The Wicked Day

The Wicked Day This was one of the best books ever! It was just enchanting, and yes, it was a "wicked day" at the end, but I expected that, and although the last chapter was rather dismal, I found that the beauty of the last paragraph of the epilogue made up for it.
The characters were all well crafted and intriguing. Even the characters just introduced in this book, like Mordred and the Orkney boys, were so fun to follow. And building on Arthur and Morgause from previous books was great too, because you can really see how they've evolved (for better or worse) and yet they are still very much the same. I loved Mordred, and he was very believable, and despite his overambition, he never ceased being a good character, who means well, even if he is naturally inclined to do anything to rule and try to (subtly) get Guinevere for himself. But it wasn't in a bad wayhe wasn't the villain that he is crafted as in other books. It really is ambition as opposed to malicious intent. It was beautiful this was introduced, because when he was young, living as a fisherman's boy when he didn't know he was really the high king's son, he would watch the far off Orkney castle and wish to be there, feeling as though he belonged there and had some nobler destiny.
I found Arthur's actions not very believable near the end, but it kept the story true to the legends. In the author's note, Mary Stewart tells us about some of her sources and the stories from Thomas Mallory's Le Morte d'Arthur: King Arthur and the Legends of the Round Table. I didn't read Mallory's book(I tried, but the old English was unbearable!) but it was neat to see what aligned with Mary Stewart's story and what she expanded on.
I liked Nimue's role in the story, even though it wasn't large, because you just saw here in flashes in certain scenes, glimpses of prophecy and magic sprinkled like fairy dust. I would have liked to see Merlin again, but as Nimue said, she "is" Merlin (has his memories etc.) But Merlin isn't dead yet (as we saw from the previous book) so what was he doing anyways?
I found a lot of what the Orkney boys did was very frustrating (like, ahem, killing people, enemies and fellow knights alike), but it was almost inevitable, the way they were brought up. So this again is Morgause's fault really. I still liked the boys' characters, and I was so sad when Gareth died (this isn't a spoiler, since it happens in every Arthurian tale), even though I knew it was going to happen, because he was really the only one who came out good in the end.
So all in all, this was an amazing story and I'm sad that I've finished the series! However, there is another related book called The Prince and the Pilgrim that Mary Stewart wrote, so I'll have to read that next. Arrrghhh, this book! Okay, on the good side: Stewart knew the Arthurian material well and handled it with confidence, often bringing in small details in ways which were a delight to spot (but which didn’t particularly harm the narrative if you didn’t spot them). And it’s an interesting take on Mordred: a loyal son to Arthur, once he knows about it, taking up much the same sort of relationship as between Merlin and Ambrosius, or Arthur and Merlin. His emotions are for the most part really well done: his ambition, his determination, how he fights against his fate and ultimately serves it.

But. Arthur. In the last quarter or so of The Wicked Day, Stewart breaks her entire previous characterisation for Arthur. He becomes irrational, forgets who he can trust, takes advice from the wrong people — ignores the advice of people like Nimue, whose power comes from Merlin. He forgets what’s important — forgets important plans that he made — and just gives way to suspicion and slander. He endangers everything, and for what? For suspicions that just chapters before he knew were unfounded.

The way I read it, Stewart broke her own story’s backbone by insisting that everyone (except the women) remain blameless. She didn’t want to blame Arthur or Mordred or Bedwyr, so she palmed some of it off on Gawain’s rash nature, some of it on Mordred’s latent ambition, and… some on Arthur being an idiot in ways he hasn’t been at any other point in the series. She couldn’t resist heaping calumny on the women: Morgause committed incest knowingly with her brother, and then wanted to commit incest again with the son born of that union. What the hell? The other books wellestablished Stewart’s nearinability to handle the women of the Arthurian mythos (more surprising given the relatively active and capable heroines of her mystery/romances), but this is just… desperate. It reeks of pushing everything off onto the female characters, but she had to do it because she decided that it “didn’t make sense” for Mordred and Arthur to do things they do in some branches of the mythos — in some kind of wrongheaded attempt to marry it all together, or to follow the example of others (cough, Malory) who didn’t manage to bring it all together. It just won’t go.

