Excalibur: The Legend of King Arthur

Overview

The Arthurian legend springs to life in another powerhouse graphic novel from the creators of OUTLAW: THE LEGEND OF ROBIN HOOD.

Arthur Pendragon was raised in obscurity, but fate will not leave him to the shadows. In a moment of desperate need, he draws a legendary sword from its stonebed and commences the life he was born to lead. A series of adventures sparked by the elusive wizard Merlin launches Arthur through love and betrayal, domination and defeat, and toward the ...

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Overview

The Arthurian legend springs to life in another powerhouse graphic novel from the creators of OUTLAW: THE LEGEND OF ROBIN HOOD.

Arthur Pendragon was raised in obscurity, but fate will not leave him to the shadows. In a moment of desperate need, he draws a legendary sword from its stonebed and commences the life he was born to lead. A series of adventures sparked by the elusive wizard Merlin launches Arthur through love and betrayal, domination and defeat, and toward the prophesied end awaiting him. Merging a faithful retelling with dynamic illustrations, EXCALIBUR invites long-time fans to relive the legend and those new to the story to experience it up close in a vivid graphic adventure.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Veteran comic writer Lee takes on the task of crafting a fresh take on the Arthurian legends by letting the character tell his story. Arthur Pendragon begins his tale as the son of a betrayed king, forced to grow up in obscurity until pulling a magic sword from a stone and reclaiming his title. Yet this is only where his challenges begin, as the king must deal with the wrath of his vengeful sorceress sister, Morgana; the machinations of the barbarian Ulric; and the betrayal of his closest friend. Lee's work is faithful to the original legend without being inaccessible or boring. The effectiveness of the work stems from its character-driven plot, which propels the story without the sort of plot contrivances myths often employ. Hart's artwork also focuses more on character than spectacle. Ages 10–up. (Mar.)
Children's Literature - Michael Jung PhD
The story of King Arthur, Guinevere, Lancelot, Merlin, and Morgana le Faye is re-imagined through stunning comic book art in this graphic novel by Lee and Hart, which manages to elevate itself above a simple re-tread of the well-known legend. While the novel covers the expected plot points (the sword in the stone, Guinevere and Lancelot's forbidden romance, the rise of Mordred, and the final battle for Camelot), the creators also add some new wrinkles to the tale, primarily by showing how many of the characters are aware of their destinies and often see themselves as players in a pre-ordained story (Arthur in particular has been having visions of his death since he was a child). Yet while such foreknowledge could potentially eliminate the story's dramatic tension, the very fact that the characters choose to accept and even embrace their fates often make them seem more heroic, sympathetic, and even humorous (there's an memorable scene where Merlin makes an off-hand joke about Arthur's doomed marriage that can be viewed as both sad and hilarious). The creators also add another alteration to the legend by revealing Arthur's forgotten first love (she's not Guinevere), causing readers to view the familiar love triangle between Arthur, Guinevere, and Lancelot in an entirely different light. Hart's dramatic artwork lends an almost cinematic quality to the story's epic battles and intense verbal exchanges, while Lee's script is by turns exciting, witty, and heartfelt. Overall a unique and fun entry for any Arthurian fan's library. Reviewer: Michael Jung, PhD
Kirkus Reviews

The author of Outlaw: The Legend of Robin Hood (2009) proves once again that he's a master of graphic-novel adaptations. Teaming up with illustrator and colorist Hart, his partner for the previous title, Lee negotiates the terrain of medieval legend with finesse, rendering it easily accessible for a new generation of readers. They touch on it all here: the sword in the stone, King Arthur and his round table, the love affair of Lancelot and Guinevere. The magical stylings of Merlin and Morgana are also explored, making for one of the more interesting story lines in a book of many. The quiet exposition of tangled court scheming as well as careful introductions of an overly-vowelled cast of characters break down intricate plotlines for young readers unlikely to be familiar with much of the story's content. The author's striking, urgent prose sets the pace of the action, but it's Hart that truly shines here. The artist's use of color guides the reader through the heights and valleys of action and emotion subtly, while his paneling is varied and interestingly designed, always providing the reader with a fresh perspective of the scene. Masterful adaptation of medieval material. (Graphic fantasy. 12 & up)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780763646448
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Publication date: 3/8/2011
  • Pages: 144
  • Sales rank: 819,229
  • Age range: 10 - 15 Years
  • Lexile: GN430L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 10.50 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Tony Lee, a prolific comic book writer, has worked on the titles X-MEN, DOCTOR WHO MAGAZINE, STARSHIP TROOPERS, and OUTLAW: THE LEGEND OF ROBIN HOOD. He has also written for radio, television, and national newspapers. He lives in England.

Sam Hart is a comic book illustrator who has worked on STARSHIP TROOPERS, BROTHERS: THE FALL OF LUCIFER and OUTLAW: THE LEGEND OF ROBIN HOOD. He lives in Brazil.

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