Monday, April 14, 2008

Sword of the Rightful King

[lhs_star_rg3.50.gif]Yolen, Jane. 2003. Sword of the Rightful King.

Sword of the Rightful King: A Novel of King Arthur by Jane Yolen is a more realistic, less legendary presentation of King Arthur. What do I mean? Well, it shows the behind-the-scenes drama of Arthur's court, Arthur's kingdom. It shows in some ways how those legends got started--some directly, some indirectly. Merlinnus, for example, created and fabricated the Sword in the Stone. It was a deliberate hoax on his part. A way to fool the people, manipulate them in such a way that the doubters of Arthur would be convinced that he was DESTINED to be king. Arthur was in on the secret. As was Merlinnus' new apprentice, Gawen. This angle removes some of the glamour, some of the glory from the story, in my opinion. But it doesn't necessarily mean that the story is any less compelling. Another legend debunked is Gawaine and the Green Knight.

Told from multiple view points, the reader is able to get into the hearts and minds of Arthur, Merlinnus, Gawaine, Morgause, Gawen, etc. The reader is able to get the full story, the full spectrum of what's going on in this turbulent spring and summer as they prepare for the Solstice.

I enjoyed this book. But I didn't enjoy it as much as The Sword in the Stone. It may be more realistic, more practical, but I like my legends to be legendary. So it's a good book, an enjoyable book, but not a great book.


© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Ana S. said...

It sounds interesting. I like the idea of exploring the legend from a more realistic angle, but I do know what you mean about liking your legends to be legendary. I've just finished a non-fiction book about Arthur, and as fascinating as all the historical clues and speculations can be, they never live up to the myth.

Unknown said...

I like my legends to be legendary too for the most part, although there are some great more gritty and realistic versions out there. The Warlord Chronciles about King Arthur are amazing and focus more on the battles than the magical goings on and I love that series.

Jeane said...

It sounds interesting. I don't think anything could beat The Sword and the Stone for me, but I've like many Yolen books before, so this one holds good promise.

Anonymous said...

ok, i read it for an english class i'm doing this year, and it is NOT a good book. i know it sounds good, but it's not a good book. i'm sorry, but there were too many twists at the end. it was boring throughout, and it really sucked. sorry Jane, i know you worked hard on it, but all of my other friends who are taking the same class as me, and we didn't like it. sorry.