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KING ARTHUR AND THE LEGENDS OF CAMELOT by Molly Perham

KING ARTHUR AND THE LEGENDS OF CAMELOT

By Molly Perham (Adaptor) , Julek Heller (Illustrator)

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1993
ISBN: 0-670-84990-1
Publisher: Viking

 Once again the great story is told: Merlin prophesies; Arthur pulls one sword from a stone and receives another from the Lady of the Lake; the knights disperse to seek the Grail; Arthur falls to Mordred's spear and is borne to Avalon. Women's roles are particularly equivocal here: Guinevere is good but weak (``Arthur was a great king...but he was not a great lover as Lancelot was''); Morgan Le Fay is evil but steadfast in carrying out her vow to avenge her father's death; Tristram is killed not by King Mark but by his own wife's jealousy; Elaine's dying wish is that her corpse be used to inflame Lancelot with guilt. Perham's style is formal and distant, emphasizing chivalrous behavior and courtly graces. Grand knights have at one another in Heller's color illustrations, while misty pencil drawings add magic and, sometimes, feeling to other scenes. Browsers may enjoy the dramatic pictures, but the book is uncomfortably designed--heavy in the hand, with tiny type on coated paper. Not a significant improvement on Riordan's Tales of King Arthur (1982) or other standard renditions. (Folklore. 14+)