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Mordred, Bastard Son (The Mordred Trilogy, Book 1)
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Mordred, Bastard Son (The Mordred Trilogy, Book 1)

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3.61 of 5 stars 3.61  ·  rating details  ·  368 ratings  ·  43 reviews

Stoker Award-winning novelist Douglas Clegg (Afterlife, The Hour Before Dark, and over a dozen other best-selling novels of contemporary horror) sets his rich imagination to the task of reinventing Arthurian legend, and the results are spectacular. A young monk becomes enthralled by the story a mysterious prisoner begins to tell as he tends to his wounds. The prisoner is M

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Hardcover, 360 pages
Published January 1st 2006 by Alyson Books
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Kernos
Jul 28, 2013 Kernos rated it 4 of 5 stars
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
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Acetylcoa
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
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Kim
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.
keri.
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'.
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
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LdDurham
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.
S.A.
Aug 08, 2014 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
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Lin
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
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Isis
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
Sue Smith
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
Jaime
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
Christopher
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
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
Lacey Louwagie
May 12, 2008 Lacey Louwagie rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Arthurian junkies
Recommended to Lacey by: my gay bookclub! (insightoutbooks)
Shelves: arthurian
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kristen
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
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Jase G.
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.
Debs
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
amelia cavendish
Jan 16, 2009 amelia cavendish rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  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
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Ohriana Marie
It starts out a bit slow but after you get past the first chapter the rest of the book does not disappoint. It's filled with twists and turns everywhere you look and I enjoyed every moment of it.
Natalia Smith
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
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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.
Joy
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."
Chris
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Alexa Logan
A stunning re-telling of Morded's story, where magic is abundant, and the all new exploration of Mordred's sexuality is always intriguing and passionate, but never vulgar.
I'm looking forward for the rest of the story. I hope the author decides to let it see the light in the not-too-distant future.
Philip
Didn't really know what to expect. Knew that Douglass Clegg was known for his work in the horror genre, but found that his re-imagining of the Arthurian legend was very well thought out and innovative. Most welcoming was the twist in the portrayal of Mordred. Good find...am anticipating the next.
Ava
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nanci
Feb 23, 2008 Nanci rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Nancy S.
A twist on the Arthurian legend. Clegg tells the story of Mordred, as told to a monk. His rendition paints Mordred as a romantic hero, not at all the evil near-do-good of most tales. I was enthralled by this book and am earerly awaiting the next in this planned trilogy.
Robin Holloway
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
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.
Anna
I absolutely adore this book. When I got it in the morning, I didn't put it down till I finished it that night. Its beautifully written and is a great re-imagining.
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