Book recommendations for knight IF?

I will probably never finish it, but I don’t get the idea out of my head: A knight IF. (For screenreaders: knight with a K.)

So far on my list of books to get inspired from them:

  • Parsifal (the medieval long poem in Old German)
  • That one by Mallory (one of the first authors of Artus text)

What I don’t care much for are movies and non-fictional books.

What books would you suggest?


For old-school books that idolized knights, there’s Ivanhoe (connected with Robin Hood and one of the most popular book series at the time) and Orlando Furioso (which inspired Don Quixote). For more jokey ones, there’s Don Quixote itself (if you treat his delusions as serious, there’s some good Knight stuff there). (out of those three, I’ve only read Don Quixote).

I grew reading a lot of Dragonlance; the first trilogy has Sturm Brightblade, who represents the ideal knight. David Edding’s books are mostly concerned with the concept of knighthood, as well, and both are fantasy series (lots of magic, wizards, etc.).

Gawain and the Green Knight is a phenomenal older story, which I first experienced in an IF adaptation.

Henry IV Part 1 has a nice scoundrel-to-soldier path for Prince Henry, and the rest of his saga has some good combat scenes (up to Henry V).


I guess it depends on what specific flavor of knight story you want to write? It seems like you’re thinking Arthurian, but even within that there are many different possible strands to pull. Like, Malory is actually one of the later writers to take on the Matter of Britain. Parzifal is much older; likewise the Welsh Mabinogion. Writing a game directly inspired by those authors will lead to something much weirder, and potentially alienating to a modern audience, than looking to more recent sources (not that that’s necessarily bad! The past is a foreign country; visiting a mythologized version of it can be really exciting). The Renaissance-era source texts, like Malory or Chaucer, have a bit more of a comprehensible moral universe and narrative through lines, though IMO lose some of the exciting weirdness of the older stuff.

And then of course there’s a lot of modern takes on the stories – some of which just try to sand off the rough edges, while others read the basic narrative beats through different philosophical or narrative lenses, and/or trying to provide a more authentic historical milieu (I liked White’s Once and Future King, and Mary Stewart’s Merlin series). So yeah, there’s a ton here to potentially dig into!

(And I should say I’m by no means an expert – I just know enough to be aware of how deep the waters run).


Me too, but I’d like to add The Legend of Huma by Richard A. Knaak.

Dives into what being a knight should really mean, in the most altruistic way.


Thanks, that are already many good recommendations!

Just for future contributers let me add something about what I’m not looking for: Japanese knights, the samurai. They are interesting and cool and all, but I’m looking for European knights (that includes Fantasy variations like the mentioned Dragonlance).


I also really loved Dragonlance when I was younger! I put a reasonably-involved DL joke in my last game, actually (weirdly, the person who introduced me to Dragonlance, and features in that game’s scene, wrote a long article about it and her personal history with the game for a reasonably significant site a few years ago…) I do think it provides a good recent high-fantasy model for knighthood (though maybe as much inspired by the Matter of France as Britain?)


If you’re reading Wolfram von Eschenbach, you should also read Chretien de Troyes, who inspired Parzival. The Song of Roland and the Lais of Marie de France are also good picks.


Ok, I don’t know much about old-school books, but The Paradise War by Stephen Lawhead is quite good, though that’s more centered on the Celtic Mythology.

Oh and I know this isn’t a book, but the Infocom adventure Arthur: the Quest for Excalibur by Bob Bates has a very good knight-y feel to it (and some really clever puzzles, but that’s not what you’re after, is it?).


There’s a Gawain IF? Can I have a link please :slight_smile:

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Here you go! It was an IFComp game a few years ago: