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Beowulf: A Tale of Blood, Heat, and Ashes
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Beowulf: A Tale of Blood, Heat, and Ashes

by Nicky Raven (Retold by), John Howe (Illustrator)
 
The exhilarating epic blazes to life — featuring illustrations by a lead artist on the LORD OF THE RINGS film trilogy.

"Look into the flames and let your minds empty. . . . For this is a tale of blood and heat and ashes."

It is a tale that has been retold countless times through the centuries — and here, in an enthralling edition

Overview

The exhilarating epic blazes to life — featuring illustrations by a lead artist on the LORD OF THE RINGS film trilogy.

"Look into the flames and let your minds empty. . . . For this is a tale of blood and heat and ashes."

It is a tale that has been retold countless times through the centuries — and here, in an enthralling edition illustrated by a noted Tolkien artist, the mighty Beowulf is well set to capture new legions of followers. This contemporary retelling of the ancient epic — narrated with a touch of banter by the faithful Wiglaf and featuring vividly dramatic illustrations — follows the mythic hero from his disarming of the gruesome Grendel to his sword battle with the monster’s sea hag mother to his final, fiery showdown with an avenging dragon.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Claudia Mills
This lavishly produced, gorgeous volume provides a worthy introduction to one of the oldest and most famous literary works in the English language. As illustrator John Howe (who "was instrumental in creating the look of Middle Earth" for Peter Jackson's films) writes in his closing note: "Beowulf may be a tale from the so-called Dark Ages, but would that our own age of enlightenment could provide flames as bright." Raven's retelling does not spare any details of the gory slaughters by monsters Grendel and his vengeful mother, but it also gives the monsters a human dimension, letting us see their loneliness, despair, and devotion to each other. Beowulf's heroism is a legendary example of larger-than-life devotion to a cause larger than oneself; love and loyalty exact a painful price, but are also prodigiously repaid. The book is a visual feast: golden pages of intricate, ancient lettering invite the reader into a vividly rendered world of lush spectacle, savage fierceness, and doomed sacrifice that, thanks to continual retellings like this one, will never be forgotten. Reviewer: Claudia Mills, Ph.D.
VOYA
The Roman Empire has fallen and Europeans are struggling to survive the Dark Ages. Monsters roam the earth. Enter magnificent Beowulf, who single-handedly slays the horrific, man-eating Grendel, his sea-hag mother, and a fire-breathing dragon. Beowulf's prowess proves that through physical strength and quick wit, man gains the upper hand. These feats of Beowulf are recounted though the conversational and descriptive voice of Wiglaf, a brave warrior who is destined to become King of the Geats. Wiglaf enters the tale as a young man approaching the great hall of wise King Hrothgar to offer his services as a warrior. He is witness to the monster Grendel's gruesome attacks and describes them vividly. Wiglaf is sent to the land of the Danes to ask for assistance and returns with the great Beowulf only to discover that his brother has become one of the monster's victims. The loyal Wiglaf is also present when Beowulf defeats and is defeated by a vengeful dragon. The author presents the ancient legend as a dramatic cautionary tale revealing that mankind's greatest threat might be his own destructive behavior. Gloriously illustrated by Howe, the acclaimed artist renowned for his work recreating Tolkien's Middle-earth for Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, this book delights the eyes and spurs the reader's imagination. An appendix includes character biographies, a map, and a note by the artist. Reviewer: Lynne Farrell Stover
School Library Journal

Gr 7 Up- Raven's lengthy account of the legend is narrated in somewhat cadenced style-perhaps suggesting that of the ancient bard-by Wiglaf, the young warrior who (in this version) accompanied Beowulf when he slew the monster Grendel, its mother, and, in his final battle, the dragon. Wiglaf's own history is interwoven with the epic story, along with some personal information about several other warriors. Details of the attacks upon Hrothgar's men by Grendel and its mother, printed in italic type, are recounted from the beasts' points of view. Several other side stories, previews to parts of the tale, are also italicized. Two pages of short character biographies, an artist's note, and a map showing "The Lands of Beowulf" are appended. The volume is illustrated in several styles: delicately rendered, realistic colored-pencil drawings and expression-filled portraits of the main characters; meticulously detailed watercolor paintings, such as one showing the massive doors to Hrothgar's Hall; and soft, full- and double-page impressionist-style watercolor paintings of natural settings, two of them highlighting Hrothgar's Hall and the approach of Grendel. Collections in need of another version of the epic tale might consider purchasing this one. However, the authentic language, superb narration, striking illustrations, and overall format of James Rumford's Beowulf: A Hero's Tale Retold (Houghton, 2007) make it the finest edition of the poem currently available for young people.-Susan Scheps, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH

Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780763636470
Publisher:
Candlewick Press
Publication date:
10/09/2007
Series:
Beowulf Series
Edition description:
Illustrate
Pages:
96
Product dimensions:
10.50(w) x 9.22(h) x 0.67(d)
Lexile:
1040L (what's this?)
Age Range:
10 - 14 Years

Meet the Author

John Howe is best known for his work as a lead artist on Peter’s Jackson’s LORD OF THE RINGS movie trilogy based on the writings of J. R. R. Tolkien. The illustrator of many books in the fantasy genre, he lives in Switzerland.

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