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Mordred, Bastard Son

by
3.6  ·  Rating Details ·  431 Ratings  ·  49 Reviews
A young monk becomes enthralled by the story a mysterious prisoner begins to tell as he tends to his wounds. The prisoner is Mordred, bastard son of King Arthur Pendragon and his half-sister Morgan le Fay, who has been arrested for murder and treason.
Hardcover, 260 pages
Published January 1st 2006 by Alyson Books
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Acetylcoa
Feb 07, 2012 Acetylcoa rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Are you a Mordred fan? Good. Do you appreciate bastards? Excellent. I recommend you not read this book.

It's well-written, definitely, but story-telling and writing are different. If you're interested in Arthurian legends and intrigued by Mordred, this book will not give you the satisfaction you looked for, no matter how long you scour the pages, how deeply you read, how much you hope that Mordred will be at Camelot by the middle of the book. You see, the whole conflict of this novel focused on M
...more
Bill
Jul 23, 2013 Bill rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Arthurian fans who can stand a long unfinished trilogy
I've read much of the modern Arthurian fiction as well as much of the early sources and thoroughly enjoyed this take on Mordred. I only wish Clegg had finished (will finish) the trilogy. I'd like to know where he's taking us.

The action of this 1st book takes place in the Amorican peninsula, specifically in the great and mysterious Forest of Brocéliande. In Clegg's world this ancient, mythic forest separates those practicing the Old religions from the surrounding Romano-Christian interlopers. It
...more
keri.
Mar 17, 2008 keri. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, 2008, queer
i enjoyed this book, and i look forward to the next two books in this series, but i cannot lie: this book read a little like slash fanfiction. that's not a bad thing -- allah knows i would read fifty retellings of arthurian legend from the point of view of a strong, smart homosexual protagonist; the fact mordred was gay lends an interesting angle to a story i've loved for a very long time. but hot damn, the prose was a little purple, and by 'a little' i mean 'a lot'.
Kim
Feb 15, 2008 Kim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Douglas Clegg, horror and fantasy writer is the author of this. He does a great job telling the story of Mordred. Yep, THE Mordred we all know and love from Arthurian legends.

In this book, he is a Druid priest and a homosexual, telling his story to a young Christian acolyte as he lies wounded and being hunted down. It's a powerful take on Mordred which I enjoyed.

It's gritty at times, loving in others. If you're homophobic, don't bother but I recommend it to anyone else.
Gerry Burnie
Gerry B's Book Reviews - http://www.gerrycan.wordpress.com

Like millions of others around the world, I have always been—well, for seventy-five years, anyway—a fan of the Arthurian legend and the outrageously fictional Camelot. Moreover, I suppose I could say that during that time I have been brainwashed into believing that the ‘bastard son,’ Mordred, was the worm in the apple. Imagine the audacity of Douglas Clegg, therefore, to challenge that idea with his revisionist novel Mordred, Bastard Son
...more
Leia
Dec 12, 2016 Leia rated it did not like it
Do you want an Arthurian legend? Look elsewhere. This is not a story of Mordred, merely a story set in the "times" of Arthur and stealing character names to force into tortured plots that in no way fit into widely accepted Arthurian legends. The story tries so hard to impart great wisdom through mystery that it merely comes off as pretension.

In addition, the author proves time and again that he is incapable of constructing grammatically sound complex sentences.
LD  Durham
I enjoyed the new look at the main characters of this great legend. Well thought out and, told in first-person, very engaging. Had a bit more typos than I had expected, so that was a bit of a distraction, but otherwise, I'm looking forward to reading the next book.
Len Evans
Jan 30, 2017 Len Evans rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Though a lot of this book was very good, too much of it was hard work reading it. I love the overall idea of Mordred being gay; but the pace of the book was very slow and the writing style too often was way to verbose and flowery. Finding out halfway through that books 2 & 3 have not and most likely will not ever be written did not encourage me to finish. However, I slogged through to the end. All in all a bit more than 50% was and enjoyable read... the rest was hard work.
Stephen Stanback
Not bad

