THE SEEING STONE

Kevin Crossley-Holland, Author . Scholastic/Levine $17.95 (342p) ISBN 978-0-439-26326-9

In this first volume of a planned Arthur Trilogy, British author Crossley-Holland inventively reworks the legend of the Round Table through he diary of a 13-year-old boy named Arthur, living in an English manor in the 12th century. One day, his friend Merlin gives Arthur a magical stone that shows him visions of the once and future king, whose story parallels narrator Arthur's so closely that at first the stone seems to depict the hero's destiny. More accurately, though, "Arthur-in-the-stone is not me. We look and talk like each other. But he can do magic, and I cannot… Sir Ector and Kay are not exactly the same as my father and Serle, either." The boy recording the events is not King Arthur, but rather someone infused with the king's spirit, living a largely parallel life. Told in 100 very short chapters, the plot builds slowly, laying the groundwork of chivalric codes and court etiquette, and the character list in the opening pages is essential to keeping track of various personalities and their hierarchical relationships. Some readers may wish for more jousting and less of the domestic squabbles and local politics, but many will revel in Crossley-Holland's portrait of the period and the humorous observations conveyed through the diary entries. A clever, ethical and passionate hero—plus several intriguing loose ends—will have readers itching for the sequel. Ages 13-up. (Oct.)

Reviewed on: 09/17/2001
Release date: 10/01/2001
Paperback - 338 pages - 978-0-7528-4429-9
Prebound-Other - 350 pages - 978-0-606-25433-5
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-8072-0538-9
Prebound-Glued - 368 pages - 978-0-613-50642-7
Prebound-Glued - 350 pages - 978-0-7569-1087-7
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-307-58278-2
Mass Market Paperbound - 350 pages - 978-0-439-26327-6
Mass Market Paperbound - 333 pages - 978-0-439-43524-6
Compact Disc - 978-0-307-58277-5
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-8072-0546-4
Prebound-Sewn - 978-0-613-95445-7
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