And I can kind of get it. I did enjoy the little references I noticed, for example to other sons of Arthur. We want to admire the Arthurian heroes, and we want the best of all of them: the just and strong king, the heroic seneschal, etc, etc. (And I was badly served in this, since Gawain is an impetuous idiot given to murder in this version, and also my favourite knight in the general mythology.) But Stewart tried to get everyone out ‘alive’, or at least their reputations (few of them actually survive, which is kind of a relief given the contortions she went through in The Last Enchantment to keep Merlin alive), and that… doesn’t work.

It’s so frustrating, partially because I get the impulse, and I liked the relationship between Arthur and Mordred here. The treatment of women aside, I quite enjoyed the first three quarters, or even fourfifths. But. But. Stewart broke her own story and characterisation because she couldn’t make a hard decision, as far as I can see, and the story is critically weakened by it.

Originally posted here. The Wicked Day WikipediaThe Wicked Day Merlin Wiki FandomThe Wicked Day Arthurian Saga,by Mary Stewart The Wicked Day Is The Final Volume In Mary Stewart S Arthurian Saga, Which Began With The Crystal Cave Unlike The First Three Books In The Series, Where Merlin Is The First Person Narrator, The Wicked Day Is Told In The Third Person But Focuses On The Life Of Mordred, Arthur S Illegitimate Son, Born Of His Incestuous Tryst With His Half Sister Morgause The Wicked Day Summary GradeSaver The Wicked Day Is The Story Of Mordred S Life Mordred Is Cared For By Sula And Brude Whom He Believes To Be His Parents Brude Is A Fisherman And Mordred Grows UpThe Wicked Day The Arthurian Saga, The Wicked Day Is The Next Book In The Line Of Mary Stewart S Excellent Literary Contributions That Create The Arthurian Saga Thispage Book Follows The Merlin Trilogy And Contains The Story Of Mordred, The Illlegitimate Son Of High King Arthur Of Britain Mary Stewart Tells, From A Third Person Perspective, How Mordred Grew From A Young Boy Into A Man And How He Came To Know Who And What Merlin X The Wicked Day Reaction YouTube Alex Reacts To And Discusses SeasonEpisodeof Merlin The Wicked Day Merlin X Reaction Highlight The Not So Wicked Day ChapterPart Two, A The Not So Wicked Day Part Two Arthur Arthur The Young Blonde Crown Prince Stirred To A Soft Voice Calling His Name My Lord Arthur Scrunched His Eyebrows Together Before Peeking Open His Bright Blue Eyes His Sight Was A Bit Blurry So He Blinked A Few Times In Order To Try And Clear It Up Once His Vision Sharpened, He Promptly Doubled Backwards G Guinevere Arthur Sputtered WildlyWicked One Short Day Soundtrack Versionvideos Play All Mix Wicked One Short Day Soundtrack Version YouTube The Wizard And I From Wicked Original Broadway Cast RecordingDuration Carole Shelley TopicThe Not So Wicked Day ChapterPart One, A The Not So Wicked Day Part One You Re My Father S Only Hope I Ll Give You Anything You Ask For Land, Gold Name Your Price I Do Not Want Your Gold All I Have Ever Wanted Is That People Like Me Can Live In Peace That Those Who Practice Magic Are Accepted, Rather Than Hunted That Is All I Ask Agravaine Smirked Wickedly As He Tucked The Charm Into His Brother In Law S Robes Finally The Wicked Day explores the story of Mordred—prophesized to bring doom to Arthur. Mordred in this version is certainly an ambitious young man but not a ‘villain’ or evil as (Stewart herself notes) other accounts may have made him out to be, but instead perhaps a victim of circumstances. Mordred is sensible and levelheaded—very different from his halfbrothers, who are inclined to fly off the handle. The other Arthur book I read earlier this year was for younger readers, where although the characters were presented as human with their fair share of flaws, they come across as far more heroic (closer to the brave knights of fairy tales). This, however, has them with all their shades—not just black and white—but all their insecurities, emotions, ambitions, treachery, and follies as much as the more positive shades of their characters coming through. Gwaine rather surprised me towards the end, when we see a side of him that one didn’t quite expect. This was a well written and very engaging read. This was my first Mary Stewart and I’m looking forward to reading more of her books. So, this was the last book of four and I must say thoroughly enjoyed them. An epic telling of the Arthur saga if ever there is one. I would give 5* to the series as a whole if this was possible, but as individual books tend more to lean to a very solid 4* for each. All books written with a wonderful descriptive style that keeps the reader enthralled from beginning to end.

