The Squire's Tale (The Squire's Tales Series #1)
  • The Squire's Tale (The Squire's Tales Series #1)
  • The Squire's Tale (The Squire's Tales Series #1)

The Squire's Tale (The Squire's Tales Series #1)

4.7 61
by Gerald Morris
     
 

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Growing up an orphan in an isolated cottage in the woods, young Terence never expected much adventure. But upon the arrival of Gawain, his life takes a surprising turn. Gawain is destined to become one of the most famous knights of the Round Table. Terence becomes Gawain's squire and leaves his secluded life for one of adventure in King Arthur's court. In no time

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Overview

Growing up an orphan in an isolated cottage in the woods, young Terence never expected much adventure. But upon the arrival of Gawain, his life takes a surprising turn. Gawain is destined to become one of the most famous knights of the Round Table. Terence becomes Gawain's squire and leaves his secluded life for one of adventure in King Arthur's court. In no time Terence is plunged into the exciting world of kings, wizards, knights, wars, magic spells, dwarfs, damsels in distress, and enchanters. As he adjusts to his new life, he proves to be not only an able squire but also a keen observer of the absurdities around him. His duties take him on a quest with Gawain and on a journey of his own, to solve the mystery of his parentage. Filled with rapier-sharp wit, jousting jocularity, and chuckleheaded knights, this is King Arthur's court as never before experienced.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Well-drawn characters, excellent, snappy dialogue, detailed descriptions of medieval life, and a dry wit put a new spin on this engaging tale." Booklist, ALA

"The author leaves some tantalizing questions, and the tale is filled with knightly derring-do." Horn Book

