Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Squire's Quest by Gerald Morris, as reviewed by Atlas

Oh, help! One of the greatest perks of working (or living) in a library is getting to put your name in first for new books. Until they all come in at once, and you have to make decisions. What do I read first? The newest by Katherine Paterson, Zilpha Keatley Snyder, or Shannon Hale? The Magician's Elephant by DiCamillo? Tentacles, by Roland Smith? Gerald Morris easily trumps them all, however, and I read this entire book in one sitting.

If you have not read any of the Squire's Tale series, get thee to the library and start! Make sure to begin at the beginning (The Squire's Tale), or you will miss half of what is happening.

I have described the series before as a clean Monty Python, but that really doesn't do it justice. Morris, a huge fan of and expert on Arthurian legend (and a Baptist minister), has created a fantastic web of stories centered around some of the lesser-known characters (like Squire Terence), while including very human portrayals of Arthur, Gawain, and the like. The books are HYSTERICAL - imagine the looks you get when people hear loud braying laughter coming from a turtle tank! It is impossible to explain why you are laughing, though, unless you read an entire chapter aloud.

The Squire's Quest does have its dark moments, and even more soul searching than the last few. A great book, and series, for the 'thinking' kids - those who read all of Madeleine L'Engle's books, not just A Wrinkle in Time, or fans of The Giver and its companions. Some strong female characters and some absolute nitwits, men of courage and integrity, and...well, more nitwits. Fantasy and magic, history and legend. Each book has it all, and this ninth installment was in no way a disappointment. Except that, now it's over, and I have to choose from the rest of that pile...

or to start the series:

1 comment:

  1. I am absolutely not an Arthurian person. At all. But I picked up Gerald Morris' Knights' Tales...and they are sooo hilarious! Some of my very favorite beginning chapter books now. So sad there's only two...maybe I will break down and try the Squire's Tale.