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Phyllis Ann Karr

(1944- )
Phyllis Ann Karr keeps a blog.

The Idylls of the Queen: More than a good murder mystery

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The Idylls of the Queen by Phyllis Ann Karr

Phyllis Ann Karr’s The Idylls of the Queen is so much more than a good murder mystery. It is a good murder mystery, but unlike an ordinary mystery, you can reread it (even knowing whodunit) without any of the fun being spoiled. The murder is one that actually appears in the legends, so some readers may recognize the bones of the story, but again, it’s enjoyable even if you know the murderer’s identity. The mystery is sort of a backdrop to the real show: an original take on the personalities of Arthurian legend, and a different look at chivalric ideals.

The narrator is the oft-maligned Sir Kay, the grouchy but well-meaning seneschal of Arthur's court. He's not a bad guy. He is a sarcastic curmudgeon, having seen countless self-serving buffoons win glory and adulation while his own hard work goes ... Read More

More books by Phyllis Ann Karr

Frostflower — (1980-1982) Publisher: The hot-tempered, impulsive swordswoman Thorn has gotten pregnant. The gentle, celibate sorceress Frostflower wants a child, and can bring a baby from conception to birth in an afternoon. Though the pacifistic sorcerers are feared and hated outside their mysterious mountain retreats, Frostflower persuades the suspicious warrior to let her magick the baby to term. But when the sorceress’s actions arouse the wrath of the ruling priests, Frostflower and Thorn find themselves outlaws under a death sentence.

Phyllis Ann Karr 1. Frostflower and Thorn 2. Frostflower and Windbourne Phyllis Ann Karr 1. Frostflower and Thorn 2. Frostflower and Windbourne


Stand-alones:

Phyllis Ann Karr The Idylls of the Queen: A Tale of Queen Guenevere, Wildraith's Last Battle, At Amberleaf Fair, The Follies of Sir HaraldWildraith’s Last Battle — (1982) Publisher: She had been a God, lord of all forests and the creatures that dwell within, until a small and thoughtless act of cruelty brought heavenly justice upon her, sentencing her to the worst punishment of all: to become human.


Phyllis Ann Karr The Idylls of the Queen: A Tale of Queen Guenevere, Wildraith's Last Battle, At Amberleaf Fair, The Follies of Sir HaraldAt Amberleaf Fair — (1986) Publisher: At the last fair of the season, the toymaker Torin proposes to the beautiful sorceress Sharys, and watches his world shatter. Sharys refuses his marriage token because she has just accepted the proposal of his best friend, the adventurer Valdart. Torin’s brother falls suddenly and mysteriously ill, and hovers at the brink of death. Valdart’s valuable marriage token is turned into a citron fruit, and he accuses Torin, an ex-magician, of enchanting the necklace to stop his marriage to Torin’s beloved. And Torin, who may have created magic in his dreams, doesn’t know whether or not he changed Valdart’s gift in his sleep.


Phyllis Ann Karr The Idylls of the Queen: A Tale of Queen Guenevere, Wildraith's Last Battle, At Amberleaf Fair, The Follies of Sir HaraldThe Follies of Sir Harald — (2001) Publisher: Pity poor Sir Harald! It isn’t easy being a villain in King Arthur’s Britain, particularly when the opposition is so formidable and even the furniture in your castle is dead set against you. After six long years of struggle, the Quillerstone Couch still turns into a ravening lion whenever Sir Harald tries to sit on it. And that’s the least of Harald’s problems. To Sir Kay he owes both horse and armor, yet the mysterious knight who owes him the same has vanished. The field of romance is no less perilous for Sir Harald, populated as it is by: the Aloof Fair One, for whom he turns renegade; brave Deborah, for whom he could wish himself a Jew; Maid Procne, who has, alas, already recorded the story of Harald’s shame; and the puckish Joiselette, who somehow becomes his guardian elf… From Phyllis Ann Karr, author of the classics Idylls of the Queen and The Arthurian Companion, The Follies of Sir Harald is a wonderfully whimsical tale of love and adventure set against the colorful backdrop of Camelot.


fantasy and science fiction book reviewsThe Gallows In The Greenwood — (2002) Publisher: Everyone knows the Robin Hood legend, but for this retelling, Phyllis Ann Karr has found a historical precident to create a female Sheriff of Nottingham and suddenly the whole myth explodes, taking on new meanings that resonate deep within contemporary culture.


fantasy and science fiction book reviewsInquisitor Dreams — (2013) Publisher: Spanish Inquisitor Don Felipe considers himself a loyal servant of Holy Church. Despite his lifelong friendship with the Jewish Gamito, despite the courtly love for their Islamic playfellow’s sister that inspired him to celibacy and the priesthood (not necessarily in that order). Despite his own secret sin, despite his own arrest and long imprisonment in midlife by the Inquisition he serves, despite his love for and private marriage with the barren Romany woman Pilar. Why, then, these nightmares that recurrently trouble his sleep, in which his ancestress the heretic Raymonde and purported descendant the Pagan Rosemary guide him through terrible visions of the evil humans do to one another in the name of righteousness?


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