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The Bright Sword
Cover of The Bright Sword
The Bright Sword
A BEST SUMMER READ: The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Time, Vulture, Esquire, Boston Globe, Elle, Town & Country, Seattle Times, New York Post, Lit Hub, Cosmopolitan, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Paste, BiblioLifestyle, E! Online, AARP, BookBub, BookRiot
“For anyone who’s ever craved a seat at the Round Table. Utterly enchanting.” —Rebecca Yarros, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Fourth Wing and Iron Flame
“If you love King Arthur as much as I do, you’ll love Lev Grossman’s The Bright Sword, a fresh and engrossing take on the Matter of Britain featuring a colorful cast of Round Table knights who don’t often get as much story time as they deserve. The creator of The Magicians has woven another spell.” —George R. R. Martin, #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Game of Thrones
The #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Magicians trilogy returns with a triumphant reimagining of the King Arthur legend for the new millennium

A gifted young knight named Collum arrives at Camelot to compete for a spot on the Round Table, only to find that he’s too late. The king died two weeks ago at the Battle of Camlann, leaving no heir, and only a handful of the knights of the Round Table survive.
They aren’t the heroes of legend, like Lancelot or Gawain. They’re the oddballs of the Round Table, from the edges of the stories, like Sir Palomides, the Saracen Knight, and Sir Dagonet, Arthur’s fool, who was knighted as a joke. They’re joined by Nimue, who was Merlin’s apprentice until she turned on him and buried him under a hill. Together this ragtag fellowship will set out to rebuild Camelot in a world that has lost its balance.
But Arthur’s death has revealed Britain’s fault lines. God has abandoned it, and the fairies and monsters and old gods are returning, led by Arthur’s half-sister Morgan le Fay. Kingdoms are turning on each other, warlords lay siege to Camelot and rival factions are forming around the disgraced Lancelot and the fallen Queen Guinevere. It is up to Collum and his companions to reclaim Excalibur, solve the mysteries of this ruined world and make it whole again. But before they can restore Camelot they’ll have to learn the truth of why the lonely, brilliant King Arthur fell, and lay to rest the ghosts of his troubled family and of Britain’s dark past.
The first major Arthurian epic of the new millennium, The Bright Sword is steeped in tradition, full of duels and quests, battles and tournaments, magic swords and Fisher Kings. It also sheds a fresh light on Arthur’s Britain, a diverse, complex nation struggling to come to terms with its bloody history. The Bright Sword is a story about imperfect men and women, full of strength and pain, who are looking for a way to reforge a broken land in spite of being broken themselves.
A BEST SUMMER READ: The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Time, Vulture, Esquire, Boston Globe, Elle, Town & Country, Seattle Times, New York Post, Lit Hub, Cosmopolitan, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Paste, BiblioLifestyle, E! Online, AARP, BookBub, BookRiot
“For anyone who’s ever craved a seat at the Round Table. Utterly enchanting.” —Rebecca Yarros, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Fourth Wing and Iron Flame
“If you love King Arthur as much as I do, you’ll love Lev Grossman’s The Bright Sword, a fresh and engrossing take on the Matter of Britain featuring a colorful cast of Round Table knights who don’t often get as much story time as they deserve. The creator of The Magicians has woven another spell.” —George R. R. Martin, #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Game of Thrones
The #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Magicians trilogy returns with a triumphant reimagining of the King Arthur legend for the new millennium

A gifted young knight named Collum arrives at Camelot to compete for a spot on the Round Table, only to find that he’s too late. The king died two weeks ago at the Battle of Camlann, leaving no heir, and only a handful of the knights of the Round Table survive.
They aren’t the heroes of legend, like Lancelot or Gawain. They’re the oddballs of the Round Table, from the edges of the stories, like Sir Palomides, the Saracen Knight, and Sir Dagonet, Arthur’s fool, who was knighted as a joke. They’re joined by Nimue, who was Merlin’s apprentice until she turned on him and buried him under a hill. Together this ragtag fellowship will set out to rebuild Camelot in a world that has lost its balance.
But Arthur’s death has revealed Britain’s fault lines. God has abandoned it, and the fairies and monsters and old gods are returning, led by Arthur’s half-sister Morgan le Fay. Kingdoms are turning on each other, warlords lay siege to Camelot and rival factions are forming around the disgraced Lancelot and the fallen Queen Guinevere. It is up to Collum and his companions to reclaim Excalibur, solve the mysteries of this ruined world and make it whole again. But before they can restore Camelot they’ll have to learn the truth of why the lonely, brilliant King Arthur fell, and lay to rest the ghosts of his troubled family and of Britain’s dark past.
The first major Arthurian epic of the new millennium, The Bright Sword is steeped in tradition, full of duels and quests, battles and tournaments, magic swords and Fisher Kings. It also sheds a fresh light on Arthur’s Britain, a diverse, complex nation struggling to come to terms with its bloody history. The Bright Sword is a story about imperfect men and women, full of strength and pain, who are looking for a way to reforge a broken land in spite of being broken themselves.
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  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from May 13, 2024
    Bestseller Grossman (the Magicians trilogy) turns his hand to Arthurian legends, delivering a breathtaking tale that honors past iterations while producing something entirely unexpected. Young Collum escapes the lordly household where he’s been raised, liberating a suit of armor and a steed in the process, and travels to Camelot, where he hopes to serve King Arthur. He arrives too late—Arthur has already fallen at the Battle of Camlann. The few knights left at Camelot know that others will come seeking the throne but aren’t sure what to do. Grossman interweaves stories of each knight’s past with the ongoing quest to find a worthy heir to Arthur’s crown, which takes them and Collum into the Otherworld in search of a holy lance. In his historical note, Grossman acknowledges that he is among the camp of Arthurian writers “who pick and choose what they like,” producing a work “full of a lot of authentic historical detail but also a lot of anachronisms and contradictions.” Indeed, Grossman has his own take on beloved characters: Sir Bedivere is in unrequited love with Arthur, witty Sir Dinadan is trans and learned swordcraft from a fairy, and Sir Palomides is secretly a prince of Baghdad. There’s even a hint that Collum may be something more than he first appears. Grossman does a remarkable job of pulling together these disparate strands while providing enough combat and magic to keep the pages turning. Epic fantasy fans will hang on every word.

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The Bright Sword
The Bright Sword
Lev Grossman
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