The Seeing Stone (Arthur Trilogy #1)

The Seeing Stone (Arthur Trilogy #1)

4.7 28
by Kevin Crossley-Holland
     
 

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The year is 1199 and on the borders of England and Wales young Arthur de Caldicot waits impatiently to grow up and become a knight. One day his father's friend Merlin gives Arthur a shining black stone, and in it he starts to see stories of his namesake, King Arthur.

The Seeing Stone is a pageant of the past, crowded with characters, including Arthur's jealous

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Overview

The year is 1199 and on the borders of England and Wales young Arthur de Caldicot waits impatiently to grow up and become a knight. One day his father's friend Merlin gives Arthur a shining black stone, and in it he starts to see stories of his namesake, King Arthur.

The Seeing Stone is a pageant of the past, crowded with characters, including Arthur's jealous older brother; the forthright village girl, Gatty; Tanwen, the serving girl; and Lady Alice, who entrusts Arthur with a terrible secret. Their individual dramas create an eye-opening picture of life in a medieval manor. But they are shot through with the legends of King Arthur in a narrative that builds to a thrilling and mysterious climax as the stories of the two Arthurs intertwine.

The one hundred short chapters are almost like snapshots, not only of the world of King Arthur, but of the earthy, uncomfortable reality of the Middle Ages: a time of uncertainty about the future, and a time of conflict -- between the social classes, between Christianity and Islam, and between reason and superstition. Kevin Crossley-Holland's brilliant new novel gives readers a seeing stone of their own. Use it to look into the past, and through the past into the future.

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Editorial Reviews

bn.com review
The Barnes & Noble Review
Kevin Crossley-Holland spins an enchanting tale of magic and mystery in The Seeing Stone, the first book in a planned trilogy based on Arthurian legend. The story opens at the cusp of the 12th and 13th centuries, when a 13-year-old lad named Arthur discovers that his life is about to take some unexpected turns. At the heart of all this change is Merlin, a mysterious man who possesses incredible knowledge and power. It is Merlin's special gift to young Arthur -- a shiny piece of obsidian -- that gives this book its name and much of its magic.

All that young Arthur can think about is his desire to become a squire and, eventually, a knight, a goal his father seems determined to prevent him from reaching. At first, the only thing Arthur has to feed his dream are his hopes and his imagination, which are often tempered by the harsh realities of life. But then his mentor, Merlin, gives him a shiny stone, uttering a cryptic message about its power. When Arthur looks into the dark surface of the stone, images appear -- snippets of past events from other people's lives, including a powerful King named Uther and a young knight named Arthur. When certain aspects of young Arthur's life begin to parallel those of his namesake in the seeing stone, he begins to wonder if the images might not be a glimpse of the future rather than the past. Arthur's quest for the truth answers some of his questions but also raises plenty of others, no doubt as a lead-in to the second chapter in this trilogy.

This is no fluffy tale of Camelot. Arthur tackles a number of provocative issues in his dealings with others, and his observations provide a grim but realistic commentary on the filth, hunger, and barbarism that was a regular part of life in the Middle Ages. But the book's overall structure -- told from Arthur's point of view in 100 very short chapters -- and its mystical overtones make The Seeing Stone a quick and engaging read. (Beth Amos)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780439263276
Publisher:
Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
09/28/2002
Series:
Arthur Trilogy, #1
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
352
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 7.54(h) x 0.89(d)
Lexile:
640L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 Years

