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The Legends of King Arthur and his Knights

3.88  ·  Rating Details  ·  6,367 Ratings  ·  144 Reviews
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Nook, 217 pages
Published October 5th 2010 by Uplifting Publications (first published 1860)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Sarah
Jan 12, 2015 Sarah rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: NOBODY
Shelves: fantasy, dnf
I have this affliction. If I start a book, I HAVE to finish it. All my life, pretty much. I'm not sure I remember when I last (or ever) didn't finish a book. Until now.

All my knowledge of the Arthurian legends is hearsay or pop-culture interpretations, so when I bought a Kindle and saw all the classics I could get for free, I jumped right on this one as a chance to get some more "original" references to King Arthur in my cultural experiences. Oh, how I wish I hadn't bothered.

Firstly, the writing
...more
Chris
Jan 17, 2016 Chris rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I was able to read this by myself so apparently I'm an 'advanced' reader. Take that, middle school accelerated reader tests!

Anyhow, when I was younger I really liked this book. Exciting fights, quests to save princesses, rescuing villages from giants, etc. It was a lot of fun.

Now that I'm older it seems more like the story of a bunch of sociopaths wandering the countryside and picking fights with each other because their 'honor' demands it.

Okay, that's an exaggeration. The cannibalistic giants n
...more
Andrew Obrigewitsch
I'm going to be charitable and give this 2 stars. These stories may have been entertaining 400 years ago, but literature has greatly advanced, and societally has advanced from being mostly illiterate to highly literate.

These stories may be fun to read one a night to your kids, but when done rapidly they wear on one, the characters have no personality and the action consists of sentence after sentence of who smote who with their sword, and then at the end a helm gets cleaved in two, rinse repeat
...more
Duncan
May 08, 2012 Duncan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The story itself is pretty dull: fight a battle, do great deeds, slay the enemy, rescue a damsel or escape from an evil sorceress, fight another battle, do great deeds, slay the enemy, go hunting or jousting, fight another battle...

There's little character development. The men are pretty much all brave and heroic and little more, and the women are virtually all either fair maidens in need of rescue or enchantresses trying to do something awful. The story doesn't really develop either. Arthur bec
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Ellen Trautner
This took me awhile to read because it was my bedtime reading book, and it kept putting me to sleep! More than normal reading does, that is. The whole first half of the book was boringly repetitive, if it was just that, it would have only earned 2 stars from me. The second half picked up, thankfully, and was a much quicker read. It was more what I expected.

I chose to read this because I am very unfamiliar with the Camelot story. I've seen Monty Python... and that's about it. Never read any more
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Meg
Feb 20, 2015 Meg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Artù è un altro dei vecchi amici con cui non andavo a parlare da un po' di tempo, e che un po' mi è mancato, via, anche se ci sono momenti in cui io, al proprietario di Excalibur, darei anche un paio di ceffoni... Ma questa è una faccenda tra Artù e me. ;)

Ogni tanto, con quello che sentiamo in giro, con le persone che incontriamo, con il valore che viene dato a lealtà e sincerità (di cavalleria non parlerò nemmeno), sognare con i Cavalieri della tavola Rotonda fa bene.
Robert
Mar 17, 2014 Robert rated it really liked it
It is good to read one of the sources that inspired later renditions. I am depressed to hear some disrespecting the story because they have trouble with an older style of writting. Folks, this is the bedrock and foundation of the later tales which have been such a mine for later authors. (That is, grist for the mill.) This is that which inspired the later tales, if you can't see what inspired the authors of later ages, then perhaps you lack the deeper vision.
Ben Hilburn
Jun 16, 2014 Ben Hilburn rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I've always wanted to read the King Arthur tales, and this appeared to be the "real original" set of stories, passed down hundreds of years ago and finally recorded for posterity.

Unfortunately, I have this problem where once I start a book I feel like I have to finish it, even if it's killing me. These stories are atrocious.

The one lesson from this book is that if anyone ever complains that "chivalry is dead" or wishes for the return of "chivalry", they have clearly never read this book. Apparen
...more
Brittani Ivan
The lengths to which this would go to avoid the more unsavoury bits of Arthurian Literature were hilarious. This is definitely an abridgment meant for children, but it retains much of the spirit of the original tales it compresses (although, as one commenter noted, his abridgment has lost some of the thematic depth that prevents the knights from always coming across as murderous psychopaths). I would recommend it it to other readers of Arturian literature and to scholars of the Victorian age, as ...more
Althea Ann
Jul 03, 2014 Althea Ann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Highly recommended for fans of Arthurian lore.