"A 14-year-old boy lives the adventure of being a knight's squire in this novel based on the legends of Camelot. Terence seems a typical youth of medieval England, except for the rumors that he has faeries for parents and a guardian who remembers' the future. When Sir Gawain offers Terence the chance to become his squire, and to teach him how to become a knight, the lad agrees and soon the pair are on the road. Morris packs his story with plenty of familiar faces, including King Arthur, Merlin, and the Lady of the Lake, and the narrative is constructed of events drawn from Arthurian legend. There are plenty of sword fights and flashes of sorcery to delight readers, while the plot moves at a swift clip. Although the tale ends long before Terence earns his knighthood, he does learn the true identity of his parents, especially his father, Ganscotter the Enchanter. An author's note discusses the sources for the novel, providing plenty of additional territory for budding Arthurians to explore." Kirkus Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Jousting, questing and otherwise comporting themselves in the usual fashion of Arthurian knights, Sir Gawain and his companions also exhibit emotional sensitivity and a goofy sense of humor in this medieval comedy. In his first book for young readers, Morris follows Terence, an orphan raised by a magical hermit, as he becomes squire to young Gawain. Through a series of battles and adventures, Terence remains true to his lord. As Gawain learns to love women for their souls instead of for their pretty faces, Terence discovers he has special talents of his own. A knight seems to gain honor by racking up a high body count, and the battle scenes are often funny; for example, Gawain earns his place at the Round Table by killing one rude, hungry and murderous knight while armed only with an empty stew pot. Although women do not quest or battle, Morris refreshes gender roles: Terence is a great cook, ugly women find love and Sir Gawain even cries. This Arthurian adventure is all heartand humor. Ages 10-14. (Apr.)
VOYA - Kim Carter
One day fourteen-year-old Terence encounters Gawain, a young man eating a rabbit from one of Terence's snares. After Gawain teaches Terence how to shoot with a bow and arrow, Terence invites him home to dinner. There Gawain is recognized by Trevisant (the hermit who raised Terence and who lives backwards through time) as Sir Gawain, the Maiden's Knight, and the man for whom Terence will serve as squire. Thus begins a series of adventures for Terence and Gawain as they make their way to King Arthur's court, where Gawain is indeed knighted, and sent out on a quest. Encounters with all manner of idiosyncratic characters, including the bloodthirsty maiden Alisoun, lovesick Sir Pelleas, Gawain's trecherous aunt Morgan LeFay, the honorable Sir Marhault and Sir Tor, faery Robin, and the ancient and wise Ganscotter the Enchanter, tell the tales of how Gawain comes to be "The Maiden's Knight," "one whose task is to defend the fairer sex, with courage and honor and with discrimination," and how Terence learns the truth of his ancestry. While exceptional only in its focus on the lesser known Sir Gawain (a knight the author contends Sir Thomas Mallory wrongfully demoted), there is enough silliness, bloodshed, and moral message for The Squire's Tale to serve as an introduction to tales of King Arthur's knights for younger readers. VOYA Codes: 3Q 3P M J (Readable without serious defects, Will appeal with pushing, Middle School-defined as grades 6 to 8 and Junior High-defined as grades 7 to 9).
KLIATT
This is a rather simple yet enjoyable tale of fourteen-year-old Terence's discovery of self amidst the world of King Arthur's court. As an orphan raised by a wise old hermit in the forest, Terence has no idea what his family history is or where he fits in the world. His destiny becomes clearer when Sir Gawain, a renowned knight of the Round Table, passes through the forest and takes Terence on as his squire. Together they embark on a series of adventures where they encounter enchantresses and cross over into the magical "other world" for a while. In the end, Sir Gawain learns that true love comes not from what we see on the surface, but from what we feel from deep within. Terence learns that although he must accept that the roots of his identity come from the "other world," he is completely in charge of choosing where he will lead his life, and how. Although Morris has successfully created endearing characters in Terence and Sir Gawain, the story line itself seems to be quite haphazard. Despite the Author's Note clarifying that each of the adventures is taken from legend, this book cries out for some sort of thread within the story line that truly links one adventure to the next. KLIATT Codes: J—Recommended for junior high school students. 1998, Dell/Laurel-Leaf, 212p, 18cm, $4.50. Ages 13 to 15. Reviewer: Claire M. Dignan; Woburn, MA, July 2000 (Vol. 34 No. 4)
Children's Literature - Suzanne Karr
Captivatingly adventurous, with a dash of humor, this Arthurian romp takes amusing liberties with the many legends of Sir Gawain, Knight of the Round Table. Rather than passively retelling these myths, Morris focuses on a character entirely of his own creation, Gawain's inventive squire. Terence, this mysterious orphan, has more than a few hidden gifts, from the visionary to the culinary arts! Terence is an invaluable aid to his master, while completing his own quest of self-discovery. Chock-full of jousts, questing, enchantment and damsels often more distressing than in distress, this novel affectionately presents the difficulties of knighthood and the importance of spirit and intelligence over physical strength.
School Library Journal
Gr 5-9-Terence, the squire in question, is not Chaucer's but a 14 year old of unknown parentage in Arthur's England, raised in the woods by a wizard who can see the future clearly but is foggy about the past. Gawain, not yet of the Round Table, comes across the boy and, needing a squire, takes him along. The story then follows the nobleman through Terence's eyes. New adventures weave through the familiar, threaded on the story of the loathly damsel, here called the "ugly woman," one of the strongest of the Gawain legends. The entertaining action moves rapidly through encounters with fools and villains to Gawain earning knighthood and the love of a smart and worthy woman. His squire, who has recurring visions and contact with an interesting shape-changer, eventually learns the mystery of his own birth and his destiny. Overall, this is a good story, well told, both original and true to the legend of Gawain, counteracting his lesser position in Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur. Readers who savor swashbuckling tales of knighthood will enjoy this adventure. Librarians will find a great choice of comic and breathtaking quests for booktalks.-Helen Gregory, Grosse Pointe Public Library, MI
Horn Book Magazine
An altogether different view of the feats of the often-vilified Sir Gawain, nephew of King Arthur, casts the famous knight in a more flattering light. Told from the point of view of the boy Terence, who is acquired accidentally as Sir Gawain's squire, we observe Sir Gawain's strength of character, kindness to animals, chivalry toward ladies, and subversive sense of humor. Many of Sir Gawain's well-known adventures, including the story of Pelleas and Ettard, the loathly lady, and his friendship with Sir Tor (although not the story of the Green Knight), are woven into the narrative-but with some twists. The author has also taken some liberties with the standard Arthurian canon by the addition of imaginary figures, such as a great magician, Ganscotter, superior even to Merlin, and Terence himself, revealed finally, to his own surprise, to be a powerful sorcerer as well. The author leaves some tantalizing unanswered questions, and the tale is filled with knightly derring-do. Both Sir Gawain and Terence are remarkably engaging figures, holding our attention and affection.
Kirkus Reviews
A 14-year-old boy lives the adventure of being a knight's squire in this novel based on the legends of Camelot. Terence seems a typical youth of medieval England, except for the rumors that he has faeries for parents and a guardian who "remembers" the future. When Sir Gawain offers Terence the chance to become his squire, and to teach him how to become a knight, the lad agrees and soon the pair are on the road. Morris packs his story with plenty of familiar faces, including King Arthur, Merlin, and the Lady of the Lake, and the narrative is constructed of events drawn from Arthurian legend. There are plenty of sword fights and flashes of sorcery to delight readers, while the plot moves at a swift clip. Although the tale ends long before Terence earns his knighthood, he does learn the true identity of his parents, especially his father, Ganscotter the Enchanter. An author's note discusses the sources for the novel, providing plenty of additional territory for budding Arthurians to explore. (Fiction. 12-14)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780618737437
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
04/28/2008
Series:
Squire's Tales Series, #1
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
224
Sales rank:
301,063
Product dimensions:
5.13(w) x 7.63(h) x 0.54(d)
Age Range:
10 - 14 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"Well-drawn characters, excellent, snappy dialogue, detailed descriptions of medieval life, and a dry wit put a new spin on this engaging tale." Booklist, ALA

"The author leaves some tantalizing questions, and the tale is filled with knightly derring-do." Horn Book

"A 14-year-old boy lives the adventure of being a knight's squire in this novel based on the legends of Camelot. Terence seems a typical youth of medieval England, except for the rumors that he has faeries for parents and a guardian who remembers' the future. When Sir Gawain offers Terence the chance to become his squire, and to teach him how to become a knight, the lad agrees and soon the pair are on the road. Morris packs his story with plenty of familiar faces, including King Arthur, Merlin, and the Lady of the Lake, and the narrative is constructed of events drawn from Arthurian legend. There are plenty of sword fights and flashes of sorcery to delight readers, while the plot moves at a swift clip. Although the tale ends long before Terence earns his knighthood, he does learn the true identity of his parents, especially his father, Ganscotter the Enchanter. An author's note discusses the sources for the novel, providing plenty of additional territory for budding Arthurians to explore." Kirkus Reviews

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