Gr 4-6-Dramatic and fanciful paintings will draw many children to these books that depict both historical and fantastical elements of medieval life. The informative texts include brief references to King Arthur and his legendary sword and mythical creatures like dragons. Readers who are familiar with the fantasy genre through movies like The Lord of the Rings will likely appreciate this juxtaposition of fact and fantasy. The books are Eurocentric, primarily English, in focus. Hamilton states that Byzantine and Muslim cultures built "huge castles [that] protected town and trade routes" and the Japanese built "extraordinary" castles; unfortunately, little information and no visuals of any of them are provided. Kathryn Hinds's The Castle (Benchmark, 2000) and Charlotte Yue and David Yue's Armor (Houghton, 1994) together provide information that is more comprehensive about all three topics; nevertheless, these books are serviceable purchases.-Kirsten Cutler, Sonoma Library, CA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.