'Traitor! Now is your death-time upon you!' You may think you know all about King Arthur, the young boy who plucked the sword from the stone. You've probably heard stories about Merlin's magic powers and the Knights of the round table...these are the stories we learn at school. But they are just the beginning. Here are tales of human sacrifice, dragons, sword fights to the death, noble quests, tragedy and great courage: this the real world of King Arthur. Are you brave enough to enter? Includes exclusive material: In the Backstory you can test your knowledge of the legends and find out which Knight of the Round Table you most resemble. Vintage Children's Classics is a twenty-first century classics list aimed at 8-12 year olds and the adults in their lives. Discover timeless favourites from The Jungle Book and Alice's Adventures in Wonderland to modern classics such as The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.
Original publication date
Come closer then, and listen.
So begins The Road to
It's been years since I last read these classic Arthurian stories. She remains very faithful to the originals (at least, as faithful as one can be to a tradition that has so many variants), without the major reinventing that has become so fashionable these days. Arthurian stories are always interesting to adapt for younger audiences because of all the lusty scandals, but she handles these well, not shying away from the events but not making them explicit, either.
Sutcliff's stories are peopled with individuals who live and breathe. Nimue is mysterious rather than sinister, Guinevere, Arthur, and especially Lancelot are rendered believable and even understandable in their everlasting love triangle, and many of the other knights are given little touches of personality that add an extra dimension to their characters. This volume will probably be my children's first serious foray into these stories, and I couldn't think of a better place for them to start. Recommended.