart's, has an issue with distancing the reader from the story, but it is far worse in Arthur than the previous ones.

The main vil
Peter Walton-Jones
This book is the third installment of Lawhead's Pendragon cycle. It turns out there are five books, but this one seems to reach a final conclusion. Did Lawhead plan more in his original vision for the series? I found this book too long and repetitive to be truly enjoyed. The legend of King Arthur fascinates me and the earlier books in the cycle added to my interest. This book was full of battles and the hoped for Summer Kingdom once attained was glossed over in a sentence. Christianity is woven ...more
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  • The Prince and the Pilgrim (Arthurian Saga, #5)
  • The Singing Sword (Camulod Chronicles, #2)
  • The Coming of the King (Books of Merlin, #1)
  • Kingdom of Summer
  • Merlin
  • Guinevere: The Legend in Autumn  (Guinevere, #3)
  • Beloved Exile (Firelord, #2)
  • The Forever King (Forever King, #1)
  • Pendragon's Banner (Pendragon's Banner Trilogy, #2)
  • The Child Queen: The Tale of Guinevere and King Arthur
  • Sons of Avalon: Merlin's Prophecy
  • Sword at Sunset
  • Enemy of God (The Warlord Chronicles, #2)
  • The Eagle and the Sword (Arthor, #2)
Stephen R. Lawhead is an internationally acclaimed author of mythic history and imaginative fiction. His works include Byzantium, Patrick, and the series The Pendragon Cycle, The Celtic Crusades, and The Song of Albion.

Also see his fanpage at Myspace:

Stephen was born in 1950, in Nebraska in the USA. Most of his early life was spent in America where he earned
More about Stephen R. Lawhead...

Other Books in the Series

The Pendragon Cycle (6 books)
  • Taliesin (The Pendragon Cycle, #1)
  • Merlin (The Pendragon Cycle, #2)
  • Pendragon (The Pendragon Cycle, #4)
  • Grail (The Pendragon Cycle, #5)
  • Avalon: The Return of King Arthur (The Pendragon Cycle, #6)

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“To see evil and call it good, mocks God. Worse, it makes goodness meaningless. A word without meaning is an abomination, for when the word passes beyond understanding the very thing the word stands for passes out of the world and cannot be recalled.” 107 likes
“I have seen a land shining with goodness, where each man protects his brother's dignity as readily as his own, where war and want have ceased and all races live under the same law of love and honour.

I have seen a land bright with truth, where a man's word is his pledge and falsehood is banished, where children sleep safe in their mother's arms and never know fear or pain.

I have seen a land where kings extend their hands in justice rather than reach for the sword; where mercy, kindness, and compassion flow like deep water over the land, and men revere virtue, revere truth, revere beauty, above comfort, pleasure or selfish gain. A land where peace reigns in the hill, and love like a fire from every hearth; where the True God is worshipped and his ways acclaimed by all.”
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