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Arthur (The Pendragon Cycle, #3)
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Arthur (The Pendragon Cycle #3)

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating Details  ·  7,325 Ratings  ·  138 Reviews
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
Paperback, 448 pages
Published June 1st 1990 by Avon Fantasy (first published 1989)
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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
21st out of 387 books — 1,303 voters
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
The Arthurian Legend Retold
48th out of 440 books — 671 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Richard Derus
Aug 15, 2014 Richard Derus rated it it was ok
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
Oct 17, 2007 Kevin rated it it was amazing
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
Jul 29, 2011 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
Aug 23, 2011 James rated it really liked it
Lawhead's continues his Pendragon series with Arthur. Like the first two books, I also enjoyed reading this book. In this story, we see Arthur become the foretold high king ruler of the Isle of the Mighty. We are taken through the arduous process Arthur must undertake to create the Kingdom of Summer. Arthur and Myrddin must combat treasonous kings as well as multiple invasions of Britain by barbarians. The battle sequences are epic and very well told. I'm glad Lawhead chose to use the first pers ...more
Toby Brennen
Sep 30, 2011 Toby Brennen rated it really liked it
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
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
Dec 02, 2014 Jodi Woody rated it it was amazing
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

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 27, 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
Jan 10, 2016 Ian rated it it was ok
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
Dec 13, 2010 JC rated it really liked it
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.
Douglas Hayes
Sep 07, 2010 Douglas Hayes rated it really liked it
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!
Aug 18, 2015 Becky rated it it was ok
I'm giving this 2 stars because the first section was OK. I really wanted to like this book, since the series was recommended by a friend (although she did warn me it got slow in the middle). I really liked Taliesin, and Merlin was interesting, too, but this one just got so boring! Most of the book was battle scenes, which I guess makes sense because it's the part of the Pendragon Cycle when Arthur earns his right to the high kingship by ridding Britain of its enemies. However, it could have bee ...more
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!!!
Gabor Nyiro
Jan 07, 2015 Gabor Nyiro rated it liked it
Finally end! I'm a little bit sad to say it..
This book is "too much" for me. Basically the book itself, the story, the characters are fine. But too long! The story divided into 3 parts: 1st narrated by Pelleas, 2nd narrated by Bedwyr and 3rd narrated by Aneirin. In my opinion the 1st and 2nd parts are very very long, and boring. There are too many battles! There are too many religious events! There are too many preachy speech by Arthur and Merlin! Unfortunately 3rd part is the shortest, however
Apr 07, 2012 Phil rated it liked it
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.
Feb 19, 2015 Lana rated it it was amazing
was quite disappointed to see the pagan and druid religion regarded so badly in these books when i had thought that merlin was very much a druid and the fact that he and all the others are portrayed more as catholics and so fervent at that was very disappointing. I love the pagan and druid beliefs and hate that they were so disparaged and given such a bad name!! also this book in particular is very much all about wars and i am not so much into wars but i suppose that was the reality of life in t ...more
Todd Stockslager
Jun 08, 2015 Todd Stockslager rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
Book Three of The Pendragon Cycle, in which Lawhead tells the climactic story of Arthur's kingmaking and consolidation of British power, and ends with his anti-climactic death (or just "fading into the west"?).

While all this should have been stirring and emotional, Lawhead's writing this time out seems flat, with a couple of long "bard stories" that are confusing and best skipped over, and battle scenes which are either seemingly interminable or laughably short ("We faced 50,000 barbarians with
Jan 01, 2013 Suzanne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: absolute-faves
Just as good the second time around! :D
Devon Flaherty
May 17, 2016 Devon Flaherty rated it it was ok
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
Mar 08, 2014 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
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
Brad McKenna
Aug 30, 2013 Brad McKenna rated it liked it
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 31, 2008 Jessi rated it liked it
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
Vicky Shirley
May 24, 2013 Vicky Shirley rated it liked it
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
Tori Wade
Jul 25, 2010 Tori Wade rated it liked it
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
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
Aug 01, 2013 Kayle rated it really liked it
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
Rick Davis
This was the best of the three original Pendragon books by Steven Lawhead. Perhaps someday I'll get around to reading the two later books he wrote, Pendragon and Grail. By the time of Arthur, the Atlantean subplot of the first two books is fading into the past, and it was that discordant element that made me hesitate about the first two books. Overall, Lawhead's take on the whole Arthur story in this trilogy is unique and interesting enough to recommend to anyone who is a fan of the Arthur legen ...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.” 93 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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