Legend Retelling Fantasy Books

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A publicly ranked list of legend retelling fantasy books Books that retell a well-known legend
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Lord Of The Silver Bow

by David Gemmell

He is a man of many names. Some call him the Golden One; others, the Lord of the Silver Bow. To the Dardanians, he is Prince Aeneas. But to his friends, he is Helikaon. Strong, fast, quick of mind, he is a bold warrior, hated by his enemies, feared even by his Trojan allies. For there is a darkness at the heart of the Golden One, a savagery that, once awakened, can be appeased only with blood.

Argurios the Mykene is a peerless fighter, a man of unbending principles and unbreakable will. Like all of the Mykene warriors, he lives to conquer and to kill. Dispatched by King Agamemnon to scout the defenses of the golden city of Troy, he is Helikaon’s sworn enemy.

Andromache is a priestess of Thera betrothed against her will to Hektor, prince of Troy. Scornful of tradition, skilled in the arts of war, and passionate in the ways of her order, Andromache vows to love whom she pleases and to live as she desires.

Now fate is about to thrust these three together–and, from the sparks of passionate love and hate, ignite a fire that will engulf the world.

Readers who know the works of David Gemmell expect nothing less than excellence from this author, whose taut prose, driving plots, and full-bodied characters have won him legions of fans the world over. Now, with this first masterly volume in an epic reimagining of the Trojan War, Gemmell has written an ageless drama of brave deeds and fierce battles, of honor and treachery, of love won and lost.


From the Hardcover edition.

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The Crystal Cave

by Mary Stewart

Born the bastard son of a Welsh princess, Myridden Emrys -- or as he would later be known, Merlin -- leads a perilous childhood, haunted by portents and visions. But destiny has great plans for this no-man's-son, taking him from prophesying before the High King Vortigern to the crowning of Uther Pendragon . . . and the conception of Arthur -- king for once and always.


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The Once And Future King

by Terence Hanbury White

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T.H. White's masterful retelling of the saga of King Arthur is a fantasy classic as legendary as Excalibur and Camelot, and a poignant story of adventure, romance, and magic that has enchanted readers for generations.

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The Winter King

by Bernard Cornwell

It takes a remarkable writer to make an old story as fresh and compelling as the first time we heard it. With The Winter King, the first volume of his magnificent Warlord Chronicles, Bernard Cornwell finally turns to the story he was born to write: the mythic saga of King Arthur.

The tale begins in Dark Age Britain, a land where Arthur has been banished and Merlin has disappeared, where a child-king sits unprotected on the throne, where religion vies with magic for the souls of the people. It is to this desperate land that Arthur returns, a man at once utterly human and truly heroic: a man of honor, loyalty, and amazing valor; a man who loves Guinevere more passionately than he should; a man whose life is at once tragic and triumphant.

As Arthur fights to keep a flicker of civilization alive in a barbaric world, Bernard Cornwell makes a familiar tale into a legend all over again.

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The Death Of King Arthur: The Immortal Legend

by Thomas Malory

Acclaimed biographer Peter Ackroyd vibrantly resurrects the legendary epic of Camelot in this modern adaptation.

The names of Arthur, Merlin, Lancelot, Guinevere, Galahad, the sword of Excalibur, and the court of Camelot are as recognizable as any from the world of myth. Although many versions exist of the stories of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, Le Morte d'Arthur by Sir Thomas Malory endures as the most moving and richly inventive. In this abridged retelling the inimitable Peter Ackroyd transforms Malory's fifteenth-century work into a dramatic modern story, vividly bringing to life a world of courage and chivalry, magic, and majesty. The golden age of Camelot, the perilous search for the Holy Grail, the love of Guinevere and Lancelot, and the treachery of Arthur's son Mordred are all rendered into contemporary prose with Ackroyd's characteristic charm and panache. Just as he did with his fresh new version of Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales, Ackroyd now brings one of the cornerstones of English literature to a whole new audience.

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Lavinia

by Ursula K. Le Guin

From a masterful writer of myth and fantasy, a beautiful reimagining of one of the most pivotal characters in Virgil's Aeneid

 

As the story goes, Virgil’s hero fights to claim the king’s daughter, Lavinia, with whom he is destined to build an empire. Lavinia herself never speaks a word. Now, Ursula K. Le Guin gives Lavinia a voice in a novel that takes us to the half-wild world of ancient Italy. Lavinia grows up knowing nothing but peace and freedom until her suitors arrive. Her mother wants her to marry handsome, ambitious Turnus. But omens and prophecies spoken by the sacred springs say she must marry a foreigner, that she will be the cause of a bitter war, and that her husband will not live long. When a fleet of Trojan ships sails up the Tiber, Lavinia decides to take her destiny into her own hands and tells us the story of her life—and her life's greatest love.

