The Story Of King Arthur And His Knights

Our rating: ****

The story of how King Arthur drew the sword from the anvil and became king, how he obtained the sword Excalibur and its magical sheath, and how he wore a magical cap of disguise to be near the Lady Guinevere and how they were eventually wed. Also the story of the evil plans of King Arthur’s sister, Queen Morgana le Fay, how Sir Pellias and Sir Gawaine were wed to Ladies of the Lake, and how King Arthur defeated the enchanter knight.

A pretty good book. It’s written in Old English and I learned at least one new word. It’s also somewhat sad in some places. I liked the stories with King Arthur best.

Men of Iron

Our rating: *****

This is the story of Myles Falworth, son of Lord Falworth, and how he rose from obscurity to high favor with the King. When Myles was eight years old, Lord Falworth gave aid to a knight who had been part of a plot to overthrow King Henry the IV. The King discovered this and confiscated Lord Falworth’s lands, reducing him to near-poverty, and, moreover, decreed him a traitor. Lord Falworth was forced to go into hiding, taking with him his wife and young son. The family found succor with a priest and remained in a small house in England. When Myles reached sixteen years old, his father decided to send him to Lord Mackworth (an old friend of Lord Falworth’s) with the request that he take Myles into his service as a squire. Lord Mackworth complied, at considerable danger to himself, and Myles came to live in Mackworth’s great castle. Years passed and Myles grew from a boy to a man and discovered that he was destined to play a high part in the politics of merry England. Soon King Henry himself knights Myles, and begins a chain of events that will effect many, many people.

Now, I put this in as older readers, but really it’s good for people as young as twelve. It’s written in the Old English style, which makes it a little difficult, but I love this book. There is so much action in it! My review sounds very dry and stuffy. From the first, Myles takes a stand for right and defends it with all his heart. Whether it’s challenging the right of a squire to order other squires about, or taking to the lists in a great tournament to redeem his father’s good name, you’re rooting for Myles all the way.

The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood

Our rating: *****

Robin Hood is an outlaw for shooting the king’s deer and killing one of the king’s men. This is the story of his life as an outlaw with his merry men. They all live in Sherwood Forest and try to correct the evils done by the Sheriff of Nottingham and the greedy clergy. There’s Little John, Will Scarlet, Will Stutley, Friar Tuck and Allan a Dale, stout yeomen all. An enjoyable story of daring deeds and true friendship.

I really enjoyed The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood. A clever story with wonderful humor and valorous characters (except the bad ones; they’re bad all through). The old English is hard to understand at first, but, as thou gettest deeper into the story, ye find thyself speaking it quite merrily. (See?) This book is a lot better if you hear it on audiobook, so I will include a link to it. Buy The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood, read by David Case from Amazon.

The Story of the Champions of the Round Table

Our rating: ****

This is the second book of Howard Pyle’s stories of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. This volume tells of Sir Launcelot of the Lake and his first meeting with King Arthur (where he is made a knight) and how he rode errant with Sir Lionel of Britian and Sir Ector, and the many adventures that befell them. Then Pyle tells the story of young Sir Tristram and how he suffered greatly from court plots. Finally, we meet Sir Percival, whose happy life is blighted by tragedy. Strewn with jousts, chivalry, fighting and adventure, this is a great book.

Trust me, my review doesn’t do the book justice. There is so much more to it! I really appreciate how Howard Pyle doesn’t even include the possibility of Sir Launcelot and Queen Guinevere having a “Camelot” type relationship. (Those who have seen Camelot the movie will understand what I mean.) I really enjoyed these books, and it was from them that I first learned that one could be “greatly be-dizzied” from a buffet on the head. This book is a classic from beginning to end, and it even has great illustrations! (That’s hard to beat.) Please read these books. A wonderful experience lies right inside the cover. All you have to do is open it and begin!

The Garden Behind the Moon

Our rating: ***

This is the story of David, a boy who is considered to be a Moon-Calf by everyone in the village. When David’s friend, Hans Krout the Cobbler, tells David about his journeys up the moon-path, David wants to try it too. After a few attempts, David travels up the moon path to the moon, meets the Man-in-the-Moon and the Moon Angel, and also spends time in the Gardens Behind the Moon. Finally, David is sent on a mission to recover the Wonder-Box and the Know-all Book from the Iron Man.

This is a fun, easy book. Well, maybe not so easy. Half the time I have no clue what Howard Pyle’s talking about. This would be a considered a classic sort of fairytale, because, of course, David marries the princess at the end and has exciting adventures, but it’s still a very enjoyable story. So get out there and enjoy it!