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

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  8,924 ratings  ·  179 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 August 1st 1989)
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Jack Vasen I have been wondering about this myself. This may well be an allegory.

I hesitate to relate Arthur directly to Jesus since Jesu is a character in the o…more
I have been wondering about this myself. This may well be an allegory.

I hesitate to relate Arthur directly to Jesus since Jesu is a character in the ongoing story. However, I can see a relationship between Arthur's Summer Kingdom and Christ's ultimate kingdom.(less)

Community Reviews

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really liked it Average rating 4.00  · 
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 ·  8,924 ratings  ·  179 reviews

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Oct 17, 2007 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
Richard Derus
Aug 15, 2014 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 22, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A really cool and epic Arthurian retelling. The best I've ever read. It's all so real and I can totally see every single part happening in real life.

The characters are all very real and 3-D, not really relatable in the sense of the word, but there are certainly things to connect with. The story tellers each have a unique voice and cadence and I really love how it doesn't switch POVs except in each book 'part' so I can get stuck nice and comfortably inside one person's head.

The writing style is o
Dec 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I need to read this one again, but I remember Arthur and loving this book.
Aug 01, 2010 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 02, 2011 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 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
Nov 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful, epic treatment of the Arthurian legends, with several interesting twists that diverge from what I was expecting. The Celtic or Old English interpretations of several names made each new character a mysterious revelation, and the multiple narrators made the story a fascinating shift of perspectives. Yet through it all was a sense of nobility and heroism that I deeply appreciated. Most surprising was the esteem in which the Christian faith has been upheld through the books so far. As ...more
Miriam Cihodariu
Aug 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
With the third book, the events take us even closer to the heart of the Arthurian legends - every secondary character from Malory's tales has the accurate appearance here as well but in a much more enjoyable narrative. :)

The round table, the values of emerging Christianity blending with the Celtic lore of old, everything is here in a very satisfying way. But what makes the book really great is the plausible and well-documented way in which the historical times of the 6-7th century Britain are al
Jodi Woody
May 25, 2013 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
Apr 26, 2008 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
May 11, 2009 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
Dec 11, 2010 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
Douglas Hayes
Sep 07, 2010 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!
Gwenhwyfar McIntyre
Aug 07, 2011 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.
Jan 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: absolute-faves
Just as good the second time around! :D
Oct 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Another worthy viewpoint on this legend
Jan 28, 2013 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
Brad McKenna
Aug 13, 2013 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
Sedna Dragon
Oct 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Very well written and I cannot believe that it has not a popular adaptation! My favourite character is still Merlin.
Jeannie Lee
Feb 21, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, arthur
OH.MY.GOSH. This is my absolute, most favorite book about King Arthur EVER written. It's not the magical, golden, dripping with gems story that you might be thinking. This is a soldier's story, a man who could discern the ebb and flow of a battle better than anyone every had. Arthur was a hero of battles, a great leader even though he was young. I was enchanted with this version of Arthur. The battle at Hadrian's wall had me breathless. The description of the land, the smell of the horses and th ...more
Jan 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
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Jan 06, 2011 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
Dec 26, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very good read. The tale is told by different characters but still flows well. Arthur's rise to become High King is difficult as he works to gain the support of all the kings in the kingdom. Battle after battle must be engaged to free the kingdom of invaders and to prove to these kings that he is the leader they need. Even when he attains the crown his support among some is tenuous. The impact of Morgian, her father, and her son Medraut takes its toll on Arthur's supporters. When Arthur and hi ...more
Gabor Nyiro
Jan 02, 2015 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
Feb 15, 2015 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
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
Gabriel Wallis
Sep 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Gabriel by: Rick C. Leiviska
Shelves: 2014, favorites
Arthur was an excellent book! The entire Pendragon Cycle, so far, has been excellent! Honestly, I have no idea why I've never read Stephen Lawhead before this. The book was soaked with God. The battles, the struggle between good and evil, the honor, the devotion to Christ, all of these attributes and more in the book made me want to, first off, read more Stephen Lawhead and, secondly, read the Bible. It reminded me of reading an Old Testament story. So good! I definitely recommend this book and ...more
Robert Jr.
Apr 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Like the other Pendragon books, I read these a long time ago. I still remember them fairly well. If you are a fan of the King Arthur mythology, these are a must read. More realistic than the movie Excalibur, but more fantasy elements of the King Arthur movie with Clive Owen (2004). Extremely fantastic book series.
Katie Varga
Jul 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This series is getting more and more awesome. Absolutely different from the original legends or any other adaptation I've ever read or watched, yet it contains all (or rather most of) the Arthurian elements. I wonder what the next book will be about though, I think this one has a perfect finale. ...more
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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

Other books in the series

The Pendragon Cycle (5 books)
  • Taliesin (The Pendragon Cycle #1)
  • Merlin (The Pendragon Cycle, #2)
  • Pendragon (The Pendragon Cycle, #4)
  • Grail (The Pendragon Cycle, #5)

News & Interviews

The idea for The Gilded Ones came to author Namina Forna in a dream. The recurring image was one of a young girl in armor walking up a...
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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.” 130 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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