PARSIFAL’S PAGE by Gerald Morris

PARSIFAL’S PAGE

Age Range: 10 - 15
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Morris (The Savage Damsel and the Dwarf, 2000, etc.) serves up another engaging take on Arthurian legend. Discarding the religious accretions overlaying the Grail quest, he renders it both simpler and more mysterious. Parsifal, who appeared briefly as a rustic strongman in earlier Morris tales, must now mold himself into the Round Table's greatest knight. Yet Parsifal's transformation is secondary to that of Piers who, longing for French courtly glamour, rejects his father's efforts to teach him smithcraft, renames himself Pierre, and latches onto a passing knight as his page. When his first knight proves a disappointment, Piers reluctantly engages to tutor the uncouth Parsifal in courtesy. While Piers is astonished at Parsifal's knightly prowess, the page's snobbish insistence on strict propriety leads his master to disaster. Cast aside, Piers embarks on another quest, to redeem Parsifal's failure—and his own. While the story stands on its own, it leads to predictable territory for fans of the series, as Piers is guided by Sir Gawain, Squire Terence, and other familiar faces to value true honor and courage. Morris deftly blends bloody clashes of arms and mysterious enchantments with the many flavors (sweet, bitter, and spicy) of romance, generously seasoned with wry humor and a dash of unexpected pathos. An elegiac air overhangs Camelot, as if the gracious morning of chivalry yields to a more robust yet mundane day. In his witty Author's Note, Morris confesses that he doesn't know what the tale means; but he loves it. So will the reader. (Fiction. 10-15)

Pub Date: March 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-618-05509-6
Page count: 240pp
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 2001




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