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The Arthur Trilogy #3: King of the Middle March

The Arthur Trilogy #3: King of the Middle March

4.0 10
by Kevin Crossley-Holland

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Kevin Crossley-Holland's award-winning Arthur trilogy comes to its triumphant and moving close -- now in paperback! Arthur de Caldicot waits eagerly in Venice for the start of the Fourth Crusade. But it's now, when Arthur's future should be clearest, that he feels the most doubt. Jealousies and greed threaten the Crusade, leading him to question its true mission.


Kevin Crossley-Holland's award-winning Arthur trilogy comes to its triumphant and moving close -- now in paperback! Arthur de Caldicot waits eagerly in Venice for the start of the Fourth Crusade. But it's now, when Arthur's future should be clearest, that he feels the most doubt. Jealousies and greed threaten the Crusade, leading him to question its true mission. Back in England, his engagement to Winnie remains uncertain, as his search for his birth mother is stymied by his vicious father. And his seeing stone shows him the last days of King Arthur's court -- a great dream destroyed, but also a glorious legend rising from the ruins. Likewise in this book, Arthur becomes a man worthy of his kingly name.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Third in the Arthur trilogy, King of the Middle March by Kevin Crossley-Holland begins amidst attempts to launch a European crusade against the Saracens. Young Arthur-who views the actions of the legendary king through the magic stone of the launch title, The Seeing Stone-struggles to understand why Saracens are sworn enemies and to deal with his tempestuous father. In a starred review of the series debut, PW called Arthur a "clever, ethical and passionate hero." Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
The third installment of the Arthur trilogy completes Arthur's journey from boy to man and ties all the loose ends that have kept reader's attention in the past two books. It has all the verve and action that is missing from book two. Arthur de Caldicot, recently knighted, finally embarks on the Fourth Crusade with his antagonistic father Sir William, Lord Stephen De Holt, his foster brother Sir Serle, and loyal friend and squire Bertie. Recently betrothed to the winsome Winnie De Verdon, Arthur is loathe to leave her and the comfort of home but anxious to take up the cross of God and battle the evil Saracens. A layover in Venice to secure sailing vessels and finances from the Doge and a battle to liberate the people of Zara reveals to Arthur that there are shades of gray in war and that battle is dirty and bloody, and that evil is not so easily defined. Arthur still carries with him his obsidian stone that he turns to for comfort and guidance. As the idyllic era of Camelot begins to unravel with the betrayal of Sir Lancelot and the vengeance of King Arthur it parallels events in Arthur's world where glorious deeds and altruistic motives are often mired in greed and self service. The search for his mother still consumes Arthur and an encounter with his father comes to a tragic ending. This multi-layered novel rich in medieval detail and with strong, well-defined characters is brilliantly written. The story of the two Arthurs is expertly interwoven and readers are rewarded with an exciting adventure with a satisfying ending. Arthur De Caldicot comes of age and rightly takes his place as a fair and noble king. 2004, Arthur A Levine Books, Ages 14 up.
—Beverley Fahey
Crossley-Holland concludes his Arthur Trilogy with this magnificently written medieval historical fiction blended with Arthurian legend. In 1201, Arthur accompanies Sir Stephen to Venice to requisition boats for the Fourth Crusade and is finally knighted. Arthur's keen observations and insight allow the reader to see and hear the sounds of foreign lands and varied peoples, lending the novel credence and immediacy. Arthur's seeing stone, a gift from Merlin, continues to reveal to him the tales of King Arthur and his knights. The knights' adventures frequently parallel those of Arthur, as do the circumstances of King Arthur's life, such as his parentage. Arthur gleans knowledge both about himself and life in general from these visions. Rich characterizations, glorious descriptions, and authentic vocabulary (a glossary appears at the back of the book) effectively evoke medieval life for the reader. Arthur's feelings for his family and his betrothed echo those of all teenagers. His fear of battle and worries about being a good knight also reflect his commonality with other young adults. Especially timely are Arthur's observations about the Saracens and their religion; he does not understand why people use religion as a reason to kill each other, an unusual sentiment for a Crusader. Short chapters and lots of action make it a quick read, although readers who have not read the first two books in the trilogy will be somewhat lost. Young adults interested in the Middle Ages, the Crusades, and King Arthur will find this series enthralling to read. 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 7to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2004, Arthur A. Levine/Scholastic, 407p.; Glossary., Ages 12 to 18.
—Rachelle Bilz
After two and half years, the final installment of Crossley-Holland's Arthur trilogy is complete. Picking up after Book Two ends, the Fourth Crusade (1202) and the legend of King Arthur are interwoven into the story of now 16-year-old Arthur de Caldecot, who is being called by his real name, Arthur de Gortanore. Book Three offers little summary of the previous books and instead begins in the middle of Arthur's service to Lord Stephen as the Fourth Crusade musters in Venice, Italy. Arthur becomes a knight and learns what it means to be a part of a large multinational army. But the business of preparing for battle is not as honorable as he thinks it should be; and when his father Sir William de Gortanore arrives, Arthur is further troubled to be related to such a disagreeable man. There is infighting among the troops, including a disturbing scene in which a young boy is trussed and put into a catapult, and personal conflict involving Arthur's difficult father. Arthur still carries his obsidian stone and follows the life of the legendary King Arthur, the search for the Holy Grail and the final battles that destroy Camelot. Along with Arthur is Bertie, a 13-year-old squire; Serle, Arthur's older cousin; and Simona, the Venetian shipbuilder's daughter. It is not until the end of the story that the mysteries surrounding Arthur's parentage, which are significant in Book Two, are resolved and the surprising connection to King Arthur is revealed. (Arthur Trilogy, Book 3). KLIATT Codes: J*—Exceptional book, recommended for junior high school students. 2004, Scholastic, 432p., Ages 12 to 15.
—Janis Flint-Ferguson
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up-A glorious and uplifting conclusion to the trilogy. As before, Arthur de Caldicot tells his story, which this time finds the teen on an island off the coast of Venice waiting for a Crusade to begin. He is full of both wonder at his surroundings and the multinational band of men and anxiety over what is expected of him. Arthur is knighted and takes his oath to defend God seriously, but he is conflicted to learn that the Saracens are educated and devout people not unlike the Europeans. At the forefront of his thoughts is Merlin's admonition to keep asking questions. When money and politics wreak havoc with the plans for the Crusade, Arthur becomes disillusioned, and he faces a crisis of faith when the Venetians bring the Crusaders into an internal conflict to siege the city of Zara. Concurrently, Sir Stephen, Arthur's lord, is wounded and must be taken home to England, and because of duty, Arthur takes him and leaves the Crusade. Parallel to Arthur's own quest is that of legendary King Arthur and the Grail knights, whom Arthur watches in his seeing stone. He watches as Camelot is thrown into chaos, and he learns that not all battle ends in glory and that treachery exists even there. In a return home at Easter that is full of symbolism, Arthur finds answers to lifelong questions. Whether readers are familiar with the two previous Arthur sagas or not, they will be gratified by the majestic resolution to the parallel stories of Sir Arthur's coming of age and King Arthur's demise.-Cheri Dobbs, Detroit Country Day Middle School, Beverly Hills, MI Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Concluding a trilogy that began with The Seeing Stone (2001) and continued with At the Crossing-Places (2002), this handsome, beautifully written volume weaves several threads into a magnificent whole. Young Arthur de Caldicot journeys on the Fourth Crusade in 1201, observes the spectacle of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table in the seeing stone Merlin gave him, and returns home, having grown into his name, as Merlin has said he must. It's a rich and wise tale, full of moral questioning: Is poverty in God's plan? Are all Saracens evil? Do innocent and helpless people always get caught up in war? Mentors along the way help Arthur to see and learn, and as Arthur returns to his inherited estate Catmole, curiously similar in name to Camelot, he knows he must create a humane fellowship among the people of his manor. Superb writing, prodigious research, a wealth of detail, and fine bookmaking make these the best tales of the Middle Ages for young readers, an epic they will hate to see end. (cast of characters, author's note, word list, calendar) (Fiction. 9-14)

