Medieval life meets Arthurian magic in a novel that transcends boundaries of time and age, appealing to children of 9+ and older readers alike. The winner of the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize and the Smarties Prize bronze award in 2001, this timeless novel is stunningly reissued for a new generation. The year is 1199, the place the Welsh Marches. Young Arthur de Caldicot is given a magical shining stone in which his legendary namesake is revealed. In 100 short chapters that brilliantly evoke life in a medieval manor, stories of the boy King Arthur begin to echo - and anticipate - the secrets and mysteries that emerge in his own life ..."As bright and as vivid as the pictures in a Book of Hours. Deep scholarship, high imagination, and great gifts of storytelling have gone into this; I was spellbound." - Philip Pullman, The Guardian
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(198mm x 131mm x 22mm)
Orion Children's Books (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd )
Publisher: Hachette Children's Group
Country of Publication:
UK Kirkus Review »
This is an imaginative reworking of the Arthurian legends for young adults, setting glittering chivalric fantasy within a fictional framework that creates a realistic depiction of medieval life in 1199. It is this contradiction between the ideal and the real that the young hero Arthur de Caldicot faces as he grows towards manhood on the borderland of the Welsh March. Arthur is the younger son and desperate to become a squire, the first step towards knighthood, but is afraid that his father intends him for the priesthood. The enigmatic Merlin gives Arthur a black obsidian stone within which he can see the life of his legendary namesake played out. As the unfolding destiny of the once and future king is revealed, the course of Arthur's own life becomes a mirror to what he sees in the stone. The pace and suspense of the story is maintained with 100 bite-sized chapters that balance the unfolding drama and Arthur's familiar teenage fears with a well researched account of life on a medieval manor. The crusades, King John and feudal inequalities are the historical backdrop with enough blood, romance and magic to maintain interest as the expertly written narrative successfully walks that fine line between fun and education. (10 - 14 years) (Kirkus UK)
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Author Biography - Kevin Crossley-Holland
Kevin Crossley-Holland won the Carnegie Medal in 1985 for Storm. His many notable books for adults and children include poetry, classic retellings and anthologies. He has written and presented many BBC radio programmes and is a frequent speaker at schools and libraries. For some years he held a university post in Minnesota. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. The Seeing Stone won the prestigious Guardian Children's Fiction Prize and At The Crossing-Places won a Silver award at the SWPA Spoken Word Awards. Gatty's Tale was shortlisted for the 2008 Carnegie Medal.