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Gawain and the Green Knight

A knight goes out of his way and seeks his execution on his own free will in the hope people will remember him as the embodiment of honor.

Sir Gawain serves as the most honorable knight at King Arthur’s Round Table, and after an encounter with the mysterious Green Knight, Gawain’s fate becomes intertwined with that of his own honorable death – a destiny he must fight for to the bitter end. After accepting a beheading challenge from the Green Knight, Sir Gawain is awestruck to find the knight quite alive, despite his mortal wound.

In the year that follows, Gawain strikes out across the land in search of the green chapel, just one link in the chain of a perplexing and ancient mystery behind the Green Knight, and the circumstances of Gawain’s voluntary execution. Along the way, Gawain’s strength, duty, and honor will be tested as he fights through treacherous trials and carnal temptations. Trapped in a terminal karmic scenario, and honor-bound to seek out his own death, Gawain leaps into the ethos of mythology as a hero of legend.

A classic retelling of the story of Gawain and the Green Knight, this story of karma and honor brings the legend back to life as a mystical romance and epic adventure tale that will whisk you away to an era of chivalry, honor, and divine purpose.

If you are interested in the original text, this one may not be for you. You can find many uncut translations, like Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Pearl, and Sir Orfeo by J. R. R. Tolkien on Amazon.


 

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Editorial Reviews

Reader’s Favorite:

Gawain and the Green Knight: Temptation Karma Honor by Stefan Emunds is a brilliant rendition of the beautiful tale of Sir Gawain’s destiny, a fiery knight with a single purpose in mind; to attain honor. Courageous and bent on becoming memorable as a noble knight, Sir Gawain of King Arthur’s Round Table accepts a beheading challenge from the mysterious Green Knight and sets out on an odyssey that is shrouded in mystery. Can he face the challenges before him and win the battles he has to fight? Can he conquer the temptations of lust and fame and power, and keep a pure heart worthy of a knight? This is a tale fraught with mystery, religious themes, loyalty, and an endearing sense of purpose.
There is a pervading sense of mystery that permeates every layer of this story and Stefan Emunds has done a great job to make the reader feel it. The character of Gawain comes out beautifully throughout the story and readers will love him, because he represents the spiritual battle that many of us have to fight. This is both a spiritual and a symbolic story with many lessons for the reader. The writing is poetic, at times evocative, and hugely accessible. I loved the way the author used suspense and conflict throughout the story. The mystery surrounding the Green Knight is beautiful created to keep the reader’s curiosity on the alert. Gawain and the Green Knight: Temptation Karma Honor is engaging, entertaining, and satisfying in many ways.- Christian Sia (5 Stars)

“Emunds’ absolute passion for this material means that he is up to the task. Taking the oftentimes-stilted language of popular translations and bringing it into a modern fantasy context helps give new perspective on Gawain’s quest, while in no way simplifying his message. It’s a curious and compelling take that helps fill in some of the gaps, so the novel is an entertaining read for those familiar with the original story, or if this is their introduction.” Self-Publishing Review
Gawain and the Green Knight is a retelling of “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight” – a classic 14th-century Arthurian tale told in verse. In the story, Gawain is challenged to a duel by the Green Knight if he agrees to receive a blow in a year and a day. The Green Knight is beheaded, and Gawain goes on a quest, which tests his honor via a number of dangers and temptations.
It’s a tall order for a young fantasy author to take on a project that also has a translation by J. R. R. Tolkien and many others, as it’s one of the most popular Arthurian legends, but Emunds’ absolute passion for this material means that he is up to the task.
Emunds’ take on the story is to emphasize the spiritual underpinnings of this story. This is not a new interpretation – Gawain is seen as representative of Christ – but Emunds’ focus is early mystical Christianity, which incorporated such tenets of Eastern religions like karma and even reincarnation, and so his emphasis lends new color to an old story.
Taking the oftentimes-stilted language of popular translations and bringing it into a modern fantasy context helps give new perspective on Gawain’s quest, while in no way simplifying his message. For some readers, the archaic language of the original is part of the fun, but Emunds’ retelling is plenty fun itself. It was a bold move to use the present tense to tell this story, but it helps gives his translation an immediacy that is appropriate for a modern fantasy novel. The book is less effective when Emunds tries to mimic the grandiosity of the original text, and instead uses modern language, as that is where the book is at its best.
Overall, it’s a curious and compelling take on “Gawain” that helps fill in some of the gaps, so the novel is an entertaining read for those familiar with the original story, or if this is their introduction.
It’s a tall order for a young fantasy author to take on a project that also has a translation by J. R. R. Tolkien and many others, as it’s one of the most popular Arthurian legends, but Emunds’ absolute passion for this material means that he is up to the task.
– James Grimsby (5 Stars)