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The Seeing Stone (Arthur Trilogy #1) 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 28 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
My 8 year old, a knight lover, received this book for Christmas. With the B&N age range listed as 9-12, I thought this would work okay as a read aloud. We are about half way though the book, and I think we need to put it on the shelf until he is older. It's difficult as a read aloud (some books just are), and some of the plot is not appropriate for his age- a man magically disguised as another man so that he may be with the other mans wife, and they conceive a child... I think the age ranges of the critics are much closer- my opinion would be that 12 would be the minimum age that this book is appropriate for.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really really enjoyed this book. It was interesting to find certain facts from my social studies classes hidden within the story. I love history, so this book was perfect for me. It was a captivating story and a great read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. I wolud recommend it to anyone who loves fanstay books. The plot was very interesting, and the charaters seemed very real. The book includes a little of everything to, action, twists, and a little romance.
Guest More than 1 year ago
At first the very short chapters seemed odd, but it makes it quite addictive. It's hard not to read just one more. It also makes it more like a diary, bringing this world even closer. It's about Arthur the boy, more than the king, though his story appears throughout. But it is fascinating more for the close look at the not-so-romantic world of the boy Arthur, and his own personal joys and worries, and those of the people around him. The author really knows this time and place, and brings it to life well. Highly recommended!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ovmiovlipsg
Lisa Navaille More than 1 year ago
Amazing book, I am 11 and its amazing.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I've read many books on merlin and King Arthur, but none of them were quite like this. I enjoyed the twists in the book as well as the overall idea behind it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is confusing, in a small sense, but otherwise its a wonderful novel thats goes much deeper into the story of king arthur. I reccomend it, but thats just my oppinion.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is definatly the beginning of a wonderful series
Guest More than 1 year ago
The writer brings Arthur out in a new light! Not one of the best Arthurian tales I've read but it was okay. I would recommend this to as many people! It fun and enlightening, read it for the wonderful knowledge that comes with it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is great! It has everything in it to make it readable. I love to read and I enjoyed this book. I reccommend it to any one who is intrested in King Arthur. Now go OUT and READ this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It was a great book! Full of adventure and action. I would rcamened it to anyone.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is such a great book. I love the way Arthur's life is just like the life of King Arthur. Kevin Crossley-Holland is the best author I have ever read!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
One of my favorites! It was filled with mystery, drama, comedy, adventure, and romance! I couln't keep my eyes off the book. I totally recommend this book to anybody who is into reading! After the first chapters, you'll feel like your in the story! I give the book and the author 2THUMBS UP, A STANDING OBATION, 5 STARS AND MORE!!!!!!**********
Guest More than 1 year ago
I finished this book in half a day. It was great!! I can't wait to read the second one! I wasn't sure about it at first then i got into it!. READ IT!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was apprehensive reading this book at first as I am not a great fan of the Arthurian legend. Amazingly Crossley-Holland created a more realistic Arthur for this generation. I sympathized with him over the injustices of his older brother, rejoiced with him when he was granted to squire for another good knight and cheered him own when he showed strength and character deciding the fate of a suspected thief. Readers will love this book immensely. It feels like stepping back in the medieval times with an assuming precocious boy named Arthur and his mysterious gift from Merlin -the fire and ice seeing stone. This is a very good book indeed!
Guest More than 1 year ago
It was a great book! Full of adventure and action. Even though its like 300 pages I read it in a week it was so good. Give it a shot and buy it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really loved this book! The 100 short chapters made this book even easier to read. I felt like I really was in the Middle March, 800 years ago.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is soo good!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Exclisive Detail on how a young child stiving to become a knight lives through his hardships.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is very confusing at first, but once you get into the story, it'll make more sense. Also, this book seems very realistic, like it really happened. 'The Seeing Stone' is a great book to read and I highly recommend it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The first of a promised Arthurian trilogy by British author Kevin Crossley-Holland is inventive and entertaining. Stage and film actor Michael Murphy gives apt reading to this tale of young Arthur de Caldicot who lives in an English manor during the 12th century. His dream is not unlike the dreams of many boys his age - he yearns to grow up and be a knight, very much like his namesake. Young Arthur's father has an intriguing friend - Merlin who gives the boy a magic stone. When the boy looks deeply into the polished stone he can see the life of another Arthur. The puzzle is what is in store for his life and is it, by any chance, reflected by the events he sees unfolding in the stone? 'The Seeing Stone' is a choice piece of historical drama which will be particularly enjoyed by all Round Table aficionados. Details of medieval life, codes of chivalry, and court etiquette abound. As this story closes young Arthur de Caldicot is to achieve his ambition of becoming a squire and he will go with his father on a crusade to Jerusalem. Listeners will eagerly await the next in this trilogy, a welcome addition to Arthurian lore.