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Skilfully interweaving a spellbinding retelling of the Arthurian myths with the parallel story of an ordinary boy in the middle ages, this award-winning trilogy is a landmark in children’s fiction. Kevin Crossley-Holland spent many years writing about and researching the Arthurian myths before he began The Arthur Trilogy.
Arthur of Caldicot is desperate to be made a squire. When the mysterious Merlin gives him a polished obsidian stone, in its depths he sees another Arthur – a boy like and yet unlike himself, who, long ago, pulled a sword from a stone. For both, secrecy and violence are a part of their heritage, and they must unravel the complexities of the adult world to discover their own destinies. This opening volume in the trilogy won the Guardian Children’s Fiction Award.
Arthur has achieved his ambition to be made a squire, but the promise of the coming Crusade is half thrilling, half terrifying. Thankfully, Arthur can always retreat into the world of the stone. There he sees Lancelot and Guinevere burning with passion and Morgan-le-Fay plotting the downfall of King Arthur. Seeing Camelot in peril, Arthur is forced to ask himself questions about the kind of man he himself will become. Can he fight the Saracen, and perhaps his own father?
In Venice the crusader army waits, until the Doge suggests an attack on Zara in return for passage to the Holy Land. This is not the glorious battle that Arthur imagined, but Christian against Christian. Arthur discovers that there are few differences between the crusades and the battles which destroy Camelot. He must find his way, not to Jerusalem, but home to the Marches and his true destiny.
Read more about the life and work of Kevin Crossley-Holland