In Lieu of Avalon
December 18, 2017 9:06 AM   Subscribe

Based on this FPP what are your favorite recommended books in a similar vein to Mists of Avalon, but without such a problematic author.
posted by Sophie1 to Writing & Language (13 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
It's mentioned in the article, but Nicola Griffith's Hild is really something special.
posted by kalimac at 9:23 AM on December 18, 2017 [7 favorites]

Also, if what you want is feminist riffs on Arthurian mythology, a quick visit to An Archive of Our Own will probably yield some decent results, albeit from unpublished (at least under that name) authors.
posted by praemunire at 9:34 AM on December 18, 2017

I too enjoyed Hild, up until the very ending that got pretty icky. Holding out hope for the sequel though.
posted by orrnyereg at 9:58 AM on December 18, 2017

And, to add something more substantive to the conversation, I enjoyed Mary Stewart's Merlin Trilogy very much!
posted by orrnyereg at 10:56 AM on December 18, 2017 [8 favorites]

The Sevenwaters Series felt like Mists of Avalon (feminist, multiple generations, druids, the balance between old gods and new), but is based in folk tales instead of Arthurian legend. I read Mists because I ran out of Sevenwaters, and they felt very similar, but Sevenwaters was the better read for me.
posted by Sweetchrysanthemum at 12:51 PM on December 18, 2017 [2 favorites]

The King's Peace (and its sequel - it's a duology) is a very good early Roman occupation-era alt-history King Arthur story with a much more equal gender balance and a female Lancelot figure. There is a rape very early on, which, although I think it's tolerably well-handled (and is definitely central to the plot, rather than for shock value) may justifiably disqualify it for some folks.
posted by restless_nomad at 1:57 PM on December 18, 2017 [4 favorites]

I'm really enjoying Manda Scott's series about Boudicca. The heroine is a Celtic warrior queen fighting with the Romans, and there's lots of good stuff about Celtic spirituality. It's unusually well written IMO.
posted by ottereroticist at 3:29 PM on December 18, 2017 [3 favorites]

Not Arthurian, but I enjoyed Deborah Harkness' Discovery of Witches.
posted by theora55 at 3:34 PM on December 18, 2017 [1 favorite]

Really enjoyed the deed of paksenarrion, and most of the series. Last one was a bit disappointing but most of the series is really a good read.
posted by 15L06 at 3:39 PM on December 18, 2017 [1 favorite]

If the goal is a good retelling of Arthurian legends, I’d go with Bernard Cornwell’s trilogy: The Winter King, Enemy of God, and Excalibur.
posted by Autumnheart at 5:51 PM on December 18, 2017 [1 favorite]

You might enjoy Persia Woolley's Guinevere trilogy: Child of the Northern Spring, Queen of the Summer Stars, and Guinevere: Legend in Autumn. Woolley's Guinevere is not at all like Bradley's (she is tough, intelligent, and capable), but the "Arthurian stories centered from women's points of view" is the same.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 5:20 AM on December 19, 2017 [2 favorites]

Another Guinevere-centered story is Rosalind Miles' Queen of the Summer Country, with another strong intelligent Guenevere, this time one who is the heiress to the matriarchal Summer Country (where the throne is passed down from mother to daughter).
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 5:27 AM on December 19, 2017 [2 favorites]

A classic retelling of King Arthur is (Mr.) T.H. White's The Once and Future King. Sword in the Stone is based on it, and it informs most contemporary Arthurian tales.
posted by theora55 at 1:21 PM on December 19, 2017

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