Friday, May 27, 2016

Five top books that recycle historical legends

Kiersten White is the New York Times bestselling author of the Paranormalcy trilogy; the dark thrillers Mind Games and Perfect Lies; The Chaos of Stars; Illusions of Fate; and the forthcoming And I Darken. At she tagged her "five favorite books that use European history or historical legends as a background for asking timeless questions about life, love, and the reality of magic," including:
The Once and Future King by T. H. White

As the basis for this brilliant novel, White uses the legends of King Arthur and Camelot. What could have been merely a retelling becomes something so much larger as he uses those tales to explore kingdoms, wars, politics, love, loyalty, and the transient, unobtainable notion of goodness. As we follow Arthur from child to man to king, we grow with him and carry the weight of all that knowledge and all those choices, too. Though not the original, White’s Camelot (not a silly place at all) feels far truer than any other version.
Read about the other entries on the list.

The Sword in the Stone is on Andrew Norris's top ten list of favorite characters that offer a helping hand to their heroes, Jessamy Taylor's list of the ten top castles in fiction, John Dougherty's top ten list of fictional badgers, and Gill Lewis's top ten list of birds in books; it is the first part of The Once and Future King, which is among Philip Womack's best classic children's books and Lev Grossman's five top fantasy books.

--Marshal Zeringue