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Mordred, Bastard Son

(The Chronicles of Mordred #1)

3.59  ·  Rating details ·  560 ratings  ·  63 reviews
Traitor. Exile. Lover of Men.

“My mother is the Witch-Queen Morgan le Fay and my father, King Arthur. Merlin foretold that if a son like me were born to Arthur, his kingdom would be destroyed. By birthright, I am heir to the throne stolen from my mother…” In this spellbinding novel of dangerous magic and burning desire, Mordred’s first forbidden passion for the greatest kni
Hardcover, 260 pages
Published January 1st 2006 by Alyson Books
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TheBohemianBookworm The author just recently announced that due to issues with his publisher the book was delayed but it is now scheduled to be released in 2018.
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Average rating 3.59  · 
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 ·  560 ratings  ·  63 reviews

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Feb 07, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Are you a Mordred fan? Good. Do you appreciate bastards? Excellent. I recommend you not read this book.

It's well-written, definitely, but story-telling and writing are different. If you're interested in Arthurian legends and intrigued by Mordred, this book will not give you the satisfaction you looked for, no matter how long you scour the pages, how deeply you read, how much you hope that Mordred will be at Camelot by the middle of the book. You see, the whole conflict of this novel focused on M
Jul 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Arthurian fans who can stand a long unfinished trilogy
I've read much of the modern Arthurian fiction as well as much of the early sources and thoroughly enjoyed this take on Mordred. I only wish Clegg had finished (will finish) the trilogy. I'd like to know where he's taking us.

The action of this 1st book takes place in the Amorican peninsula, specifically in the great and mysterious Forest of Brocéliande. In Clegg's world this ancient, mythic forest separates those practicing the Old religions from the surrounding Romano-Christian interlopers. It
Abi Walton
3.5. Suched mixed reviews on this one, but although slow to pick up I thought this novel was a good re-telling of the Arthurian Legend. Although Typos and Grammar mistakes I think these can be taken lightly as they dont distract from a tale that is unique and explores the Celtic heritage of a Legend that is so embedded in our culture.
I like that Clegg has made Mordred a character I like and want to root for and also (view spoiler) This was a bril
Gerry Burnie
Gerry B's Book Reviews -

Like millions of others around the world, I have always been—well, for seventy-five years, anyway—a fan of the Arthurian legend and the outrageously fictional Camelot. Moreover, I suppose I could say that during that time I have been brainwashed into believing that the ‘bastard son,’ Mordred, was the worm in the apple. Imagine the audacity of Douglas Clegg, therefore, to challenge that idea with his revisionist novel Mordred, Bastard Son
Feb 15, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Douglas Clegg, horror and fantasy writer is the author of this. He does a great job telling the story of Mordred. Yep, THE Mordred we all know and love from Arthurian legends.

In this book, he is a Druid priest and a homosexual, telling his story to a young Christian acolyte as he lies wounded and being hunted down. It's a powerful take on Mordred which I enjoyed.

It's gritty at times, loving in others. If you're homophobic, don't bother but I recommend it to anyone else.
Mar 17, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2008, queer, fantasy
i enjoyed this book, and i look forward to the next two books in this series, but i cannot lie: this book read a little like slash fanfiction. that's not a bad thing -- allah knows i would read fifty retellings of arthurian legend from the point of view of a strong, smart homosexual protagonist; the fact mordred was gay lends an interesting angle to a story i've loved for a very long time. but hot damn, the prose was a little purple, and by 'a little' i mean 'a lot'.
Dec 12, 2016 rated it did not like it
Do you want an Arthurian legend? Look elsewhere. This is not a story of Mordred, merely a story set in the "times" of Arthur and stealing character names to force into tortured plots that in no way fit into widely accepted Arthurian legends. The story tries so hard to impart great wisdom through mystery that it merely comes off as pretension.

In addition, the author proves time and again that he is incapable of constructing grammatically sound complex sentences.
LD  Durham
I enjoyed the new look at the main characters of this great legend. Well thought out and, told in first-person, very engaging. Had a bit more typos than I had expected, so that was a bit of a distraction, but otherwise, I'm looking forward to reading the next book.
Dylan Marcinkowski
'Mordred, Bastard Son' - are there any words mighty enough to describe how relevant that book is? It deals with the last breaths of paganism, love in the bud and the consequences of one's actions.

The dillemas Mordred faces in his youth are very insightful and anchored in reality. Life is not black and white, for it is ruled by subtle forces. There is a fine boundary between selflessness and selfishness; Mordred's constantly dancing in between, always doubting where to set his foot. Is it right
Daniella Featherstone
You know when you just know from very early on that a book was going to be brilliant. I felt like that about this one, only instead of being brilliant, it was the opposite. So it's a DNF. I knew only a few pages in it was definitely not going to be what I expected and I got the feeling it would drag if I read much more. Not to mention that my TBR pile is daunting enough as it is, so I thought I'd work through it, including this one.
Ken Cook
Jan 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Arthurian variation

This foray into a variation of the myths of Camelot is clever and intriguing. A well-woven tale, it kept my interest as Mordred revealed the early stories of his life.
Lavenia Otts
Feb 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great tale

A great retelling of an old story but from a different perspective. The characters are all full and rich. Read this book.
This was absolutely ridiculous. There’s no other way to describe it.
Aug 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a world building book. It does move a little slowly but it is laying very deep roots. I have no doubt it will pay off in the next book.... Which I hope to read whenever it comes out.
Amber G.
Dec 26, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult, lgbt
Alright-- frustratingly wordy.
Cordell Pettaway
Great read

Great on a new twist. Hope the author continues. I love the take on Celtic religion. Love it all. He needs part two out.
Sue Smith
Dec 15, 2011 rated it liked it
This was a hard book to rate. There were parts that were so well written - things so well put - that it left me breathless. Then there was the vast majority that, although interesting, just didn't come up to par. That was incredibly lacking or void of emotion ... or something. The possibility of the book was huge, but didn''t leave me reallly wanting more - even though it's the first of three and didn't end smoothly. You know it's a book in a series. You know that the true end of the story won't ...more
Lacey Louwagie
Apr 03, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Arthurian junkies
Recommended to Lacey by: my gay bookclub! (insightoutbooks)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
2.5 stars.

