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I Am Mordred

3.65  ·  Rating Details ·  1,996 Ratings  ·  85 Reviews
Mordred only wants his father to love him, but all of Camelot knows he is destined to kill King Arthur. A thoroughly captivating and poignant tale.--Booklist starred review.
Hardcover, 184 pages
Published January 1st 2002 by Turtleback Books (first published April 13th 1998)
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SculderLover This is not a difficult book and it's not really not the best book to get a grip on Mordred as a character anyway though so I really don't recommend.…moreThis is not a difficult book and it's not really not the best book to get a grip on Mordred as a character anyway though so I really don't recommend. (less)
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Kat  Hooper
Feb 15, 2013 Kat Hooper rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
Originally posted at FanLit.

3.5 stars

Almost all the modern stories derived from Arthurian legends focus on King Arthur, Queen Guinevere, Sir Lancelot, Sir Gawain, and Merlin. Why does Mordred, the man who eventually brings down the whole shebang, get such short shrift? There’s plenty of source material, most notably Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Historia Regum Britanniae and Thomas Malory’s Le Morte d’Arthur. Maybe it’s that Mordred isn’t very romantic. Or maybe
Aug 28, 2010 PurplyCookie rated it it was amazing
One of the most enigmatic and mysterious characters of Arthurian legend is Arthur's illegitimate son, Mordred. Unfortunately, he is also one of the least explored. In a market flooded with preachy, badly-written Arthuriana, "I Am Mordred" shines like a rare, dark gem.

The book opens with King Arthur sadly setting dozens of newborn babies adrift on the ocean. Several years later, we see a young boy living peacefully with a fisherman and his wife. Their happy lives are interrupted when a woman name
Incredibilmente un libro che ha Mordred come protagonista non è il mio preferito.
Il libro di Nancy Springer è un retelling che mette sotto i riflettori proprio Mordred, il bambino nato da un terribile incesto, destinato a mettere la parola fine alla leggenda di re Artù. Un personaggio negativo, il traditore, l’assassino: nella letteratura classica non c’è spazio per la redenzione o per la simpatia. È l’antagonista, puro e semplice.
La Springer, invece, fa di Mordred la voce narrante: il libro si
Harold Smithson (Suicide punishable by Death)
A surprisingly complex book.

Mordred, for those of you who aren't aware, is a figure from Arthurian legend. The illegitimate son of King Arthur was demonized in the original text due to his birth. Here, his side of the story is told. And it's not as simple as misunderstood softie. Instead, it's a study into the idea of fate and self-fulfilling prophecy.

Mordred has been marked as the man who will kill King Arthur since his birth, which caused the king to cast all the babies of his kingdom out into
Apr 05, 2013 Kristina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The interest in reading this sprung mainly from my current Merlin kick. In all honesty, I was shocked at how much I enjoyed it. I figured that it would play out as more of a children's book that wouldn't hardly scratch the surface of the pain and conflict that Mordred felt. Boy, was I ever wrong. I Am Mordred was a beautifully told story about a very conflicted and struggling boy. The characters were realistic as well as the dialogue and setting.

Mordred's life has always been one full of pity a
J. Ellyne
Jan 22, 2017 J. Ellyne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
About the author - Nancy Springer has been writing for forty years. She wrote dozens of books and three of them won awards. The Mordred Book was one of them that won. I don't know how well it sold because it was written in 1998 and after the turn of the century she stopped writing Camelot type books and began writing a series of young adult mystery novels. I don't know if those sold well or not either and I don't know if she plans to write any more because her last book was published in 2007.
Mordred is a young boy raised by a fisherwoman. He was young and happy until a woman rode up on a horse and took him away. Her name was Nyneve and she knew who Mordred really was, He was the only son of King Arthur. But instead of his birth being a joyous occasion the king tries to have him killed as a baby. Merlin prophesized that Mordred would kill King Arthur because of the nature of his birth, Mordred was conceived in an incestual relationship between Arthur and his sister Morgause. Nyneve ...more
Jan 20, 2012 Kara rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: king-arthur
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sandra Strange
This novel adds flesh to the legends of Mordred. It takes real squeezing to make Mordred a sympathetic protagonist. This novel at least explains his actions and makes his motivations believable. Mostly, the novel is fantasy adventure with a wisp of theme: struggle against fate, and self fulfilling prophecy: does Mordred become the myth only because he is prophesied to do those actions that destroy Arthur's Camelot? Do the prophecies come about because of his character combined with the circumsta ...more
Sep 17, 2009 Jessica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was a successful journey into one of my favorite book subjects: taking a famous story and looking at it from an evil character or foe who might more or less be misunderstood. Short and sweet, but a little more bittersweet in where it is destined to go. Definitely worth a read.
Mar 14, 2017 Diane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: folklore
With the prophesy that his bastard son will some day kill him, Arthur tries to kill the infant. The baby survives and for the first years of his life is known as Tad, raised by fishermen. But all changes when Nyneve arrives, calling him Mordred, the son of a king. So begins the struggle young Mordred has when he discovers it is his fate to kill King Arthur. He is gentle, not like his half brothers Gawain and Garet who enjoy killing. And when Mordred finally goes to live in Camelot, he finds that ...more
Seton Catholic Central High
In "I Am Mordred" by Nancy Springer Mordred is a character who is born as the son of King Arthur. However Merlin foretells that Mordred will kill king Arthur so in order to get rid of him he sends him out onto the sea with many other babies. Mordred is found and raised by what he calls his "Fisher Mother" and "Fisher Father" until he is taken away by a sorceress on horse named Nyneve. It is Nyneves duty to bring him back to the kingdom. However when he gets there it's not what he expected, he i ...more
Becky Ginther
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Hazel West
Thoughts on the Overall Book: I've always held a soft spot for Mordred. Unlike Morgan la Fay (who I never liked) he always seemed to me a victim of circumstance, and I always felt awful that he was a slave to his fate. This story changes the tale of his villainy to a heart-wrenching story that is terribly sad, but well done.

