Perceval: King Arthur's Knight of the Holy Grail

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Classic retelling of the legend of Perceval, a knight in King Arthur's court.
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Overview

Classic retelling of the legend of Perceval, a knight in King Arthur's court.
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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Vicki Foote
This story retells the Arthurian legend of Perceval who wished to become a knight. Chretien de Troyes, who was considered the greatest of the authors of courtly romance, wrote the earliest known version in French. We follow Perceval in his adventures as he pursues his dream while making foolish mistakes, but becoming wiser along the way. He fights in battles, has encounters with maidens and the Red Knight, and eventually makes his way to King Arthur's castle where he is made a knight. In his travels he comes upon the Castle of the Grail where he observes the bleeding lance and the Fisher King with his golden cup. Perceval continues to fight battles for King Arthur's court for some years until he has a life?changing discussion with a priest. Perceval then realizes that he should have pursued answers concerning the Grail and that he should have had a life in which he had worshiped God. The last pages of the book discuss further episodes of the legend, and the "Author's Note" describes what is known about Chretien's life. It also explains how Chretien depicts three stages of Perceval's life and how each of these stages leads to the conclusion. The illustrations are beautifully detailed in egg tempura using an old technique that was practiced by medieval and Renaissance master painters from Europe and Russia.
School Library Journal

Gr 4 Up
A nuanced retelling of the 12th-century tale. Awed by five knights he meets near his home, a young man vows to travel to King Arthur's court. Ignoring his mother's grief over his departure, he finds plenty of action on the way, culminating in his defeat of a fearsome foe and being knighted by Arthur. Feeling remorseful, Perceval heads home to ease his mother's heart. During his travels, he comes upon a mysterious castle where he witnesses a procession in which a maiden carries an amazing goblet. Too ashamed of his ignorance to ask his sickly host about it, Perceval unwittingly condemns the man to continued suffering. This act and the discovery that his mother has died from heartbreak lead Perceval to a hermit priest who listens to his confession and helps him to find insight and peace. Spirin's illustrations are glorious. Panels were painted in egg tempera on a large gessoed board, photographed individually, and reproduced on the appropriate pages. The tones are deep and jewel-like, the detail wonderful. The artwork is like a cross between the Très Riches Heures and Pre-Raphaelite paintings. Perkins's prose is likewise a hybrid of the straightforward and the original's lapidary telling. As such, character development is not emphasized, and Perceval remains more metaphor than man. Although there is a forward thrust to the plot, events seem disconnected. Still, readers who love tales of chivalry will find this one satisfying. A beautiful addition for collections where Howard Pyle's titles or James Riordan's Tales of King Arthur (Rand-McNally, 1982; o.p.) are popular.
—Ann WeltonCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780761453390
  • Publisher: Cavendish Square Publishing
  • Publication date: 3/28/2007
  • Pages: 40
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 1080L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 9.20 (w) x 11.80 (h) x 0.50 (d)

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