Not a bad book, but something of a slog at times. My complaints have been articulated by others already, so I won't repeat them too much. Basically: it's a tad repetitive, Mordred is somewhat passive, and the leisurely pace, at times, had me skimming.

The twist of Mordred being "a lover of men" is really, really cool in theory and could have some crazy interesting implications for future books in the series, but I feel like this one suffers from "first book in a series" syndrome, becau
Stephen Stanback
Not bad

Pretty good re-telling of the old Arthurian story, but from Mordred's point of view. Very interesting. Looking forward to the next book.
Aug 03, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical, m-m
I read the final Harry Potter book in seven hours; this book took me three weeks because I kept putting it down. The opening is quite promising. A hooded man slips ashore in Britain. He's a hunted man, the most wanted man on the isle. Close to capture, he is hidden by a monk in exchange for telling his tale. Clegg is best known for his horror, so I expected more vibrancy. Instead, I often felt as if I was reading Sir Thomas Mallory's "Le Morte d'Arthur". On the plus side, this made the story fee ...more
Isabelle Marie Flynn
Not bad though with such an enormous amount of unnecessary description it was difficult to fully get into the story. Also it's frustrating that there is no sequel as of having been 6 years since it's first release so there may not be one. Having said that I enjoyed the different perspective on Arthurian legend and on the dimension Clegg gave to the characters: All the heroes have faults, all the perceived 'bad guys' have their redeeming qualities. Often you see the various characters of ...more
Nov 10, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: arthuriana
In the field of Arthurian fiction, lately populated with books looking to place Arthur into a more historical context, Clegg's book is a return to the myth and magic of the legends. Mordred, Bastard Son is in many ways a fairy tale, recalling in approach Sir Thomas Mallory, Chrétien de Troyes, and even Edmund Spenser. The setting here is never made temporally explicit but rather melds Celtic, Roman, Anglo-Saxon, and high medieval British elements, resulting in a sort of timeless land that never ...more
Dec 12, 2012 rated it did not like it
The one in which Mordred is not actually the bad guy in the Arthurian legend, and also, he's gay. I wanted so much to like this, but the storytelling is slow and ponderous, the language painfully 'speaking forsoothly' verging on purple, and worst of all, it appears to be an abandoned WIP. (Yeah, I know, the food tastes awful and there's not enough of it. But it ends apparently at random, with no real sense of a finished story arc, and as it was published six years ago, I don't hold out much hope ...more
Aug 23, 2013 marked it as could-not-finish  ·  review of another edition
I couldn't finish this book due to the typos, the inconsistent quality of writing, and the general boredom that set in. It's s shame since the idea is fascinating, which is why I started reading it. Damn, I'm making typos just writing about it.

I'm usually good about finishing a book. I don't need a book to wham-bam me every second. But when the writing quality disrupts the reading, I can't endure it. I don't read a book to edit it, which is what I started doing here.

The mistakes in the writing a
Mar 19, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arthurian, fiction
You know those books you find yourself just wanting to finish for the sake of finishing, because you're more than halfway through and it's a short book anyways?

Yeah. This was one of those.

It started out with promise.

And then rapidly fell flat.

**** possible spoilers - though other reviews have definitely stated this right away so I'll be kind enough to warn ****

I feel like the author was trying too hard to be edgy by having Mordred be gay. Because it's one of the few angles that haven't been re
Emily G
Dec 18, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who don't mind a different take on the Arthur legend
I admit that I got this book because I was intrigued by a book that portrayed Mordred and Lancelot as lovers. I was a bit surprised by the way the tale was told - by a Mordred retelling his past to a third party. I just assumed that it would be first person in the present. However, I liked the portrayal of Mordred as the hero, it makes a nice change, but Arthur is very much the anti-hero, which can be a bit hard to take at times (if you like Arthur).

The angst level throughout this novel is high
Mar 11, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010, supernatural
Considering how much I loved Isis, I had high expectations for this one. I wouldn't say it let me down necessarily, it just wasn't what I had expected. I've always loved the stories of King Arthur and Camelot, and Mordred in particularly has always fascinated me. You would think that this book would be right up my ally, and it was to a point. While I enjoyed Clegg's take on Mordred's upbringing and on the characters of Morgan and Merlin, I was unmoved by most of the action and the love story in ...more
Natalia Smith
Aug 23, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great twist on the Arthurian legend, this is definitely my favourite retelling of this tale. Clegg takes the well-worn threads of the familiar King Arthur story and re-weaves them into an entirely different tapestry altogether.

The narrative voice does occasionally straddle the line between poetic and purple, but it's worth it; occasionally while reading I'd hit a passage with such a breathtakingly lyrical turn of phrase that I'd get stuck reading it over and over.

Mordred as the hero is wonderf
Jul 12, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I've read Clegg's "Vampyricon" series and enjoyed his concept of vampires. A nice take on the dark side of the 'Authur' fables.

from the author's web site:
"Conceived in violence, born to royalty, raised in exile -- Mordred comes of age among his mother's mystical clan in a forest far from King Arthur's lands. But when he meets an outlaw knight -- a man beloved of his father but a threat to all Mordred holds dear -- all that he has ever learned of life is challenged and threatens to destroy him."
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