As you read the reviews on Bookshop Talk, you'll notice that every review is positive. No, we're not a bunch of literary
pushovers who love everything we pick up; we just see no point in telling you about a book if we didn't like it.

June 12, 2011

THE SQUIRE’S TALES SERIES by Gerald Morris, 1998-2010

The Squire's Tale (The Squire's Tales)Growing up an orphan in an isolated cottage in the woods, young Terence never expected much adventure. But upon the arrival of Gawain, his life takes a surprising turn. Gawain is destined to become one of the most famous knights of the Round Table. Terence becomes Gawain's squire and leaves his secluded life for one of adventure in King Arthur's court. In no time Terence is plunged into the exciting world of kings, wizards, knights, wars, magic spells, dwarfs, damsels in distress, and enchanters. As he adjusts to his new life, he proves to be not only an able squire but also a keen observer of the absurdities around him. His duties take him on a quest with Gawain and on a journey of his own, to solve the mystery of his parentage. Filled with rapier-sharp wit, jousting jocularity, and chuckleheaded knights, this is King Arthur's court as never before experienced. (Amazon)

Review by Emily, high school student and bibliophile

Once in a while, I come across a series that has it all: comedy, drama, fresh viewpoint, cool characters . . . this series is one of those. It's also one of the best retellings of the Arthurian Cycle that I've ever come across.

Terence lives a simple life in the forest. He is cared for by a hermit until one day, he comes across a knight-to-be, Gawain, who asks him for supper and also directions. Terence ends up leaving the hermit's hut to be Gawain's squire.

Much hilarity ensues as Gawain gets knighted by King Arthur for braining a recreant knight with a cooking pot. Soon, they leave on a quest. This is the beginning of the ten-books series that chronicles Terence and Gawain's battles, quests, and screw-ups.

Gerald Morris tells the story of King Arthur through the eyes of many minor characters. Sir Dinadan, brother to the ill-fated Tristan, Gaheris, the clumsy brother of Gareth and Gawain, as well as (of course,) Terence, who is more than he seems.

Even the end of Camelot is dealt with. Although tragic, it is written well and many of the inconsistencies are made more clear. There is still hope in the end, even though all was lost for Camelot.

In all, it is an enjoyable series, with much humor and wit and also some wonderful battles. Sir Wozzle's fight was one of the best moments in the series, and there is a serious discussion in The Savage Damsel and the Dwarf about the word cleft (or cloven, or cleaved, or cleaven, or maybe it was cloved?) that left me in tears of laughter.

Market: Young Adult Fiction
Language: Mild (There are references to donkeys. In Latin.)
Sensuality: Mild (Also, some reference to courtly love.)
Violence: Moderate
Mature Themes: Adultery, death, love, forgiveness, hope, stupidity.

Book formats:
Book 1 Paperback
Book 2 Paperback

To learn more about the author, visit: Gerald Morris


Amoniel said...

Great review :) I especially loved the last bit, where you described a cloven quandary, I almost feel as if I know the book already, I'm in tears of laughter inside :D

Anonymous said...

This looks like a wonderful series, Emily! Thank you for the review!