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Mordred's Curse

3.62  ·  Rating details ·  132 ratings  ·  15 reviews
Raised by his witch-mother and an embittered foster father, Mordred of Orkney wants nothing more than to serve the uncle he idolizes, King Arthur. Discovering that he is Arthur's bastard son, not his nephew, Mordred confronts his beloved king. The king rejects him--turning Mordred's worship into an all-consuming hatred.
Mass Market Paperback, 319 pages
Published October 1st 1996 by Avon Books (NYC) (first published January 1st 1996)
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3.62  · 
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 ·  132 ratings  ·  15 reviews

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Mar 22, 2012 rated it it was ok
Recommended to Aryn by: Kitty
As avid of a fantasy reader as I am and an English major, I do not enjoy the original Arthurian Legends. It's almost sacrilegious, isn't it? I do know that the stories are good, however, and you simply can't take two steps in a fantasy section of a bookstore without tripping over an Arthur tale. My point being, that since I'm not an Arthur fan, I was loathe to pick this up. It had been sent to me by a friend over a year ago, placed on my to-read shelf and was promptly forgotten about. Then while ...more
Dan Schwent
Feb 07, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
I was really into King Arthur as a kid and when I saw this book and it's sequel in the Science Fiction Book Club's flyer one day years later, I decided to give it a chance. King Arthur's story from Mordred's point of view? Sounded interesting.

Interesting was an understatement. The story is told by Mordred and he's bitter as hell about Arthur, his supposed father Lot, and has a strange relationship with his mother. Launcelot is nowhere in this book or its sequel. The things Launcelot is known for
Oct 30, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: celtic, fantasy, arthurian
Written from the perspective of the the usually villainous Mordred in the form of his journal, it is a unique take on the tale of Arthur and the dynamic between Arthur and Mordred. From childhood to adulthood we are privy to Mordred's thoughts and feelings, many which are unkind and vulgar.
While many of my beloved characters are reduced to petty ambitions and traits, we are shown the ugliest aspects of personages normally held in high esteem.
While this novel has no redeeming qualities, I enjoyed
I'm not sure what I was expecting from this. It's light, easy to read, and completely irreverent. If you favour the courtly love version of Camelot, you'll be disappointed with this book. It's a very gritty, dirty, realist view of things. Mordred has a potty-mouth, and that's an understatement. There's also a lot of incest and things that are just plain gross, for example Merlin wanting to fuck a younger Mordred, and vivid descriptions of a coracle/boat made out of human skin. I quite liked it. ...more
Jan 03, 2013 rated it liked it
I am not sure what to say about this novel. I can't say I completely disliked it, but the parts about the plot I liked were mostly overshadowed by vulgarity.
I am deeply confused by how much I liked it and how much I did not. I love the theme of Mordred loving/hating Arthur and there is not enough Guinevere/Mordred in novels, so I was extremely glad when I found out that Guinevere and Mordred would become lovers. I also loved how Mordred was much more shaped by Lot and Morgause than by Arthur, th
Laura (Madsen) McLain
Dec 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2012, fantasy
Wickedly fun version of the Arthurian legend, from the point of view of Mordred, illegitimate son of Arthur and lover of Guinevere.
May 14, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Mordred's Curse starts with what I felt was like a slap in the face. It took me by surprise, both due to the language and the intensity of it. It goes like this:

“I don't care what Guinevere and Gawain say; this won't be Mordred's Life of Arthur, but Mordred's Life of Mordred. Fuck them; they can chronicle my sanctimonious progenitor's exploits if they've got the stomach for it.”

These first sentences are a great synopsis of the book, much better than the one found on the back cover. After the i
Feb 12, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: arthurian, fantasy
The one where Merlin is a pedophile and Mordred is a pottymouthed edgelord with no discernible personality. Pass.
Kristi Thompson
Mar 13, 2009 rated it really liked it
Arthurian, but with Mordred as the central character, and Lancelot's role as well as his own. Bitter twisted heroic Mordred, and even more twisted religious Arthur. I liked it. Mordred's an antihero I can enjoy.

The only change to the standard legend that bothered me was the loss of Gawain's other brothers. Probably justified in the source material, but I miss them.

Gawain is very much like White's Gawain, and all the other Gawains, despite the change in his family. I guess he must go far back.
Jun 15, 2014 rated it did not like it
I read this as a teen. I remember it showing Merlin as a sexually starved pervert who was also a lover of King Arthur. I was turned off from this book in just a few pages. I love Arthurian legend and though I can appreciate McDowell giving a darker version of our beloved hero, his words were too vulgar and bitter for my liking.
Erik Graff
Mar 10, 2010 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Matter of Britain fans
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: literature
This is a rather dark take on the Matter of Britain written from the perspective of King Arthur's bastard son, Modred.
Siiri Cressey
AWESOME! I want to find "Merlin's Gift."
Amanda Lyons
Apr 27, 2010 rated it really liked it
I'll only say this before i read Robert Devereaux's Santa Steps Out this was the most screwed up and off the wall book I'd ever read.
Jeff Pollard
Apr 16, 2010 rated it it was ok
a little different take on Arthur's legend, from Mordred's view...
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