What I liked about this last book which rounds off the story was the slant given to Modred. In the first three books we learn very little of Mordred apart from Merlin's prophecies and his mother's (Morgaus), treachery. Giving the reader the impression all the time that Mordred will be the typical evil hand of his mother as in most Arthur stories. However, here we learn another story and to be honest a much more believable one. This book is almost dedicated to Mordred's rise and fall which is also inextricably connected to his father's as well. Mordred I found to be quite likeable and at times even felt sorry for him. He is more a victim of circumstances and conspiracies happening around him and while trying to keep the peace on all sides falls foul of Arthur's vengeance due to a number of falsehoods that are reported to Arthur. Therefore, Mordred finds himself in a catch 22 situation. Be damned if you do, be damned if you don't. He is not totally innocent and without fault, but his ambitions leads him to make several several misjudgements, but possibly quite unintentional. Although he proves himself to be a just and able ruler in his own right and indeed had a big following.

Then there is Arthur. Relatively old Arthur, set in his ways and not being able to relinquish his power. As a ruler he should really now step down for newer, fresher ideas from a younger man for a younger generation. Not really being in touch with the mood of his people and those he leads.

Therefore two worlds collide which leads to the inevitable end of a father and son faceoff which no one wins and both end up dead. The normal end to the Arthur saga.

If you like Arthur stories then this series definitely belongs to the "a must read" category. Holy moly this was bad. I lost any sense of interest in this book about 1/3 of the way through. I think that Stewart did the best she could. She wanted to keep the legend of Arthur and his Round Table on point as much as possible. However, the characterizations in this whole book were off for me. Arthur pretty much is not that smart. Mordred is just misunderstood. And Guinevere is not bright at all, and is only wanted by every man it seems due to her beauty. I don't read any of Marion Zimmer Bradley's books anymore, but I still like her look at the King Arthur legend much better than this series because she ties things up a lot better by looking at the growing conflict between the pagan religions and the growing spread of Christianity. She also managed to make every woman and man in the story three dimensional.

The Wicked Day follows a lot of Mallory's story about the final days of Camelot. Unlike with previous books I just found myself bored since I have read the poems and other books about it. I was hoping for a different spin, but besides a few details that Stewart changes here and there, everything is the same.

I think the thing that threw me a lot though is that this book was more detached than the other three. I think not having Merlin as a narrator in this one hurt the book. I didn't get a true sense of anyone this time through. As I already said, everyone felt very one dimensional to me. No one had a brain in their head either. Morgause and others who have been causing problems in the last two books are pretty much done away or put aside in a few sentences or two.

I think the ending was supposed to have me feel pity for Mordred, but I didn't. We just have him laying with a fatal wound knowing that his father was being taken away to be healed. Considering that he was doing what he could to be crowned king and to take Guinevere as his wife I felt meh towards the guy. I think what gets me is that Mordred falls in "love" with Guinevere and Stewart makes it that he is doing everything he can to have her. I hate storylines that have it that some poor man had his head turned by a woman and if not for that maybe Mordred could have been a good person.
What a great culmination to the series.

i love the way Mary Stewart portrays Mordred in this version. I don't want to give too much away but don't expect the bad guytraitor of Arthur we have so come to accept.

This is a reread and I still consider it a fantastic series. Leaving back the story of Merlin, the author leads us to the story behind the ultimate and fatal battle that is the epitome of King Arthur's history. This story is followed through the look of Mordred, who has the role of the bad guy in the whole affair. The author, however, follows a different approach presenting him to have much more complex motivations. By watching him from childhood to the end, we see a man who wants to do the right thing, is sensitive to injustice, has logical thinking, and can control his impulses, is willing to change these things that have been stagnant and is in spite of his aspirations a positive person that the gradual revelation of his origins does not make him change to the worst. Fate, however, is playing him a nasty game as enemies multiply and his allies are driven by their impulse, causing chaotic situations. The climax of course is his conflict with Arthur, but the author chooses to present it as a result of misunderstandings and unfortunate coincidences.

