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In the Shadow of the Oak King (Dragon's Heirs #1)

3.93  ·  Rating Details  ·  192 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
From the building of Camelot to the tempering of Arthur's allies Gawaine, King Ban, and Lancelot, this tale of love, loyalty, and war reveals a fascinating world where battles are won by faith as well as force, and peace is as elusive as the mist of time itself. First in a planned trilogy. "A lively extension of Arthurian lore. . . ".--Publishers Weekly.
Paperback, 340 pages
Published May 1st 1992 by Pocket Books (first published 1991)
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The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer BradleyThe Once and Future King by T.H. WhiteMary Stewart's Merlin Trilogy by Mary StewartLe Morte d'Arthur by Thomas MaloryThe Winter King by Bernard Cornwell
Best Arthurian Fiction
119th out of 376 books — 1,284 voters
Black Beauty by Anna SewellThe Wild One by Terri FarleyMisty of Chincoteague by Marguerite HenryThe Black Stallion by Walter FarleyGreen Rider by Kristen Britain
Books with Horses on the Cover
203rd out of 407 books — 81 voters

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Community Reviews

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Laurel Bradshaw
An interesting retelling of Malory, which is neither medieval nor quite 5th century. While the author is a cultural anthropologist, this "reconstruction" seem more like a fantasy world to me. The Druids definitely come across as the bad guys here, with their human child sacrifices. The love story between Pelleas and Nithe falls quite flat, in my opinion. Otherwise, it is an okay read.

From Publishers Weekly
The narrator, Pelleas, bastard son of High King Uther Pendragon, is saved by master smith M
Mar 05, 2015 Kara rated it it was ok
Shelves: king-arthur

An off mix between the high fantasy of Malory, the sardonic tone of White, and the dirt and grit of Cornwell. It can’t really decide which type of King Arthur story it wants to tell.

My favorite parts were the real world explanations behind the later myths and legends – I would have loved more of that. This was definitely a version of Merlin I could root for, unlike some other tales where Merlin tends to vary between Dr. Who’s above-it-all and Rasputin’s creepiness.

But for the most part, it swun
Erin Germain
Not technically a book about King Arthur, but more about some of the people who grew up and lived around him. I remember reading this (and the other two books in the trilogy) when it first came out, and was pleased because I shared a similar opinion of Mallory's Le Morte d'Arthur that Jones does - Mallory's Arthur is spineless and whiny, Lancelot is much the same, women barely are treated as human, and the only character he seemed to like was Mordred. Jones took the basic framework of Mallory an ...more
Apr 30, 2008 Eric rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I just started this book a couple of days ago. It is an account of the growing up of King Arthur, as told from Arthur's older half brother's perspective.

The first couple of chapters are definitely different than Disney's "Sword in the Stone". This telling of the story is set in post Roman Britton. There are no knights in armor, metal is scarce and there is no real central authority.

So far the author tells a good tale.
Oct 15, 2011 Phair added it
Shelves: arthurian
Read when this first came out. Really enjoyed this more historical view of the Arthurian story. Will not place a rating until I can re-read but it has long stuck in my mind as a favorite.
Sarah Davalt
Sep 28, 2013 Sarah Davalt rated it really liked it
Loved it. See my full review at
Michael D.
Jan 03, 2016 Michael D. rated it really liked it
Good story. Jones weaves an interesting story into Sir Thomas Malory's narrative.
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Other Books in the Series

Dragon's Heirs (3 books)
  • A Prince in Camelot (Dragons Heirs, #3)
  • Witch of the North (Dragon's Heirs, #2)

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