Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Here Lies Arthur by Philip Reeve

Basic plot

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 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.

Rating: 4/5


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