Gawain and the Green Knight: Temptation Karma Honor by Stefan Emunds is the kind of story that fans of King Arthur and the Round Table will adore, a retelling of the famous and mythical tale of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Written in very clear and lyrical prose, the story follows Sir Gawain in his quest for glory, seeking honor by freely choosing his own execution and following a very dangerous path to show his nobility.
Throughout the story, the Knight is presented as determined and courageous, but he will have to overcome the spiritual temptations of lust, power, and fame; he will fight battles he hasn’t been ready for, but the encounter with the Green Knight offers a powerful twist to the story and plunges readers into a fascinating world filled with mystery. What really is Sir Gawain’s destiny? This is the question readers ask as they watch him set out to find the green chapel; they wonder if he’ll finally unravel the mystery surrounding his mission.
There is a lot to look forward to in this tale. First off, the writing is very enticing and the reader gets quickly immersed in the story. Stefan Emunds does a wonderful job in leading readers into the consciousness of the protagonist, exploring the inner conflict in his aspirations, and how the conflict moves from being psychological to a physical one. I enjoyed the fact that the author made clear references to the original tale. This one is well fleshed out and hugely entertaining. Gawain and the Green Knight: Temptation Karma Honor will be a great read for lovers of epic legendary tales.
– Ruffina Oserio (5 Stars)

Gawain and the Green Knight: Temptation Karma Honor is an inspirational novella written by Stefan Emunds. Emunds based his story on the poem, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Besides presenting it in prose, rather than in a poetic form, he also shares his more spiritual interpretation of the poem and its relevance to modern thought. Gawain was to be a priest — it was his mother’s dearest wish that her son enter the priesthood. She coached him thoroughly in the benefits of virtue and a strict moral code, but when she died of the Black Death, all she had to leave him was her medallion of the Virgin Mary. His uncle, King Arthur, took him to Camelot and adopted him as his heir. Gawain trained to be a knight of the realm, but his virtuousness led him to donate the spoils of battle rather than profit from the violence. He was concerned one Christmas that the festivities King Arthur and his knights were enjoying were somehow not appropriate for the religious holiday, but attended them anyway in deference to his king’s wishes. Arthur was loudly decrying the lack of excitement and danger when suddenly a giant, green-skinned knight strode into the hall with a challenge no one seemed willing to accept — except Gawain.
Stefan Emunds’ inspirational novella, Gawain and the Green Knight: Temptation Karma Honor, is a marvelous retelling of the classic tale of Sir Gawain that is made accessible through Emunds’ use of prose and his scholarly inclusion of end notes as annotations from the original poem. While I was already familiar with Sir Gawain and the stories of King Arthur’s Round Table, I particularly enjoyed Emunds’ version of the tale and found the end notes answered a lot of questions I had always had when reading the earlier versions. I loved how the author merges the Christian and Celtic aspects of the tale and explores the concept of karma as it relates to Gawain’s quest. Whether your knowledge of Gawain and Arthurian legend springs from a study of the older texts or a middling familiarity based on popular fiction and the parodies of Monty Python, Gawain and the Green Knight: Temptation Karma Honor will add a refreshing, entertaining and enlightening dimension to the tale. I had a marvelous time reading Gawain and the Green Knight: Temptation Karma Honor and most highly recommend it.
– Jack Magnus (5 Stars)

“This is my cross, to be virtuous in war and resist the temptations of fame, fortune, lust, and power.” Such are words spoken by the noble knight at the onset of the tale, and they are words that seem to define every aspect of his mission, his choices, and his actions. Gawain and the Green Knight: Temptation Karma Honor by Stefan Emunds is a retelling of a legendary tale that has caught the attention of lovers of mythology and epic stories. Now retold by a gifted writer, it takes readers into the mystery of one of the knights of Arthur’s Round Table and his quest for immortality. Sir Gawain is ready to sacrifice himself willingly for glory, but is getting himself executed the only price he has to pay to be remembered as noble?
Told in lyrical, poetic language, this story has a music of its own, a spiritual depth that will have readers gazing beyond what they know. Stefan Emunds recreates the mystery of Camelot by gracefully and beautifully exploring the psychology of a knight and his highest purpose. The tone is so beautiful, reminiscent of some of the great masters in the genre, the language fraught with symbolism and a sacred music that will entice readers. Any reader who loves the stories of King Arthur and his knights will fall for Gawain and the Green Knight: Temptation Karma Honor. It’s a tale that will entertain readers, remind them of the beauty of a mission, and make them dream of worlds of honor and chivalry.
– Divine Zape (5 Stars)

I only knew about the classic tale of Gawain and the Green Knight after reading the warning at the beginning of this book, but I must say that Gawain and the Green Knight: Temptation Karma Honor by Stefan Emunds is a great read. It was even more satisfying reading this as I have been watching the series Merlin, featuring King Arthur and his Knights. In Stefan Emunds’ work, the real personality of Sir Gawain comes out beautifully, a man who dreams of honor and who will go through anything to prove his worth. But he has a lot of inner demons to fight, including the cravings for power, lust, fame, and wealth. All he ever dreams of is to be a loyal and honorable servant to his king. The encounter with the Green Knight could change everything, and it could offer him the only chance to perform the one act that will make him be remembered for what he wants to be.
Stefan Emunds recreates the world of myth and mystery, bringing into the work a wealth of mastery, great symbolism, and a lyricism that is as delightful as it is creative. Readers will adore Sir Gawain, a knight who will remind them of the one thing they are called to do. Yes, the knight has strong values for which he is ready to sacrifice everything. In a world that advocates waywardness, this book will be a powerful reminder about the merits of discipline, dedication, and purpose. The story is very entertaining and Sir Gawain’s battles are symbolic of the spiritual battles that most of us are called upon to fight. Gawain and the Green Knight: Temptation Karma Honor is a great success.
– Arya Fomonyuy (5 Stars)

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