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Excalibur: The Legend of King Arthur (Heroies & Heroines) Hardcover – March 8, 2011

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Tony Lee, a prolific comic book writer, has worked on the titles X-MEN, DOCTOR WHO MAGAZINE, STARSHIP TROOPERS, and OUTLAW: THE LEGEND OF ROBIN HOOD. He has also written for radio, television, and national newspapers. He lives in England.

Sam Hart is a comic book illustrator who has worked on STARSHIP TROOPERS, BROTHERS: THE FALL OF LUCIFER and OUTLAW: THE LEGEND OF ROBIN HOOD. He lives in Brazil.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Grade Level: 5 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 430L (What's this?)
  • Series: Heroies & Heroines
  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick (March 8, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 076364644X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0763646448
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.6 x 10.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,592,807 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By tvtv3 TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 5, 2012
Format: Hardcover
In this graphic novel version of the legend of King Arthur from Tony Lee & Sam Hart, Arthur isn't just a regular mortal man, but instead is part fairy and is chosen by the good fairies to be King of Albion (England). However, his half-sister, Morgana, is taken by the evil fairies and raised in the black arts. She comes to despise Arthur and all that he stands for. Unlike many of the stories we read about Arthur, in this version he is fully aware of his familial lineage. However, he begins to doubt the existence of the wizard Merlin until Merlin appears just before Arthur sets off to face the evil King Ulrich. Merlin sends Arthur away to the good fairy realm of Albion where a year is as a few hours in Albion. While there, Arthur falls in love with Vivianne, the Lady of the Lake. He ends up staying in Avalon for two years before returning to face Ulrich in Albion, where only a day has passed. Thus begins Arthur's journey to becoming King.

I had been looking forward to reading EXCALIBUR: THE LEGEND OF KING ARTHUR. I enjoy the legends of King Arthur and was excited to see how this updated version would be. I was disappointed. I don't mind trying to update the stories of Arthur. However, EXCALIBUR does more than just update the stories. It changes the very essence of Arthur. Instead of the man who would be king, he becomes the fairy man that's destined to be king. The mystery (and humor) of some of the tales are explained away through faire knowledge (aka magic). Arthur's love for Guinevere and the betrayal of Lancelot and Guinevere are easily forgiven because in this version of the story, Guinevere was not really Arthur's true love. That's just one example of how the Arthur legends are distorted.

I was also disappointed by the artwork.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By wogan TOP 500 REVIEWER on April 2, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This graphic novel tells the tale of Arthur, as a boy living with Ector, until Arthur's death. Despite the title of Excalibur, the sword most think of as Excalibur is called Caliburn, in this version - the name the sword was known by in stories before the sword was called Excalibur. Excalibur comes in later on, in this story`s recounting.
There are many accounts of the legend of Arthur; most of this recounting concerns the faerie realm and not that of Camelot and Arthur`s rule is only touched upon. There are some elements and characters not well explained or transitioned into; but the story is sound. The love between Lancelot and Guinevere is included.
The illustrations are not colorful, more in monochromatic colours to depict moods and time of day.

Some versions of Arthur have been sanitized into Disney versions, this is not. It is not for the very young, but those who like to read varying versions of Arthur's story, especially that pertaining to the Land of Avalon, Morgana and the Faerie realm would enjoy this .
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By IGS93 on September 30, 2013
Format: Paperback
This comic tells Arthur's story, from his dark origins to his final rest in the Faerie Realm of Avalon. The illustrations are very good, I love how each color had a diferent purpose: red/orange for the battle, violet/purple for supernatural scenes... The graphic aspect of this comic has 5 stars from my point of view. The narrative is also good, but weaker than other versions of the Arthurian Legend.

This is not a traditional version of the Arthurian Legend. Of course, some of the traditional subplots of this myth show up (the Sword in the Stone, the Green Knight, Lanncelot's love for Guinevere...) but a lot of them are slightly changed to create a good, solid story: for instance, it is not Merlin but the dark fairies of the Unseelie Court who change Uther into Gorlois, but when they ask for Igraine's child as a payment, Uther gives them his step-daughter Morgana Le Fey, who lives a horrible childhood with the Unseelie Court and will take revenge on Arthur and Merlin for this (say goodbye to Malory's story of Morgan learning magic in a nunnery). Some aspects should have been better developed (Mordred's hostility towards Arthur is clear, but in traditional accounts he's more treacherous and sibylline... And for all the Gods what happened to Igraine after Arthur's birth? Did she die or something?)
Of course some subplots are made up by the writers, for instance, Arthur's love for Vivianne (The Lady of the Lake, here she is different from Merlin's lover Nimue), Uther's death at the hands of his friend Ulric... But, in my opinion, the most innovative contribution is the idea thar behind Arthur's fight for Albion (that means Britain) there is an endless war between the good fairies of the Seelie Court (Vivianne, Nimue, Bran the Blessed...
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Lisa Schensted VINE VOICE on March 18, 2011
Format: Hardcover
in a sentence or so: Albion is at war and Arthur knows he is destined to unite the land. the problem is, there are many who stand in his way - purposefully or unintentionally.

Uther Pendragon makes a deal with the fae of the Unseelie Court that results in the kidnapping of Arthur (for his own safety) and the abduction of Morgana (not for her own safety). Albion is in turmoil as they wait for the once and future king to return and rescue them from craptastic King Ulrich. just when Arthur starts to believe that Merlin was in fact lying about his destiny, that wily wizard pops up and facilitates a showdown between Arthur and Ulrich. winner takes Albion, loser takes death.

i am a huge Arthurian legend geek. i'm pretty sure it started with watching The Sword and the Stone when i was a wee one (i wanted my very own Archimedes SO bad), but whatever the roots - i'm a die-hard. i love reading about the legend of King Arthur and his knights and Camelot and Albion and all that jazz, so i was pretty stoked to get this graphic novel retelling of the story.

i did not expect for there to be so much mention of Avalon, the Seelie and Unseelie courts (light fairies and dark fairies), and the back story of why Morgana is such a nut. however, i was pleasantly surprised to read and see the background of the boy who becomes King. the bulk of the book focused on leading up to Arthur's death, with very little spent on his time in Camelot. and honestly, i liked that a lot. i felt like i knew enough about the Camelot days (and obviously wouldn't mind reading about them again), so reading and experiencing some of the coming-of-age lore was super fun.

the imagery was a perfect compliment to the story.
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Excalibur: The Legend of King Arthur (Heroies & Heroines)
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