Cover--Yea or Nay: It's not the best cover I have ever seen, but it's not bad either.

Characters: Okay, I'll admit, it is really hard to read Arthurian books after watching BB
Katie Fitzgerald
This review also appears on my blog, Read-at-Home Mom.

I Am Mordred opens with King Arthur placing an infant Mordred - the son of Arthur and his own half-sister - into a boat with many other infants, all of whom are to be drowned. Mordred survives this murder attempt, however, and is rescued and reared by a fisherman and his wife, then later retrieved and taken to live with his mother and half-siblings. Throughout the book, Mordred struggles with his desire to be loved by his father and the belie
Sep 09, 2010 Mena rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Already a fan of I Am Morgan le Fay I was pleased to come across this book. As most reviewers have already stated, Mordred is too often painted as a black hearted villain. This was a breath of fresh air in the Arthurian genre.

I really enjoyed reading things from an innocent Mordred's point of view. You cannot help but feel sympathy for a character who, no matter how good his intentions or how hard he tries to do the right thing, has a life filled with so much strife and sorrow.

I only had two pro
Sarah Stevens
Apr 07, 2012 Sarah Stevens rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Funnily enough, I didn't pick this book out for myself. Instead, my 4yo daughter did, saying that "it looked like something Mommy would like." How well does she know me!

Hearing a portion of King Arthur's tale from the mouth of Mordred himself is a great concept and executed very well. Instead of going through the motions of retelling the Arthurian tale, Springer focuses instead on making all of the events very real and present. King Arthur is a golden ruler of magical gifts, but his burdens are
5/5 ★

I may be remembering this through rose-colored glasses, but it was one of the first Arthurian-inspired books I read that truly sympathized with Mordred and, in turn, fostered my lifelong affection for him. He is genuinely one of my favorite mythological/historical/literary figures EVER, in part due to this book.

It paints Mordred as a child hopelessly seeking love. He is the tragic product of a self-fulfilling prophecy. Morgause gives birth to Mordred mostly to use him as a pawn in Arthur's
Rosalyn Eves
I've been reading a bunch of Arthurian stuff for a project I'm working on. This particular book takes on the conclusion of the Arthurian saga from the perspective of Mordred, Arthur's son by his half-sister, and usually seen as the villain of the Camelot tragedy. In that sense, it's similar to Mary Stewart's The Wicked Day, but this is written for a middle-grade/YA audience. The style of writing is pretty high fantasy--sometimes it was lovely; othertimes it seemed a little over-done to me. I did ...more
Nov 24, 2008 Briene rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who loves Arthurian mythology, fantasy tales, or simply exceptional writing.
Recommended to Briene by: The book was assigned to me for my 9th grade Summer reading proj

"Although it has been about 4 years since I read the tale of Mordred, a part of the story still lingers around in my head. The shocking discoveries and revelations that unfold help create a sense of mystery leading to a never-ending read. The development of the protagonist, Mordred, and the adventure that he sets out on will surely grab a hold of you along with Nancy Springer’s exceptional and detailed form of writing.

The exceptional writing of Springer led me to (currently) read the sequel/spin

Lisa Litberg
Oct 03, 2008 Lisa Litberg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really, really liked this book. Granted, I love the Arthurian mythology, and it is hard for me to not enjoy ANY retelling of that story. But I think what I really enjoyed about this book was the deeper theme of predestination--is it possible for us to avoid what we are meant to become?

