Mordred's Curse - Ian McDowell As avid of a fantasy reader as I am and an English major, I do not enjoy the original Arthurian Legends. It's almost sacrilegious, isn't it? I do know that the stories are good, however, and you simply can't take two steps in a fantasy section of a bookstore without tripping over an Arthur tale. My point being, that since I'm not an Arthur fan, I was loathe to pick this up. It had been sent to me by a friend over a year ago, placed on my to-read shelf and was promptly forgotten about. Then while looking for something to read, I read the first two sentences, and I couldn't help but laugh and continue reading.

"I don't care what Guinevere and Gawain say; this won't be Mordred's Life of Arthur, but Mordred's Life of Mordred. Fuck them; they can chronicle my sanctimonious progenitor's exploits if they've got the stomach for it."

The story of Arthur, through the eyes of his bastard son, by his sister? Sounds neat, right? It certainly started interestingly enough. It was written in an interesting fashion and the characters were surprisingly three-dimensional. I say "were," because when The Big Secret comes out, everything changes.

Mordred changes into a whiny emo kid, and he never grows the fuck up. Sure, he's only supposed to be 18 or 19 in the book, but he was sullen, pompous, and obnoxious for the duration and it got old, real quick. Arthur becomes a total douche, and completely one-dimensional. Guinevere, who is usually one of my favorite characters in Arthur stories, simply acts like the sticky sweet girl-next-door. The entirety was reduced to this sort of sameness. It might as well have taken place in a high school!

I enjoyed the beginning of the book, but by the end, I was just glad I didn't have to read about how much Mordred hated Arthur any longer.