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I don't know if you have read it or not, Tom, but one of the best (and most plausible) series on your Arthurian theme is The Camulod Chronicles by Jack Whyte, starting with The Skystone and continuing for 8 more books. It starts with Arthur's and Merlin's grandfathers who are Roman soldiers that decide to stay behind as the Roman armies withdraw back to Italy. I think you must have read them after listening to episode 44, as you partially describe the premise. I just thought that this series deserved a mention as one of the best re-tellings of the legend.
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