Camelot

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Ten original stories and a song draw upon the many legends of Camelot, ranging in their focus from the youth of Arthur and Guinevere to Arthur's death and beyond. As Yolen says, some "are humorous, some glamorous, some historical, and some quite tragic." Some also are better than others. Particularly striking are Anne McCaffrey's dramatic tale of a Briton warlord's quest for Libyan horses to enrich the bloodlines of his cavalry; and Nancy Springer's poignant memories of a wiser Mordred, awaiting the return of Arthur. Lynne Pledger looks at Guinevere's coming to Camelot from a feminist perspective, Mark W. Tiedemann imagines what came after the final battle, and Terry Pratchett finds humor in a scientific explanation of the sword in the stone. Some entries don't measure up, such as Greg Costikyan's strained tale of the return of not Arthur but JFK when the U.S. faces an apparently resurgent "evil empire." But the overall quality is high, and 10 color plates give the feel of a traditional gift book. Enjoyable new perspectives on a classic theme. Ages 8-up. (Sept.)
School Library Journal
Gr 4-6-Yolen has brought together some of the best children's and YA writers for 10 original stories based on Arthurian legend. In ``The Raven,'' Nancy Springer wonders if the cruel destiny that ruled Arthur was even more cruel to Mordred. Terry Pratchett's ``Once and Future'' gives readers not Merlin but Marvin, a misplaced time traveler. James D. MacDonald and Debray Doyle ask what if Gawain's headless Green Knight were really a clever costume and an attempted harmless prank. Anne McCaffrey and six others also contribute their imaginations to this provocative mix. Yolen herself has written a ballad, music provided by Adam Stemple. The women who appear in these stories tend to be stronger than in Malory's or other versions of the familiar tales. Each selection has a rich rectangular full-color pastel of the main action by Pels. Her monsters, animals (especially horses), and background are unusually dynamic, but her people are largely stiff. The overall effect is formal, satisfying, and impressive. The variety and combined creativity offer something for everyone, but especially to mavens of the fantasy genre.-Helen Gregory, Grosse Pointe Public Library, MI
Susan Dove Lempke
Ten stories and one song make up this collection, which is illustrated with lush color plates in an old-fashioned style. The selections have been arranged chronologically, beginning with Arthur's childhood, with each built on a quotation from Arthurian literature. The varied source material contributes to a pleasantly diverse selection of characters, events, and depictions. Three stories, all by authors known to young people, are particularly strong: Terry Pratchett's "Once and Future" is an amusing account of a modern time traveler who is mistaken for Merlin; Anne McCaffrey's "Black Horses for a King," set in Roman Britain, tells of "Lord Artos'" trip across the sea to buy stallions; and Nancy Springer's "Raven," the most powerful story in the collection, features Mordred explaining how he came to inhabit a raven for eternity. Readers without a solid grounding in Arthurian legend will find the switching of names confusing (Diana Paxson refers to Merlin by three different names in her story), but King Arthur fans will enjoy the new material.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780399225406
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/1/1995
  • Pages: 198
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.20 (w) x 9.32 (h) x 0.87 (d)

Meet the Author

Jane Yolen
Jane Yolen
JaneYolen lives in Massachusetts.

John Schoenherr lives in New Jersey.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2000

    Camelot, a great book

    Camelot is a book for people who like a book with a whole bunch of stories. People who like books on the same subject all the time should not read this book because it has a whole bunch of different stories edited by Jane Yolen. My favorite story in this book is All the Iron of Heaven. My second favorite story in Camelot is The Changing of the Shrew. I think Camelot is a very interesting book and I would recommended to you. By the way Jane Yolen is a very good editor.

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