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I Am Of Irelaunde: A Novel Of Patrick And Osian

by Juilene Osborne-McKnight

St. Patrick of Ireland has been enshrined in myth and history as a benign and beloved figure, a native Irish miracle worker who drove both the snakes and the Druids from his homeland and gently issued in the age of Christianity.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Magonus Succatus Patricius ("Paidrig") was of Roman heritage; captured into slavery in Ireland at the age of sixteen, he escaped at the age of twenty-two. I Am of Irelaunde takes the forty-year-old Paidrig back to the site of his shame. He is full of anger, and is determined to bring Christianity to Ireland, even if he has to beat it into the "lazy, loathesome" Irish. But something happens to change Paidrig. Something shrouded in mystery and wonder. Long before Paidrig, Ireland had been guarded by a chivalric brotherhood of warriors known as the Fianna. Osian, a leading poet/warrior of the Fianna, has been dead for 200 years. He has come by magic to Paidrig to show him the wonder of Eire. And the stories that Paidrig hears open doors that will win Paidrig's heart and convert him into the champion of the people he once despised.
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Till We Have Faces

by C.S. Lewis

“I saw well why the gods do not speak to us openly, nor let us answer . . . Why should they hear the babble that we think we mean? How can they meet us face to face till we have faces?”

Haunted by the myth of Cupid and Psyche throughout his life, C.S. Lewis wrote this, his last, extraordinary novel, to retell their story through the gaze of Psyche’s sister, Orual. Disfigured and embittered, Orual loves her younger sister to a fault and suffers deeply when she is sent away to Cupid, the God of the Mountain. Psyche is forbidden to look upon the god’s face, but is persuaded by her sister to do so; she is banished for her betrayal. Orual is left alone to grow in power but never in love, to wonder at the silence of the gods. Only at the end of her life, in visions of her lost beloved sister, will she hear an answer.

"Till We Have Faces succeeds in presenting with imaginative directness what its author has described elsewhere as ‘the divine, magical, terrifying and ecstatic reality in which we all live’ . . . [It] deepens for adults that sense of wonder and strange truth which delights children in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Prince Caspian, and other legends of Narnia." —New York Times

"The most significant and triumphant work that Lewis has . . . produced." —New York Herald Tribune
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The Shark King

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Meet Nanaue, a boy craving to be who he truly is.

From the islands of Hawaii comes the electrifying tale of Nanaue, who has to balance his yearning for Dad’s guidance with his desire for Mom’s nurture. Award-winning cartoonist R. Kikuo Johnson transports young readers to the lush tropical shores of his native Hawaii. Fluent or not, young readers will be thrilled when they experience the transformative powers of a stirring literary work.
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Thief Eyes

by Janni Lee Simner

The latest YA fantasy book from Bones of Faerie author Janni Lee Simner!

After her mother mysteriously disappears, sixteen-year-old Haley convinces her father to take her to Iceland, where her mother was last seen. There, amidst the ancient fissures and crevices of that volcanic island, Haley meets gorgeous Ari, a boy with a dangerous side who appoints himself her protector.

When Haley picks up a silver coin that entangles her in a spell cast by her ancestor Hallgerd, she discovers that Hallgerd's spell and her mother's disappearance are connected to a chain of events that could unleash terrifying powers and consume the world. Haley must find a way to contain the growing fires of the spell—and her growing attraction to Ari.

Janni Lee Simner brings the fierce romance and violent passions of Iceland's medieval sagas into this twenty-first-century novel, with spellbinding results.
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Radian Darkness

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Art and Artists: Poems is a sumptuous collection of visions in verse—the work of centuries of poets who have used their own art form to illuminate art created by others.

A wide variety of visual art forms have inspired great poetry, from painting, sculpture, and photography to tapestry, folk art, and calligraphy. Included here are poems that celebrate Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, Claude Monet’s Water Lilies, and Grant Wood’s American Gothic. Here are such well-known poems as John Keats’s “Ode on a Grecian Urn” and W. H. Auden’s “Musée des Beaux Arts,” Homer’s immortal account of the forging of the shield of Achilles, and Federico García Lorca’s breathtaking ode to the surreal paintings of Salvador Dalí. Allen Ginsberg writes about Cezanne, Anne Sexton about van Gogh, Billy Collins about Hieronymus Bosch, and Kevin Young about Jean-Michel Basquiat. Here too are poems that take on the artists themselves, from Michelangelo and Rembrandt to Frida Kahlo and Georgia O’Keeffe. Altogether, this brilliantly curated anthology proves that a picture can be worth a thousand words—or a few very well-chosen ones.
 

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