book review, fantasy, short story

The Necessary Arthur by Garth Nix

Garth Nix is channeling his inner Douglas Adams in this delightful take on the Arthurian legend.

Tamara is an archeologist working near Hadrian’s wall when an encounter with a mysterious woman embroils her in a multidimensional game.

Now she has to play her part or be responsible for the end of the world. Indiana Jones never had it so hard.

Nix’s imagination never ceases to amaze me. He writes magic systems with such depth that I nearly believe that the game exists. The characters in this novelette are suitably whimsical, with my favorite going to the talking chopstick. Yes, that’s a thing.

Reminiscent of Adams, Gaiman or Pratchett, Nix has taken something familiar, spun it around and made it new again. This time it’s the legend of King Arthur (always a favorite, it seems), but the framing device of the story interested me much more than the humorous updating of the legend.

Unfortunately, the weakness of this tale is the story. It reads much more like an excerpt from a novel, and therefore is ultimately unsatisfying.

I award The Necessary Arthur

The Necessary Arthur is available free on and for $0.99 on Amazon.

12 thoughts on “The Necessary Arthur by Garth Nix”

  1. I loved the setting for this story and the idea of the game, and I would love to read what happens next, but I agree, it’s like a small part of a much greater story.

    Liked by 1 person

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