The Seeing Stone (Arthur Trilogy #1) [NOOK Book]

Overview

Arthurian legend comes to life in the first novel in this remarkable, award-winning saga

Thirteen-year-old Arthur de Caldicot lives on a manor, desperately waiting for the moment he can become a knight. One day his father's friend Merlin gives him a shining black stone - a seeing stone - that shows him visions of his namesake, King Arthur. The legendary dragons, battles, and swordplay that young Arthur ...
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The Seeing Stone (Arthur Trilogy #1)

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Overview

Arthurian legend comes to life in the first novel in this remarkable, award-winning saga

Thirteen-year-old Arthur de Caldicot lives on a manor, desperately waiting for the moment he can become a knight. One day his father's friend Merlin gives him a shining black stone - a seeing stone - that shows him visions of his namesake, King Arthur. The legendary dragons, battles, and swordplay that young Arthur witnesses seem a world away from his own life. And yet there is something definitely joining the Arthurs together.
It will be Arthur de Caldicot's destiny to discover how his path is intertwined with a king's . . . for the past is not the only thing the seeing stone can see.

In late twelfth-century England, a thirteen-year-old boy named Arthur recounts how Merlin gives him a magical seeing stone which shows him images of the legendary King Arthur, the events of whose life seem to have many parallels to his own.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
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)

