John Ciardi's name is well-known, so is his poetic style, which has its enthusiastic supporters and its foes. This is a minor epic about a peaceable kingdom plagued by a too conscientious knight determined to prove himself a hero. The satirical legend has been overworked; this one doesn't offer much fresh humor. For our taste, the verses seem clumsy, the frequent use of parenthetical phrases and interjections make them awkward to follow and difficult to recite. Edward Gorey's characteristic pen and ink drawings do, however, add a sense of Gothic wit.