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Description - At the Crossing-Places by Kevin Crossley-Holland

Arthur de Caldicot arrives at Holt to be squire to Lord Stephen and accompany him on crusade. It is an exciting and bewildering time for him as he finds a warhorse, is fitted with armour, and improves his fighting skills. He dreads a confrontation with his blood-father, the violent Sir William, and dreams of finding his true mother; he discovers girls ' including the vivacious Winnie de Verdon whom he rescues from burning to death; he has to deal with the aftermath of a murder; he sees the sea for the first time, sails to France and finally takes the Cross. And meanwhile these events are reflected in his seeing stone, in stories of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. Packed with incident, wonderful characters, and fascinating historical detail, and interwoven with brilliant retellings of Arthurian legends, this is a glorious follow-up to THE SEEING STONE.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9781842552001
ISBN-10: 1842552007
Format: Paperback
(197mm x 140mm x 29mm)
Pages: 384
Imprint: Orion Children's Books (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd )
Publisher: Hachette Children's Group
Publish Date: 1-Jun-2002
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Book Reviews - At the Crossing-Places by Kevin Crossley-Holland

UK Kirkus Review » This is the second novel in a trilogy for teenagers which follows the life of Arthur, squire to Lord Stephen de Holt. Set in 1200, it is a rich, lively and absorbing tale, written in short chapters, loosely in diary form, of the rites of passage from boyhood to adulthood. Arthur's main objective is to prepare to go on crusade with Lord Stephen, and to this end he has fencing lessons and goes about the business of learning to dress his Lord in armour and to wear armour himself. While they prepare, Arthur is also taken up with the longing to discover who his real mother is, with his growing affection for Winnie, daughter of a nearby knight, and a number of castle intrigues and rituals. The different threads of the story are illuminated with entrancing details of daily mediaeval life, beliefs, use of herbs, customs, made immediate and natural by the liveliness of the minor characters. Concurrent with Arthur's story runs the story of the times of the legendary King Arthur. Through his obsidian, a seeing stone, Arthur can see stories from the King Arthur legend played out, and the two Arthurs are further linked by the fact that Merlin, who appears in the stone, is also the character who gave Arthur his seeing stone. The stories of life under King Arthur's reign have a subtle and tangential relevance to Arthur's own life - and serve as examples of adult life which the teenager puzzles over, searching for right and wrong. As the book progresses Arthur comes to realize that to be a man he must listen chiefly to himself, and to become the centre of his own story, not the onlooker in someone else's. Gloriously imaginative and magical, this novel will grip readers in their teenage years. Ages 10+ (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 and he is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. The Seeing Stone won the prestigious Guardian Children's Fiction Prize, At The Crossing-Places won a Silver award at the SWPA Spoken Word Awards and Gatty's Tale was shortlisted for the 2008 Carnegie Medal.

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