Inspired by the 19th century popularity of Tennyson’s Idylls of the King (the introduction makes much of the author’s friendship with Tennyson), this retelling is based on Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur. I grew up on the Malory edition edited by Pollard (with Arthur Rackham’s wonderful illustrations), so these two books ought to be quite similar. Are they? Hmm. I haven’t read my old book in a while – though it’s now available free from archive.org: http
...more
Anne Lydolf
May 07, 2016 Anne Lydolf rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-books
A very long, very repetitive story about a bunch of hotheaded idiots that only care about fighting and killing. They fight whoever they meet over the smallest things and without asking names. That leads to many misunderstandings of killing friends and family... Every other line of this story is someone starting a fight and killing someone over nothing. Its a wonder any grown men are even alive still. Plain horrible.
Barb Middleton
Oct 08, 2014 Barb Middleton rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Harumph. I didn't expect that. I've read so many books based on the Arthurian legend that I thought it would be a sword and sorcery fantasy plot with the character development of King Arthur. Scrap that thought. Character development takes a back seat to a series of chain-linked mini adventures connected to the knights of the Round Table fighting battles or single combats. King Arthur is hardly even in it. Or Merlin for that matter. The sword and the stone, the quest for the Holy Grail, and the ...more
Lisa
May 27, 2015 Lisa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I think this material is much better handled by filmmakers and TV producers than lowly readers like myself. I had trouble with the language, and it was not helped by the fact that this kindle edition was sloppy, with many repeats and restarts. I like the underlying adventure, but the writing was far too ornate for my taste.
David
James Knowle's retelling of the classic stories of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round table, taking in Arthur's birth and upbringing, the Sword in the Stone, Merlin, Excalibur, the Green Knight, the Knights of the Round Table, Lancelot and Guineveire, the Quest for the Holy Grail and even Arthur's final battle and (supposed) death.

As such, it covers pretty much all the bases - it's just a pity that the prose itself isn't really all that engaging. For a better take on the same subject matte
...more
Jonathan Scotese
Interesting. This is the first non-modern King Arthur story I have read. It is a bit boring and repetitive, and the female characters barely exist beyond the barest sketch, and seem to be defined by either their virtue of their petty evil. The male characters are likewise two dimensional, either noble Knights, honorable foes who become noble once defeated, or violent monsters, but a lot more time is focused on them.

The most interesting thing is the story about how Arthur conquered the Roman Empi
...more
Rina
Jul 30, 2016 Rina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was an awesome series! I just loved it. There are many things about elves, faeries, enchanted creatures, and even romance. This was totally the kind of book that I like, as I love things about the medieval times.
Morgan Frey
Can anyone recommend to me an un-Christianised version of King Arthur? If he was real, he's dated just before the arrival of Christianity and in any case, I highly doubt he conquered Rome *eye roll*
Andy Bryant
Oh my. This has shattered a few myths I’ve had about the legend of King Arthur and has knights, all of which I’ve gleaned from numerous popular culture interpretations in film and TV (my kids are huge Merlin fans).

Myth one, I thought there was a bit more to the knights, since they were always supposed to be on noble quests with a high purpose, yet ALL they do is fight. THAT IS IT. Never in my life have I read so much smoting, buffeting of the helm or cleaving straight through the head down to th
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John Sims-jones
This is kind of an odd treatment of the King Arthur legend. On one hand, I really like the stories, and individual parts of the book are generally enjoyable. However, the book gets extremely repetitive, so that by the end it becomes difficult to care about what's happening. There's about ten jousting sequences too many, the number of random sword fights could have been cut in half, and the prose often reads like scripture, with more of an emphasis on flowery descriptions than creating realistic ...more
Ariana
Sep 18, 2015 Ariana rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was a rather disappointing read but at least I can see how storytelling has evolved over the centuries. I'm sure the story is more impressive when told orally, especially with the quick narration, but as a book it doesn't do the myth of King Arthur justice. Also, I'd probably not recommend this book for children because of the violence (there are so many beheadings) and the glorifying of it but I can imagine it being told, ages ago, to youngsters around the fire to arouse their desire for a ...more
Rachel
Jul 04, 2015 Rachel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, classics
It took me far too long to finish this book...

To be fair, this is due in no small part to a busy schedule; but it is also due to the fact that my literary tastes don't include such archaic prose. The book shows its age not only in language and style, but also in attitudes toward gender roles and politics.

Still, it's an interesting read, if only to familiarize oneself with some of the earlier writings on King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. While most of us know the basic story of Arth
...more
Nola Redd
Over and over while reading the biographies of the British monarchs and their love affairs with the tales of King Arthur did I vow to read the legends myself. Anon, I rushed to Amazon to capture the free version and make it my own. Such tidings truly are the stuff of legends, and deserving of attention if only for their historical fame and role in the literature to follow, but alas I cannot claim to have truly enjoyed them.