Publishers Weekly
In this first volume of a planned Arthur Trilogy, British author Crossley-Holland inventively reworks the legend of the Round Table through he diary of a 13-year-old boy named Arthur, living in an English manor in the 12th century. One day, his friend Merlin gives Arthur a magical stone that shows him visions of the once and future king, whose story parallels narrator Arthur's so closely that at first the stone seems to depict the hero's destiny. More accurately, though, "Arthur-in-the-stone is not me. We look and talk like each other. But he can do magic, and I cannot Sir Ector and Kay are not exactly the same as my father and Serle, either." The boy recording the events is not King Arthur, but rather someone infused with the king's spirit, living a largely parallel life. Told in 100 very short chapters, the plot builds slowly, laying the groundwork of chivalric codes and court etiquette, and the character list in the opening pages is essential to keeping track of various personalities and their hierarchical relationships. Some readers may wish for more jousting and less of the domestic squabbles and local politics, but many will revel in Crossley-Holland's portrait of the period and the humorous observations conveyed through the diary entries. A clever, ethical and passionate hero plus several intriguing loose ends will have readers itching for the sequel. Ages 13-up. (Oct.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Publishers Weekly
"In the first volume of the Arthur Trilogy, the author inventively reworks the legend of the Round Table through the diary of 13-year-old Arthur, living in an English manor in the 12th century," said PW in a starred review. "Readers will be itching for the sequel." Ages 10-up. (Sept.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
Arriving from England with hoopla and honors is the next Great Harry Potter Hope. It's a shame there will be comparisons, because Crossley-Holland's book is very fine in its own right. Yes, there is an Arthurian subplot, and yes, there is a wizard—named Merlin, no less. But the young hero, Arthur, of this novel lives in 1199—and what this book is about more than anything is life in a small manor on the Welsh borderlands during the late Middle Ages. Through the eyes of thirteen-year-old Arthur, Crossley-Holland recounts this life believably and well—from pig-slaughtering, to the lamented ascent of King John, to the call for a fourth Crusade to Jerusalem. The hero is a hero in the Arthurian sense—intelligent, compassionate, and anxious to find his quest. Undoubtedly Books Two and Three will take us along on Arthur's quest, too. It is something for which to look forward, because these pages slipped by altogether too fast. 2001, Arthur A. Levine/Scholastic, $17.95. Ages 10 up. Reviewer:Kathleen Karr
VOYA
In Book One of his Arthur Trilogy, Crossley-Holland transports readers to the year 1199, in which King John has taken England's throne, Pope Innocent wants men for his fourth crusade, Welsh raiders are poised to invade from the west, and people worry about the new century. Arthur, the thirteen-year-old narrator of this novel, lives at Caldicot manor and is affected by historical events and the day-to-day happenings at the manor. Arthur guides readers through the seasonal chores and celebrations on the manor and offers a clear look at life as a teenager during the Middle Ages. He excels at reading and writing, and it is through his journal that readers learn about his daily life as well as his thoughts and dreams. Merlin, a friend to Sir John de Caldicot, gives Arthur a seeing stone, which is to remain a secret between them. In the stone, Arthur can see and hear those who divulge the story of King Arthur. King Arthur's story often mirrors and portends events in Arthur's life;at one point Arthur realizes that the king looks like him but can not fathom what this might mean. This compelling novel is a quick read thanks to completely real characters and plenty of action. Medieval life is evoked effectively through vivid descriptions, deft characterizations and dialogue, and archaic vocabulary with a helpful word list that appears in the back of the book. Young adults interested in King Arthur or the Middle Ages will find this novel a marvelous read, as would teachers looking for a medieval historical fiction tie-in. Glossary. VOYA CODES:5Q 2P J S (Hard to imagine it being any better written;For the YA with a special interest in the subject;Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9;Senior High,defined as grades 10 to 12). 2000, Scholastic, 368p, $17.95. Ages 12 to 18. Reviewer:Rachelle Bilz—VOYA, December 2001 (Vol. 24, No. 5)
KLIATT
This was first published in Great Britain, to great acclaim, as yet another book about the Arthurian legend. It is set apart by its setting and the attention to detail about life in 1199, at a manor house on the Welsh border just at the death of Richard Coeur de Lion and the beginning of the reign of his brother King John. As a complicated plot conveyance, the 13-year-old Arthur of 1199 is given a seeing stone by Merlin, and in this stone Arthur is able to see the life of the Arthur of legend, although it isn't clear to him at the beginning just what he is seeing. Slowly the identifications of the people in the stone are revealed to Arthur, including his own and Merlin's. This first part of the trilogy ends as 14-year-old Arthur discovers the truth about his parentage and prepares to set off on the 4th Crusade to Jerusalem. Crossley-Holland comes to this work with great devotion to historical accuracy. Therefore, the 340 pages (long for a "children's book") are filled with details of all kinds: foods eaten, songs sung, pigs butchered, and so on. Add this 1199 detail to the parallel story as it unfolds in Arthur's obsidian stone (the basic myth of Tintagel, King Uther and the sword in the stone that reveals Arthur as the rightful King of England) and this becomes a serious literary effort. American YAs who don't know much about English history or the Arthurian myth would probably do well to start someplace else as an introduction; but those with the necessary background will find Crossley-Holland's work an engrossing reading experience. (Arthur trilogy, book one) KLIATT Codes: J—Recommended for junior high school students. 2000, Scholastic, 340p., $17.95. Ages 13 to 15.Reviewer: Claire Rosser; September 2001 (Vol. 35 No. 5)
School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-Kevin Crossley-Holland's story (Scholastic, 2001) about medieval British life combines the legend of King Arthur with sensually rich details of 12th century reality. Arthur de Caldicot is a 13-year-old boy, son of Lord John, whose manor includes a household of four children, an elderly Welsh grandmother, Lord John's wife, and assorted servants, as well as the village of farmers and laborers, Oliver the priest and Arthur's teacher, and Sir John's often visiting yet mysterious friend, Merlin. It is Merlin who gives Arthur the seeing stone in which he spies an earlier Arthur. As the story progresses, Arthur de Caldicot's identity melds with that of the legendary Arthur. Michael Maloney's reading is rich and compelling. Each character speaks with his or her own tones and accents, from Arthur's very young sister to gruff Sir William, Sir John's elder brother. The book is divided into 100 chapters, each with its own setting and climax, but the novel moves in a unified and irrepressible path toward Arthur's destiny, replete with his extraction of the sword from its stone lodging. This book makes excellent curriculum support material as well as welcome free reading. The excellent audio version invites a wide audience into this rich literary experience, and Maloney's performance breathes immediacy into every nuance of plot and character. -Francisca Goldsmith, Berkeley Public Library, CA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
In Great Britain, this first volume in a projected Arthurian trilogy was shortlisted for the Whitbread Award, the Guardian Children's Book Prize, and won the Bronze medal, Smarties Prize. On the level of medieval fantasy, it works very well indeed. The 13-year-old Arthur of this tale lives in the year 1199, the time of Richard Coeur de Lion, at Caldicot, and someone named Merlin also lives within the castle grounds. Merlin has given Arthur a piece of obsidian in which Arthur scries glimpses of another history: of Uther and Gorlois, of Sir Kay and a sword, and of a boy who shares his name and his countenance. He does not know these stories, but he is obsessed with reading and writing, with being named a squire, and with why his older brother hates him so. Arthur is a most engaging companion and a plenitude of historical facts about life in 12th-century England is imparted, but not a whole lot happens. At the end of this doorstopper all we know is that Arthur is not who he seems, nor is Merlin, and that his quest is about to begin. One cannot help but compare it to T.H. White's Once and Future King, and one might be far more inclined to put that in the hands of youngsters eager for legend. (Fiction. 11-15) $100,000 ad/promo
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780545232081
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/1/2010
  • Series: Arthur Trilogy , #1
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 593,544
  • Age range: 12 years
  • File size: 840 KB

