Parsifal's Page (The Squire's Tales Series #4)

Parsifal's Page (The Squire's Tales Series #4)

4.3 8
by Gerald Morris
     
 

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Piers is desperate to become a page to escape the dirty, tedious labor of his father's blacksmith shop. So when a knight arrives announcing that he's on "the quest," Piers begs to go along. Off on a series of adventures he never dreamed possible, Piers and the knight quickly run into difficulties. The knight is slain by Parsifal who is on a quest of… See more details below

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Overview

Piers is desperate to become a page to escape the dirty, tedious labor of his father's blacksmith shop. So when a knight arrives announcing that he's on "the quest," Piers begs to go along. Off on a series of adventures he never dreamed possible, Piers and the knight quickly run into difficulties. The knight is slain by Parsifal who is on a quest of his own.

Parsifal is unlike anyone Piers has ever met. He doesn't behave "knightly" at all. Slowly, Piers realizes that being a knight has nothing to do with shining armor and winning jousts. And, as their journey continues, they find that to achieve their quest they must learn more than knighthood: they must learn about themselves.

The tale of Parsifal has been told more than that of any other knight, but no one has ever told his story quite like Gerald Morris does in his fourth Arthurian novel, another tour de force of humor, action, magic, and, as always, true love.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
On the day that eleven-year-old Piers' (who wants to be called Pierre) blacksmith father tries to teach him to make nails, Piers sets out instead to become the page for a knight. His dream has finally come true—getting trained to become a squire—but Piers' knight is instead slain by Parsifal, a strangely innocent, gentle man on a quest. Parsifal is in search "of great deeds to do" to become a knight, but knows little about how to become one. He asks every question that comes into his head, a most unknightly thing to do, thinks Piers. Piers is charmed by a fairy named Ariel, and soon learns that Parsifal, who grew up in the forest, passes easily between the World of Men and the World of Fairies. Piers and Parsifal are drawn into the Quest for the Holy Grail, where they enter the adventurous worlds of Sir Gawain, Sir Trevisant, King Anfortas and more, and cross between the two worlds. Through many brave adventures, they both learn about their origins and receive lessons about the intangible rewards of life versus accomplishing mighty deeds. In his fourth novel, Gerald Morris again delights readers with the fantasy of the Arthurian world through his wry, witty storytelling style, spiced with modern-day dialogue. Written as a delightful comedy with serious messages, this book, like the previous three, will entertain both young and old alike. 2001, Houghton Mifflin, $15.00. Ages 11 up. Reviewer: Elaine Wick
VOYA
I personally think that this book is for younger readers who like fast reading and low vocabulary usage. It informs them with a few facts about medieval times. It has excitement, adventure, and keeps my interest. I would like the author to write more about Gawain and Terrance, characters who appeared in the first two books. VOYA CODES: 3Q 4P M J (Readable without serious defects; Broad general YA appeal; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9). 2001, Houghton Mifflin, 240p, Ages 12 to 15. Reviewer: Kelsey Sands, Teen Reviewer SOURCE: VOYA, June 2001 (Vol. 24, No. 2)
School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-As he did in The Squire's Tale (Houghton, 1998), the author retells a knight's legend from the perspective of his helper and companion. In this entertaining and substantive story, Piers's wanderlust takes him to the court of King Arthur where he meets up with a lost soul, Parsifal, who longs to be a knight. Piers's mother has regaled him with stories of her life as a maid-in-waiting at the French court, so he has grown up with lofty ideas and the ambition to become a knight's page. Parsifal is clearly in need of his expertise. Readers familiar with the legend will recognize the main events. After Parsifal fails to ask "the" question and realizes his mistake, he continues his Grail quest alone, and Piers joins Sir Gawain and his page on further adventures, thus continuing the story begun in The Squire's Tale. Piers's overly earnest attempts to do the right thing and Gawain's wit provide most of the humor in the story, but the author avoids cheapening the significance of the Grail quest. Readers unfamiliar with Parsifal and Gawain's stories may wish for a "who's who" to keep up with the characters, but the sheer fun of this novel will keep them going. Unfortunately, the cover art looks like a video game and doesn't fit the story. Once past it, Arthurian fans will be hooked by the great writing. Katherine Paterson's Parzival (Dutton, 1998) is a more traditional retelling that would appeal to similar readers.-Cheri Estes, Detroit Country Day School Middle School, Beverly Hills, MI Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Morris (The Savage Damsel and the Dwarf, 2000, etc.) serves up another engaging take on Arthurian legend. Discarding the religious accretions overlaying the Grail quest, he renders it both simpler and more mysterious. Parsifal, who appeared briefly as a rustic strongman in earlier Morris tales, must now mold himself into the Round Table's greatest knight. Yet Parsifal's transformation is secondary to that of Piers who, longing for French courtly glamour, rejects his father's efforts to teach him smithcraft, renames himself Pierre, and latches onto a passing knight as his page. When his first knight proves a disappointment, Piers reluctantly engages to tutor the uncouth Parsifal in courtesy. While Piers is astonished at Parsifal's knightly prowess, the page's snobbish insistence on strict propriety leads his master to disaster. Cast aside, Piers embarks on another quest, to redeem Parsifal's failure-and his own. While the story stands on its own, it leads to predictable territory for fans of the series, as Piers is guided by Sir Gawain, Squire Terence, and other familiar faces to value true honor and courage. Morris deftly blends bloody clashes of arms and mysterious enchantments with the many flavors (sweet, bitter, and spicy) of romance, generously seasoned with wry humor and a dash of unexpected pathos. An elegiac air overhangs Camelot, as if the gracious morning of chivalry yields to a more robust yet mundane day. In his witty Author's Note, Morris confesses that he doesn't know what the tale means; but he loves it. So will the reader. (Fiction. 10-15)

From the Publisher
"Entertaining . . . Arthurian fans will be hooked by the great writing. " School Library Journal

"Libraries where Morris's Arthurian series has a following will certainly want to add this to their fiction collections." Booklist, ALA

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780547014340
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
04/28/2008
Series:
Squire's Tales Series, #4
Edition description:
None
Pages:
240
Sales rank:
556,748
Product dimensions:
5.13(w) x 7.63(h) x 0.56(d)
Lexile:
760L (what's this?)
Age Range:
10 - 14 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"Entertaining . . . Arthurian fans will be hooked by the great writing. " School Library Journal

"Libraries where Morris's Arthurian series has a following will certainly want to add this to their fiction collections." Booklist, ALA

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