In many ways, one would think the stories ought to be gripping. The chapt
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MeriBeth
This book is a direct reprint of the original Knowles book which itself was a reworking or compilation of Sir Thomas Mallory's stories about King Arthur. One needs to know this fact right from the start of the book as the language and writing style is very old fashioned, slightly florid, and sometimes difficult to read. Still for those who love Arthurian literature, this book will be a very good resource as it is an unabridged collection of Mallory's tales as retold by Knowles. It was a very pop ...more
Jessiqa
Apr 28, 2016 Jessiqa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-but-unowned
This book is a retelling of Malory’s Le Morte D’Arthur and was first published in 1862. It includes many of the stories from Malory’s book, including sections dedicated to Sirs Gawain, Gareth, Lancelot, and Tristan. Having read Malory and other Arthurian texts, these stories were not new to me, but still made me smile. It was like visiting an old friend.

There are always parts that mystify me as a modern reader, like how many times knights will ride their horses so long and so hard that the hors
...more
Gene
Jan 23, 2014 Gene rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, fantasy, fiction
I had a love/hate relationship with this book.

First, let me say that I listened to this as an unabridged audiobook. The narration was terrific and the performance was very good. But the story had issues.

I understand that this was a classic book, with language from another time. But the wording was painful. Nearly every battle sounded alike. In fact, if the word "smote" was removed, you'd lose a significant percentage of the book! The battles were frequently similar and seemed to add little to th
...more
Mark
Sep 19, 2010 Mark rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I did not enjoy this book at all, and that was a shame as I had longed to read the Arthurian legends for a while now. However, I found this book ponderous, over-written and at times insulting.

The author goes at great lengths to anglicise-Arthur which in itself is understandable as his legend has him as Britain's greatest king and that Camelot is traditionally in England.

However, what is not necessary is the demonization of the Welsh, Irish and particularly the Scots. As a Scotsman I found this h
...more
Tommy
Jan 07, 2011 Tommy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
It was kind of interesting to hear some of the stories of King Arthur and the Knight of the Round Table but at the same time there was a lot of 'they fought for a really long time and then one knight struck the on the head down too his shoulder' and 'there was a sword that no one could get for whatever reason (stuck in a stone, enchanted) except for the noblest/best/whatever knight'. These themes were a little monotonous for my liking.

In terms of genres for comparison I found myself comparing th
...more
Roman Colombo
Mar 26, 2015 Roman Colombo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
Some of it was a little repetitious, but for the most part, it's still a wonderful collection of stories. Almost everyone knows the legend of Lancelot and Guinevere, and it was a little tedious going through it again. I still find Garreth's story the most compelling--a kitchen servant who becomes a knight.

Audio: Eric Brooks is wonderful. He reads in an almost casual, bar-story-like tone that makes each legend that much more fun and surprising. When he reads scenes about ladies having their heads
...more
Tait Sougstad
Oct 20, 2012 Tait Sougstad rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If for nothing else, this was an interesting study of how the "golden age" of King Arthur's legendary realm was one of pseudo-Christian syncretism. A Jesus-ish vocabulary is used throughout, and his relics venerated, but without a connection to the actual Jesus of the Gospels. Magic and murder are sanctioned as Christened acts.

However, the reason this was such a page-turner was the hilarious chivalry that is so prevalent in the Masculinity-revival of young, American males these days. When the Ho
...more
Tom
Mar 22, 2015 Tom rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
While great to get a sense of where the legends came from and the inspiration for what has come after, it doesn't stand well in its own right. The anachronistic language isn't the problem but the muddled story telling is. Tales are frequently interrupted by events of no consequence and their is little depth to the storytelling and characters. Still if you love the lore it's worth reading if only to appreciate how much better in the retelling this legend has become.
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Sir James Knowles was an English architect and editor.

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“Whoso pulleth out this sword of this stone and anvil, is rightwise king born of all England. Then the people marvelled, and told it to the Archbishop. I command, said the Archbishop, that ye keep you within your church and pray unto God still, that no man touch the sword till the high mass be all done. So when all masses were done all the lords went to behold the stone and the sword. And when they saw the scripture some assayed, such as would have been king. But none might stir the sword nor move it. He is not here, said the Archbishop, that shall achieve the sword, but doubt not God will make him known.” 3 likes
“Now, said Sir Ector to Arthur, I understand ye must be king of this land. Wherefore I, said Arthur, and for what cause? Sir, said Ector, for God will have it so; for there should never man have drawn out this sword, but he that shall be rightwise king of this land” 3 likes
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