In this novel, no. Destiny wins in the end, despite all of Mordred's better efforts. The reader is privy to his feelings of love and hate for Arthur, the father whom he is destined to destroy. We watch as he trie
Apr 08, 2010 Leeanna rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-own
I Am Mordred, by Nancy Springer

In "I Am Mordred," Springer recounts the life of King Arthur's illegitimate son, the son who will kill him. Mordred's typically gotten a bad rap or been ignored in Authurian stories, and Springer takes a different approach and tries to show what led to him killing Arthur.

Because Mordred was conceived by Arthur and his half-sister, he was considered morally evil as soon as he was born. Springer examines Mordred through the lens of today, where most people assume ch
Apr 23, 2014 Liz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book because I had previously read another book by the same author called I am Morgan le fay. both books are an interesting adaption of the classic tale of king Arthur, Camelot, and Avalon. this version begins with king Arthur filling a boat with newborn boys in order to ensure that his own son does not come back and fulfill his destiny and kill him. The boat was found by a fisherman and there was one baby still living. The fisherman and his wife had recently lost their own child so ...more
Apr 13, 2008 Erin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Erin by: Nii
Springer's second novel does not fail to please. As a fan of I Am Morgan Le Fay, I was excited, to say the least, to read its companion, I Am Mordred. Immediately I can sense Springer's descriptive style and her way of drawing you inside the novel. I think what I adored most about this novel is how she takes the situation of a medieval teenager and yet it reads like a modern teenager's story. Mordred is easily relatable, in his yearning for his father's acceptance and love, and how teenagers are ...more
Aug 19, 2011 Aryana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Arturian saga told from the point of view of Mordred, Arthur's bastard son, sired with his own sister. A child of prophecy, for Merlin told Arthur that he would die by his own son's hand. The king has to act - to prevent his son from killing him, he must kill his son, an so 40 babies are sent on the sea in a small boat to die out there, Mordred among them. Fisherfolk found him, the only baby living among all the dead, he grows to be a fisher boy until Nyneve finds him and takes him to Lothia ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 13, 2012 Jessica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I usually prefer a more happy, hopeful story, but since I knew the story of Mordred was more of a tragedy from the beginning, at least I was prepared for it. It is a very sad story, but it has a lot of emotion and goodness, and you really feel for Mordred as from a young age he was pulled away from happiness and forced to struggle with a fate he couldn't escape and went against his very nature. I really loved his dog Gull and his friend and counselor Nyneve, and you even come to really love Mord ...more
Jan 17, 2013 Diana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not big on my Arthurian legends but I could recognize that this was no sword in the stone. Like Springer's other myth retellings, I knew this one would be dark so I was reluctant to get close to the main character, Mordred. Against my best wishes, he endeared himself to my heart and like always, Springer ripped my heart asunder.

This is a great story and not just for fans of King Arthur; anyone who appreciates a good medieval fantasy will enjoy I am Mordred. I wholly recommend it and I can o
An Odd1
Dec 14, 2013 An Odd1 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Sad "everyone knows how it ends". Mordred, now "forever dressed in black" belies Merlin's foretelling, tells his life from start. "I would fight my fate" p 99. Like Greek tragedy, ballad inexorably marches to doom. (view spoiler) ...more
Jul 28, 2015 Golden rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

I have to say that when I read this, I was really, really into the twists on the Arthurian Legends, and I have to say this is one of my favorites. I think there were one or two time when I just wanted to weep it was so moving. It was just a great perspective and very 3 dimensional. Also, read 'I am Morgan le Fay'! Same author, same era, same setting, different main character. Yeah... as you can see I suck at writing reviews. At least I am not like "OMG, this book is so bae!!"(Look up b
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Reviews for the L...: Book review: I Am Mordred 1 3 Feb 08, 2013 09:08AM  
  • The Book of Mordred
  • Sword of the Rightful King
  • The Idylls of the Queen: A Tale of Queen Guenevere
  • In Camelot's Shadow (The Paths to Camelot, #1)
  • Grail Prince
  • The Road to Avalon (Dark Ages of Britain, #1)
  • Sons of Avalon: Merlin's Prophecy
  • Guinevere (Guinevere, #1)
  • Here Lies Arthur
  • Knight Life (Modern Arthur, #1)
  • The Mammoth Book of Merlin
  • Gawain and Lady Green (Merlin's Harp, #2)
  • Mordred, Bastard Son
  • Guinevere: The Legend in Autumn  (Guinevere, #3)
  • The Ballad of Sir Dinadan (The Squire's Tales, #5)
  • The Kingmaking (Pendragon's Banner Trilogy, #1)
  • The Seeing Stone (Arthur Trilogy, #1)


Nancy Springer has passed the fifty-book milestone, having written that many novels for adults, young adults and children, in genres including mythic fantasy, contemporary fiction, magical realism, horror, and mystery -- although she did not realize she wrote mystery until she won the Edgar Allan Poe Award from the Mystery Writers of America two years in succession. DARK LIE
More about Nancy Springer...

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