 It is certainly quite interesting to introduce a different version of the final conflict, with the author putting us in a very nice way at Mordred's position, showing us how he perceives things, and so many questions arise on issues of justice and the inevitability of human fate, but in some places there is no such interest. The ultimate battle, for example, certainly is not written in a particularly fascinating way, while the constant search for coincedences to justify the course to it does not bring the best results. So, in a few words, what I'm saying is that it's definitely a pretty interesting book, but the problem is that it does not provide the necessary peak in the story in the way it should do it.

Αφήνοντας πίσω την ιστορία του Μέρλιν η συγγραφέας μας οδηγεί στην ιστορία πίσω από την τελική και μοιραία μάχη που αποτελεί τον επίλογο όλης της ιστορίας του βασιλιά Αρθούρου. Αυτή την ιστορία την παρακολουθούμε μέσα από την ματιά του Μόρντρεντ, αυτού δηλαδή που έχει το ρόλο του κακού σε όλη την υπόθεση. Η συγγραφέας, όμως, ακολουθεί μία διαφορετική προσέγγιση παρουσιάζοντας να έχει πολύ πιο πολύπλοκα κίνητρα. Παρακολουθώντας τον από την παιδική ηλικία μέχρι το τέλος, βλέπουμε έναν άνθρωπο που επιθυμεί να κάνει το σωστό, είναι ευαίσθητος απέναντι στην αδικία, έχει λογική σκέψη και μπορεί να ελέγχει τις παρορμήσεις του, έχει διάθεση να αλλάξει αυτά τα πράγματα που έχουν μείνει στάσιμα και είναι γενικότερα παρά τις φιλοδοξίες του ένα θετικό άτομο που η σταδιακή αποκάλυψη της καταγωγής του δεν τον κάνει να αλλάξει προς το χειρότερο. Η μοίρα, όμως, του παίζει άσχημο παιχνίδι καθώς οι εχθροί πολλαπλασιάζονται και οι σύμμαχοί του παρασύρονται από την παρορμητικότητα τους προκαλώντας χαοτικές καταστάσεις. Το αποκορύφωμα που είναι φυσικά η σύγκρουση του με τον Αρθούρο που όμως η συγγραφέας επιλέγει να την παρουσιάσει ως αποτέλεσμα παρεξηγήσεων και ατυχών συμπτώσεων.

Σίγουρα είναι αρκετά ενδιαφέρουσα η ιδέα της παρουσίασης μιας διαφορετικής εκδοχής της τελικής σύγκρουσης, με τη συγγραφέα να μας βάζει με πολύ ωραίο τρόπο στη θέση του Μόρντρεντ, δείχνοντάς μας πώς ο ίδιος αντιλαμβάνεται ότι συμβαίνει, με αποτέλεσμα να προκύπτουν και αρκετά ερωτήματα σε ζητήματα δικαιοσύνης και στο αναπόφευκτο της ανθρώπινης μοίρας, σε κάποια σημεία, όμως, δεν υπάρχει το ανάλογο ενδιαφέρον. Η τελική μάχη, για παράδειγμα, σίγουρα δεν παρουσιάζεται με ιδιαίτερα συναρπαστικό τρόπο ενώ η συνεχής αναζήτηση συμπτώσεων για να δικαιολογηθεί η πορεία προς αυτήν δεν φέρνει τα καλύτερα αποτελέσματα. Οπότε με λίγα λόγια αυτό που θέλω να πω είναι ότι σίγουρα πρόκειται για ένα αρκετά ενδιαφέρον βιβλίο αλλά το πρόβλημα είναι ότι δεν προσφέρει την απαραίτητη κορύφωση στην ιστορία με τον τρόπο που θα έπρεπε να το κάνει. 4.5★

This book is only part of a series in Goodreadsland. Lady Stewart quite clearly wrote this novel as a standaloneshe just revisited a legendary world she loved. So a part of this story runs parallel to The Last Enchantment (Arthurian Saga, #3) by Mary Stewart . And some characters are realised slightly differently, most notably Nimuë in this reinterpretation of a well known legend.

But once you readjust your expectations, this is a cracking tale.

Morgause remains evilpeople don't have to wrong her to get bumped off and her interest in her sons is, at best, capricious. The damage Morgause does to her four sons by Lot is enormous and well shown by Stewart.

When Mordred becomes part of Morgause's world his instincts help to keep him safefor a time. Once Mordred is also part of his father's world his destiny is inevitablealthough (view spoiler)

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