Table of Contents

1. Arthur and Merlin 1
2. A Terrible Secret 3
3. Into the Bullring 5
4. My Black King Finger 13
5. Duty 14
6. Coeur De Lion 18
7. My Tailbone 21
8. Little Luke and Pigeon Pie 23
9. Tumber Hill 25
10. The Sleeping King 30
11. Jack Words 35
12. Fever 36
13. Knowing and Understanding 38
14. Jumpers and My Writing Room 44
15. Nine 48
16. Three Sorrows, Three Fears, Three Joys 50
17. Tempest's Teeth 51
18. Just Jack 52
19. Nain in Armor 53
20. Obsidian 54
21. Lance and Longbow 57
22. Long Live the King! 63
23. The Messenger's Complaint 66
24. Royal Brothers 68
25. Ice and Fire 73
26. Merlin 74
27. Muffled 77
28. The Peddler 78
29. Luke 81
30. Poor Stupid 82
31. The Seeing Stone 90
32. On My Own 93
33. Nutshells and Good Earth 94
34. Desire 101
35. A Flyting 106
36. Hallowe'en 109
37. Passion 121
38. Strange Saints 126
39. Uther Explains 128
40. Schoolmen, Scribes, and Artists 130
41. Mouthfuls of Air 135
42. Foster Child 137
43. Crossing Places 139
44. Luke's Illness 140
45. Pains 143
46. An Unfair Song 144
47. A New Bow 146
48. Ice 150
49. Baptism 151
50. My Name 153
51. Hooter and Worse 156
52. My Quest 162
53. Brother 165
54. Between Breath and Breath 166
55. Hares and Angels 170
56. Pots of Tears 174
57. The Half=Dead King 175
58. Lady Alice and My Tailbone 177
59. Grace and Tom 181
60. Fifth Son 191
61. The Goshawk 192
62. Thin Ice 196
63. Devil's Berries 200
64. Rot and Bad Blood 203
65. The Art of Forgetting 205
66. Hot and Important 207
67. The Gates of Paradise 208
68. Words for Luke 211
69. Despair 213
70. The Manor Court 215
71. Butterflies 226
72. Merlin and the Archbishop 228
73. The Acorn 231
74. Spelling 232
75. The Pope's Proclamation 234
76. Nothing's Not Worth Hiding 238
77. Foul Stroke 243
78. Not Yet 250
79. The Archbishop's Messenger 252
80. The Knight in the Yellow Dress 256
81. Tanwen's Secret 260
82. King John's Christmas Present 267
83. Nine Gifts 270
84. The Sword in the Stone 272
85. Splatting and Sword=Pulling 275
86. Riding to London 281
87. Christmas 283
88. Sir Kay 292
89. Fourth Son 294
90. The Turning of the Century 297
91. Lightly and Fiercely 299
92. The Whole Armor 302
93. King of Britain 304
94. Blood=Truths 309
95. The Son of Uther 317
96. Blood on the Snow 321
97. Unhooded 327
98. At Once 330
99. What Matters 334
100. Song of the North Star 338
Word List 339
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 28 )
Rating Distribution

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(23)

4 Star

(3)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 28 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2007

    Watch the age of the reader- Not a read aloud

    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.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2006

    Historical, but Intriguing and Captivating

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 5, 2005

    The Seeing Stone

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2001

    A taste of another time

    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!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 3, 2013

    ., bmjg gmjlmaipititiip

    Ovmiovlipsg

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  • Posted May 30, 2011

    Great

    Amazing book, I am 11 and its amazing.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2006

    A Really Great King Arthur Book

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 14, 2006

    'You'll never own anything as precious as this' Merlin

    Whether it is gutting pigs or herding bulls, Arthur de Caldicot knows how to do it. Arthur is boy living during the Middle Ages. The Seeing Stone, a novel, by Kevin Crossly-Holland is actually Arthur¿s journal. Arthur is a thirteen-year-old boy waiting for his father to tell what he is to do for his life. Will become a squire or become a schoolman. What ever it is, you will have to find out for your self. While sitting on Tumber hill, a place in the book, Merlin gives Arthur a slate of obsidian. When Arthur warms the obsidian in his hands, he can see miraculous things happen in the stone. It turns into like a T.V. Arthur watches strange things happen to the boy in the stone. Then suddenly he finds out the boy in the stone his himself. The strangest thing is though, the things that happen to Arthur-in-the-stone happen to Arthur de Caldicot, but in a different way. I recommend this book to any one twelve or older. This book does have some mature themes in it, parents you are advised. Otherwise, this is a great book. So what will happen to Arthur? Will he become a boring old schoolman? On the other hand, will he become a gallant knight in the king¿s court? You will have to read this book to find out!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 15, 2005

    Hello!!

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2004

    An Okay Read

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2004

    Absolutly Wonderful!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    This book is definatly the beginning of a wonderful series

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2003

    Can't wait to read it again

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 28, 2003

    A Great Book

    It was a great book! Full of adventure and action. I would rcamened it to anyone.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 15, 2003

    THIS BOOK IS SO GOOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    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!!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 29, 2003

    THE VERY BEST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    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!!!!!!**********

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2003

    Fanstatic!!!!!!!!

    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!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2003

    Finished this in two days!!! Really heartwarming!

    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!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2003

    Great Book

    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!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2003

    This book is awesome!

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 3, 2002

    One of the greatest books I've read

    This book is soo good!

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 28 Customer Reviews

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