Pretty good re-telling of the old Arthurian story, but from Mordred's point of view. Very interesting. Looking forward to the next book.
Sue Smith
Dec 15, 2011 Sue Smith rated it liked it
This was a hard book to rate. There were parts that were so well written - things so well put - that it left me breathless. Then there was the vast majority that, although interesting, just didn't come up to par. That was incredibly lacking or void of emotion ... or something. The possibility of the book was huge, but didn''t leave me reallly wanting more - even though it's the first of three and didn't end smoothly. You know it's a book in a series. You know that the true end of the story won't ...more
Lacey Louwagie
Apr 03, 2008 Lacey Louwagie rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Arthurian junkies
Recommended to Lacey by: my gay bookclub! (insightoutbooks)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ron
Dec 18, 2016 Ron rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, historical, adult
Where is the rest? Why do I have to suffer like this??
Lin
Jul 19, 2013 Lin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
2.5 stars.

Not a bad book, but something of a slog at times. My complaints have been articulated by others already, so I won't repeat them too much. Basically: it's a tad repetitive, Mordred is somewhat passive, and the leisurely pace, at times, had me skimming.

The twist of Mordred being "a lover of men" is really, really cool in theory and could have some crazy interesting implications for future books in the series, but I feel like this one suffers from "first book in a series" syndrome, becau
...more
J'aime
Aug 03, 2011 J'aime rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical, m-m
I read the final Harry Potter book in seven hours; this book took me three weeks because I kept putting it down. The opening is quite promising. A hooded man slips ashore in Britain. He's a hunted man, the most wanted man on the isle. Close to capture, he is hidden by a monk in exchange for telling his tale. Clegg is best known for his horror, so I expected more vibrancy. Instead, I often felt as if I was reading Sir Thomas Mallory's "Le Morte d'Arthur". On the plus side, this made the story fee ...more
Isabelle Marie Flynn
Not bad though with such an enormous amount of unnecessary description it was difficult to fully get into the story. Also it's frustrating that there is no sequel as of yet..it having been 6 years since it's first release so there may not be one. Having said that I enjoyed the different perspective on Arthurian legend and on the dimension Clegg gave to the characters: All the heroes have faults, all the perceived 'bad guys' have their redeeming qualities. Often you see the various characters of ...more
Christopher
Nov 10, 2012 Christopher rated it liked it
Shelves: arthuriana
In the field of Arthurian fiction, lately populated with books looking to place Arthur into a more historical context, Clegg's book is a return to the myth and magic of the legends. Mordred, Bastard Son is in many ways a fairy tale, recalling in approach Sir Thomas Mallory, Chrétien de Troyes, and even Edmund Spenser. The setting here is never made temporally explicit but rather melds Celtic, Roman, Anglo-Saxon, and high medieval British elements, resulting in a sort of timeless land that never ...more
Isis
Dec 12, 2012 Isis rated it did not like it
The one in which Mordred is not actually the bad guy in the Arthurian legend, and also, he's gay. I wanted so much to like this, but the storytelling is slow and ponderous, the language painfully 'speaking forsoothly' verging on purple, and worst of all, it appears to be an abandoned WIP. (Yeah, I know, the food tastes awful and there's not enough of it. But it ends apparently at random, with no real sense of a finished story arc, and as it was published six years ago, I don't hold out much hope ...more
S.A.
Aug 23, 2013 S.A. marked it as could-not-finish  ·  review of another edition
I couldn't finish this book due to the typos, the inconsistent quality of writing, and the general boredom that set in. It's s shame since the idea is fascinating, which is why I started reading it. Damn, I'm making typos just writing about it.

I'm usually good about finishing a book. I don't need a book to wham-bam me every second. But when the writing quality disrupts the reading, I can't endure it. I don't read a book to edit it, which is what I started doing here.

The mistakes in the writing a
...more
Kristen
Mar 19, 2012 Kristen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, arthurian
You know those books you find yourself just wanting to finish for the sake of finishing, because you're more than halfway through and it's a short book anyways?

Yeah. This was one of those.

It started out with promise.

And then rapidly fell flat.

