The Magicians Author Lev Grossman Is Writing a King Arthur Novel

Scene from The Magicians on Syfy
Scene from The Magicians on Syfy

Lev Grossman is best-known for writing The Magicians trilogy, the story of young adults honing their magical skills at a fantastical college, and the basis for Syfy’s popular adaptation, the second season of which will air next year. Now Grossman’s just announced his next novel, a spin on the King Arthur story.


According to Viking, the publisher:

The Bright Sword is a novel of King Arthur unlike any other, which starts where most stories about King Arthur end: with the fall of Camelot. The king is dead, the legendary heroes like Lancelot and Galahad are gone. The only surviving knights are minor figures from the margins of Arthurian mythology. Together with Merlin’s rebellious apprentice, and a brilliantly talented young knight, this band of leftovers must fight to reforge their broken land, in spite of being broken themselves.

Like The Once and Future King and The Mists of Avalon, The Bright Sword radically reimagines the Arthurian epic for a new era. This is a stranger and darker Arthur: a Camelot for the new millennium.


There’s definitely a trend afoot involving new takes on the King Arthur legend, but The Bright Sword, which doesn’t yet have a release date, is the most promising one we’ve about heard yet.

Considering that the alternatives are Transformers: The Last Knight; Guy Ritchie’s bros-in-arms epic King Arthur: Legend of the Sword; and Fox’s bananas-sounding cop show set in modern-day New York City, that’s not so hard to do—but we’re very intrigued to see what Grossman comes up with.

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So, a story where Arthur is an insufferable prick, Merlin is worthless, the characters are flat, the relationships are contrived, the narration hops around without coherency or a point until the last twenty or so pages, and most of the book is spent complaining about The Once And Future King?

Also, random yiffing.