Product Details

Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
Arthur Trilogy , #3
Sold by:
Scholastic, Inc.
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File size:
582 KB
Age Range:
12 - 18 Years

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King of the Middle March (Arthur Trilogy #3) 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It was a very dissapointing book compared to the other two in the series.I expected something better.It doesn't have a good plot.It has a lot of boring parts.It doesn't really capture your imagination like the other two books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
While reading this book i felt that even in the begining the author did not know where to take this book
Wing3 More than 1 year ago
Crusade is a brave and bold choice of destination for the Arthur trology to end. And as the crusade ends in a farce at best, a tragedy at worst, it a humble place to reboot as well. Let us not forget the Round Table. As it is not merely for boys to grow up. It is for human being to relate to each other. Personall and globall. Long live the King ( and the Queen as applicably now) Lovely vivid for boys, girls n all those who's young at heart:) Wing WW
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Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was probably one of the best about king arthur i ever read, i liked how it had, in a way, two king arthurs but both in different times. It is a great book with comedy, action, and a bit of romance. This book has many twists and turns that keep the reader into the book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It was fabulous and I love the way it displayed the crusades and his reaction to everything. After reading the first two books, I fell in love with Arthur and his story, so this one only made it better. You could watch Arthur grow into who he is-- into a king. When it ended, I wanted it to go on-- I still want it to go on! Sheer Delight. p.s. Gabby is the coolest. Seriously, she is.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book, in conjunction with the other 2 Arthur books was one of the best trilogys i've ever read. the way this last book wrapped thing up (ie:finding his mother, inheireting catmole, finishing the seeingstone story, ect.).over all, this novel was an excellent read and i hope i can find more books like it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was just as great as the other two, and I was quite happy with the result. Now that the trilogy is finished I don't know what I'll do. But go read this book! And the other two in the trilogy; you definitely won't be dissapointed.