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EXCALIBUR by Tony Lee Kirkus Star


The Legend of King Arthur

by Tony Lee & illustrated by Sam Hart

Age Range: 12 & up

Pub Date: March 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-7636-4644-8
Publisher: Candlewick

The author of Outlaw: The Legend of Robin Hood (2009) proves once again that he’s a master of graphic-novel adaptations. Teaming up with illustrator and colorist Hart, his partner for the previous title, Lee negotiates the terrain of medieval legend with finesse, rendering it easily accessible for a new generation of readers. They touch on it all here: the sword in the stone, King Arthur and his round table, the love affair of Lancelot and Guinevere. The magical stylings of Merlin and Morgana are also explored, making for one of the more interesting story lines in a book of many. The quiet exposition of tangled court scheming as well as careful introductions of an overly-vowelled cast of characters break down intricate plotlines for young readers unlikely to be familiar with much of the story’s content. The author’s striking, urgent prose sets the pace of the action, but it’s Hart that truly shines here. The artist’s use of color guides the reader through the heights and valleys of action and emotion subtly, while his paneling is varied and interestingly designed, always providing the reader with a fresh perspective of the scene. Masterful adaptation of medieval material. (Graphic fantasy. 12 & up)