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Here Lies Arthur

Philip Reeve

Average Review Rating Average Rating 8/10 (1 Review)
Book Details

Publisher : Marion Lloyd Books

Published : 2011

Copyright : Philip Reeve 2007

ISBN-10 : PB 1-4071-3275-X
ISBN-13 : PB 978-1-4071-3275-4

Publisher's Write-Up

An utterly captivating, original and thoroughly 21st century re-telling of Britain's most enduring legend. Gwyna is just a small girl, a mouse, when she is bound in service to Myrddin the bard - a traveller and spinner of tales. But Myrdin transfroms her - into a lady goddess, a boy warrior, and a spy. Without Gwyna, Myrddin will not be able to work the most glorious transformation of all - and turn the leader of a raggle-tagglear-band into King Arthur, the greatest hero of all time.

Exploring the power of storytelling and political machination, a master writer retells the Arthur legend - with a shocking spin. Winner of the Carnegie Medal 2008.

'Brilliant... an absorbing and emotionally engaging work.'

The Times

'Beautifully written without a dull word...this is historical writing at its best.'

The Independent

'A compelling narrative.'

The Bookseller
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Reader Reviews

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Review by Hidayah Ismawi (290212) Rating (8/10)

Review by Hidayah Ismawi
Rating 8/10
Gwyna, a girl-child, is inexplicably thrown into an unbelievable life as page to Myrddin, as a boy no less. She travels in Arthur's army as he marches through medieval England, conquering lands and fighting the Saxons. Soon, Gwyna discovers that Arthur, the warrior and saviour of the land is very much different from Arthur, the man. She learns that not all stories, however grand, are to be believed.

What I like about this book:
The story of Arthur and his knights, Merlin, Lancelot and Guinevere have been told countless of times through books and movies alike. This book takes a novel approach by demoting Arthur from his legendary status into that of a normal man. It also offers a plausible explanation as to how these stories and legends came to be. Simply put, Arthur had a brilliant PR officer at the time. Myrddin, the bard and storyteller enchants everyone with his depictions of Arthur's expeditions, simultaneously cementing the Arthur that history will remember. Tell a good enough story and people will believe what they choose to believe. A lesson well learnt by young Gwyna through the course of this book.

What I disliked about the book:
Since the book was targeted for the young adult audience, it lacked a certain depth that I prefer in books based on historic characters. I would have liked for the author to have delved deeper into each character.

A quote I liked from the book:
If you have nothing, no man can take it away from you.

Hidayah Ismawi (29th February 2012)

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