THE KNIGHT OF THE LION by Constance Retold by Heatt


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Following the example of medieval storytellers, Miss Heatt combines and reworks traditional material from several sources to suit a modern young audience. Yvain, rejected by wife Laudine for not returning after a year and a day, retreats into the woods. A lion befriends him, traveling with the knight and helping him fight in times of trouble. Ultimately he returns to the enchanted spring, fights cousin Gawain (although each is shielding his identity), and regains Laudine's affection. Like Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (1967), The Knight of the Lion moves from the stately Arthurian court to adventure with genuine suspense (one chapter ends with Yvain trapped on a moat bridge between locked gates). And the accoutrements -- an enchanted spring, a beautiful queen, a ring to make him invisible, a broken promise and subsequent exile, the eventual return -- are both familiar and fresh. The feminine mystique that dominates Chretion de Troyes' telling is toned down without tampering with Laudine's dignified change of heart or the chivalric core, and the lion, who would have been less credible from a less capable narrator, is an ideal companion to the penitent. Joseph Low's illustrations, rough black contours with partially filled watery grays, convey the sturdy delicacy of the text. Poised -- for special re-quest readers primarily.

Pub Date: Sept. 16th, 1968
Publisher: Crowell