The Bright Sword: A Novel of King Arthur (Hardcover)

The Bright Sword: A Novel of King Arthur By Lev Grossman Cover Image
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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.

About the Author

Lev Grossman is the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling Magicians trilogy—The Magicians, The Magician King, and The Magician’s Land—which has been published in thirty countries and adapted as a TV show that ran for five seasons on SYFY. He is also a screenwriter and the author of two children’s books, The Golden Swift and The Silver Arrow, and his journalism has appeared in Time, Vanity Fair, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, among many other places. He lives with his wife and children in New York City.

Praise For…

Advance Praise for The Bright Sword

“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

“A novel that is as much about the Matter of Britain as it is our own florid and layered imaginings of it. Breathlessly weaves themes of faith, duty, and selfhood with a classic sword-and-sorcery adventure—this is why we read fantasy.”
Ava Reid, #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Study in Drowning

“Here’s the big one, the tentpole, the book I’ve been waiting for nearly a decade: Lev Grossman’s Arthurian epic, clocking in at nearly 700 pages and absolutely worth lugging to the beach/the mountains/the park/wherever else you might be vacationing. I’m happy to report that this book is not only one of the best of the year, but it’s one of the best Arthurian novels ever. Stand it up against The Once and Future King or The Mists of Avalon and I’d be willing to bet that it will come away the victor—it’s that good.”
—Drew Broussard, Lit Hub’s “18 New Novels You Need to Read This Summer”

“[An] epic tale of survivors and magic.”
The Boston Globe

“Like the best of Grossman’s work, [The Bright Sword] is funny and sweeping . . . the medieval-romance structure allows Bright Sword even more space to capitalize on Grossman’s talent for digression, dawdling, and finding unexpected trapdoors inside stories.”
—Kathryn VanArendonk, Vulture's “22 Books We Can’t Wait to Read this Summer”

The Magicians author Lev Grossman took on what seemed the impossible: making the Arthurian legend feel fresh. Miraculously, he’s done just that with The Bright Sword, which answers what came after King Arthur’s fall. . . . Fans of classic fantasy and ancient magic will devour this one.”
—Elle’s “Best New Books to Read in Summer 2024”

“A magical, enthralling tale that you won't be able to put down.”
—Town & Country’s “39 Must-Read Books of Summer 2024”

“The fantasy epic of the summer features an unexpectedly brilliant twist on one of the most famous stories of all time. The Bright Sword is a rousing, imaginative continuation of the King Arthur myth. . . . Magic and murder abound in this rollicking adventure, a thrilling addition to Arthurian lore.”
Minneapolis Star Tribune

“This is storytelling at its purest: glorious, propulsive, and dramatic. Drawing on every aspect of the Arthurian mythos (and more besides), Grossman presents us with fairies, gi­ants, gods, angels, spellcasters, and elemental forces. The magical battles and the sword fights are all imbued with a cinematic quality while still maintaining a sense of the real, of metal parting flesh, of death and bone-crunching violence. . . . In opening the Arthurian legend to other forms of representation, Grossman recasts the narrative as a story about change.”
—Ian Mond, Locus

“Call it the millennial experience transposed onto Camelot; arriving in the big city full of hopes and dreams to find the economy is in freefall, all your heroes are dead or awful, and no one is coming to save you. Even with only one previous trilogy of adult fantasy under his belt, the premise is indelibly Lev Grossman.”
—Joshua Rivera, Polygon

“Once I picked this novel up, I could not stop reading. The Bright Sword is compulsively readable and expertly told. Lev Grossman transports the reader with such assurance and finesse. Just pick it up and lose yourself inside these pages. You won't want to leave until the tale is done.”
—Victor LaValle, national bestselling author of Lone Women

“A rollicking, magical ride through Arthurian legend! Grossman intimately understands the medieval source material and wields it with playful ease. A joyful new addition to the Arthurian canon—a delight.”
Alice Winn, author of In Memoriam

“A doorstopper of an Arthurian retelling from the author of The Magicians trilogy, The Bright Sword offers a fresh take on the story by considering what comes after King Arthur.” 

“Satisfyingly epic but also fast-paced, this novel captures everything that’s grand and magnificent about the age of King Arthur while picking at its edges and delving into its darker depths. All fantasy and mythology fans will want to make time for this moving, entertaining epic. . . . This epic fantasy is sure to be a hit.”
—Booklist (STARRED review)

“A breathtaking tale that honors past iterations while producing something entirely unexpected. . . . 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.”
Publishers Weekly (STARRED review)

“Highly recommended for readers who can’t resist a story featuring brave knights, stalwart queens, and magic.”
—Library Journal (STARRED review)

“The story of King Arthur has been told and substantially altered many times over the centuries, and explored by a multitude of contemporary novelists, but the author of the Magicians trilogy makes room for himself here. . . . Very few writers have explored post-Arthurian Britain or focused quite so much on developing the stories of the minor characters in the saga. . . . A fresh take.”
Kirkus Reviews (STARRED review)

“Readers willing to savor the book over many nights will find each chapter a neatly arranged, minia­ture adventure of its own. Traditionally minimal side characters in the story of Arthur—like Sir Bedivere, Sir Palomides and even Dagonet the Fool—receive intricate, deep backstories that erase the mythological buildup around each figure, viewing them instead in a far more human and often more modern light. At once full of desperate hope and grievous loss, The Bright Sword is a moody reflection on Arthur’s tale.”
—Ralph Harris, BookPage

Praise for Lev Grossman's Magicians Trilogy

"The Magicians is to Harry Potter as a shot of Irish whiskey is to a glass of weak tea. Hogwarts was never like this." 
—George R. R. Martin

"The Magicians may just be the most subversive, gripping and enchanting fantasy novel I've read this century." 
—Cory Doctorow

"Lev Grossman has conjured a rare creature: a trilogy that simply gets better and better as it goes along."
—Erin Morgenstern

"The best fantasy trilogy of the decade."
—Charles Stross

"Sad, hilarious, beautiful, and essential to anyone who cares about modern fantasy."
—Joe Hill
Product Details
ISBN: 9780735224049
ISBN-10: 0735224048
Publisher: Viking
Publication Date: July 16th, 2024
Pages: 688
Language: English