From School Library Journal
Grade 4 Up-Perhaps our overwhelming need for heroes accounts for the countless Arthurian retellings in print, as well as picture-book editions of individual tales. This one does not match the depth and character development found in Rosemary Sutcliff's The Sword & The Circle (Dutton, 1981), among others. In Of Swords and Sorcerers (Scribners, 1993), Margaret Hodges and Margery Evernden provide a storyteller's perspective. However, those titles are for more dedicated readers and are sparsely illustrated, in black and white if at all. Most comparable to Robin Lister's The Legend of King Arthur (Doubleday, 1990), Perham and Heller's effort is more comprehensive, and contains more dramatic artwork. The readable plot moves along, keeping the multitude of characters clear in readers' minds. Honest, yet not offensive, it doesn't cover up or ignore their sins. Stunning, full-page mixed-media illustrations, many in full color, capture the dark and bloody tale and the larger-than-life people who struggled against destiny-the horror of Morgan's curse on Mordred; the poignancy of Elaine's naked rescue; the resolve of Lancelot; and the power of the knights. This will not be a shelf-sitter, even among myriad choices.Helen Gregory, Grosse Pointe Public Library, MI
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Kirkus Reviews
Once again the great story is told: Merlin prophesies; Arthur pulls one sword from a stone and receives another from the Lady of the Lake; the knights disperse to seek the Grail; Arthur falls to Mordred's spear and is borne to Avalon. Women's roles are particularly equivocal here: Guinevere is good but weak (``Arthur was a great king...but he was not a great lover as Lancelot was''); Morgan Le Fay is evil but steadfast in carrying out her vow to avenge her father's death; Tristram is killed not by King Mark but by his own wife's jealousy; Elaine's dying wish is that her corpse be used to inflame Lancelot with guilt. Perham's style is formal and distant, emphasizing chivalrous behavior and courtly graces. Grand knights have at one another in Heller's color illustrations, while misty pencil drawings add magic and, sometimes, feeling to other scenes. Browsers may enjoy the dramatic pictures, but the book is uncomfortably designed--heavy in the hand, with tiny type on coated paper. Not a significant improvement on Riordan's Tales of King Arthur (1982) or other standard renditions. (Folklore. 14+) -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.