**** possible spoilers - though other reviews have definitely stated this right away so I'll be kind enough to warn ****


I feel like the author was trying too hard to be edgy by having Mordred be gay. Because it's one of the few angles that haven't been re
...more
Debs
Mar 11, 2010 Debs rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010, supernatural
Considering how much I loved Isis, I had high expectations for this one. I wouldn't say it let me down necessarily, it just wasn't what I had expected. I've always loved the stories of King Arthur and Camelot, and Mordred in particularly has always fascinated me. You would think that this book would be right up my ally, and it was to a point. While I enjoyed Clegg's take on Mordred's upbringing and on the characters of Morgan and Merlin, I was unmoved by most of the action and the love story in ...more
Emily G
Dec 18, 2008 Emily G rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who don't mind a different take on the Arthur legend
I admit that I got this book because I was intrigued by a book that portrayed Mordred and Lancelot as lovers. I was a bit surprised by the way the tale was told - by a Mordred retelling his past to a third party. I just assumed that it would be first person in the present. However, I liked the portrayal of Mordred as the hero, it makes a nice change, but Arthur is very much the anti-hero, which can be a bit hard to take at times (if you like Arthur).

The angst level throughout this novel is high
...more
Natalia Smith
Aug 23, 2008 Natalia Smith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great twist on the Arthurian legend, this is definitely my favourite retelling of this tale. Clegg takes the well-worn threads of the familiar King Arthur story and re-weaves them into an entirely different tapestry altogether.

The narrative voice does occasionally straddle the line between poetic and purple, but it's worth it; occasionally while reading I'd hit a passage with such a breathtakingly lyrical turn of phrase that I'd get stuck reading it over and over.

Mordred as the hero is wonderf
...more
Heather Smithson
Jun 01, 2016 Heather Smithson rated it really liked it
Too short and needs to be continued. It's been over a year since I read this book (still own it). It was a decent read, though rather dull at times and seemed to drag. This series has potential, but it seems as though the author has dropped it, sadly. There aren't that many noteworthy gay-themed novels out there, but this had the potential to be a unique gem. It kind of saddens me that I'll never know how Mordred's life turned out in the end, for better or worse. If the author does intend to con ...more
Katie M.
Okay sure, I'm always up for slashy rereads of Arthurian legends. And as far as what's essentially fanfic goes, it's perfectly enjoyable. But holy hell, the guy's editor was clearly just phoning it in that day, because I'm not sure I've ever encountered such a distractingly vast number of BASIC GRAMMATICAL ERRORS in a non-self-published hardback book. I mean seriously. There are sentence fragments, like, DROPPED INTO THE MIDDLE OF OTHER SENTENCES.

And that's really all I have to say about that.
Wolf Ostheeren
So, I've reread this book even though it is really sloppily edited und there is still no second volume of the "trilogy" six years later? It must have some redeeming qualities. First, I still like the idea of a gay Arthurian romance. There's so much homophile undertone in all those chivalric myths, why not spell it out? I also like the way Clegg portrays his characters and their pagan world and develops his story. It's a pity there has never been a second volume. Or at least a second edition of t ...more
Joy
Jul 12, 2008 Joy rated it it was amazing
I've read Clegg's "Vampyricon" series and enjoyed his concept of vampires. A nice take on the dark side of the 'Authur' fables.

from the author's web site:
"Conceived in violence, born to royalty, raised in exile -- Mordred comes of age among his mother's mystical clan in a forest far from King Arthur's lands. But when he meets an outlaw knight -- a man beloved of his father but a threat to all Mordred holds dear -- all that he has ever learned of life is challenged and threatens to destroy him."
Jase G.
Aug 07, 2014 Jase G. rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'd love to rate this book higher but I can't. It's a great premise and it is well written. My problem is that it's supposed to be the first in a series and there has been no word on the second book in years. It feels unfinished as just one book. It is not able to stand alone. To be perfectly honest, I feel like I wasted my money. If the rest of the series should happen to come out, I will change my rating.
Chris
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Robin Holloway
Jul 14, 2010 Robin Holloway rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this because I loved other Arthurian books. (The Mists of Avalon by Marian Zimmer Bradley, The Crystal Cave by Mary Stewart). This book was really good and has interesting twists on some of the characters.
Kate
Oct 28, 2009 Kate rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very unusual, interesting, and really sexy interpretation on the Camelot mythos. About every six months, I keep checking and hoping that the second book in this apparent trilogy will come out soon.
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Goodreads Librari...: Reviews in blurb/description 5 30 Jan 29, 2017 10:41AM  
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