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THE PERILOUS GARD Unknown Binding – January 1, 1974


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Product Details

  • Unknown Binding
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin; Later Printing edition (1974)
  • ASIN: B001KWHIJ8
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.8 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (88 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,763,203 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 88 customer reviews
Magnificent writing, great characters, wonderful story.
Kiwi Carlisle
I read this book for the first time as a freshman in high school, and, although it was below my reading level, I loved it.
"joyetc"
I first read this book when I was 12 years old in 1975 - I loved it!
C. Miranda

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

74 of 75 people found the following review helpful By Kelly (Fantasy Literature) VINE VOICE on November 27, 2001
Format: Paperback
_The Perilous Gard_ is technically a young-adult book, but don't let that discourage any of you adults out there. Yes, it's totally PG; there is nothing in it that's inappropriate for a middle-schooler. And yet, it is still emotionally complex enough to satisfy an adult; in fact, it's more complex than many "adult" novels I've read.
_The Perilous Gard_ is based on several traditional English and Scottish ballads, mainly Tam Lin. Elizabeth Pope further fleshes out the ballad's structure by rooting its elements in even older legends and traditions; the magical well that is the entrance to the faerie land is straight out of the Mabinogion, and the Faerie Queen's sinister plans for her handsome captive echo the ancient Celtic tradition of the sacred king's sacrifice. And all of this comes together to make perfect sense; the Celtic framework provides the background information that the ballad lacked.
Into this magical world comes Kate, a wonderful heroine who is challenged over and over, and meets every test with amazing emotional strength. She proves herself the equal of the faerie folk when she is kidnapped into their land; later she stands up bravely to save her friend Christopher when he is to be sacrificed. In this version of Tam Lin, the "holding fast" that Kate must do is symbolic and psychological; the guy doesn't actually turn into wild animals and stuff, and what happens instead is even better. And the ending--the ending is PERFECT. I don't think I've ever read a better ending, in any novel. Kate shows her true strength and mettle, and everything turns out exactly right. I won't give it away, but there is a great sense of "rightness" at the end. This is the good stuff.
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32 of 32 people found the following review helpful By S. A. Cain on October 28, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is a wonderful book! It's not just for kids--I'm 25 and I read it for the first time yesterday.
Kate is a lady-in-waiting for Princess Elizabeth during Queen Mary's reign. Her sister gets Kate exiled to the Perilous Gard, a keep in the middle of the Elvenwood. Her new guardian, the sensible yet likeable Sir Geoffrey Heron is called away almost immediately, leaving Kate in the care of the menacing Master John. Christopher Heron, Sir Geoffrey's brother, is a myterious and intriguing shadow around the manor, and there are rumours in the castle that he killed his neice in order to protect his inheritance. The villagers have a different explanation, though: that the little girl was stolen by the Faerie people who tend the Holy Well. As Kate investigates these rumours, she and Christopher are swept into a terrifying and deadly adventure.
The characters of Kate and Christopher are wonderfully round and engaging. Kate is smart, curious, practical and sharp-tongued, while Christopher is honorable, guilt-ridden, and full of dreams. These are two people I wish I knew! Sir Geoffrey, Master John, and the minstrel Randal are also developed well. Kate's sister Alicia, and the old maid Dorothy aren't so well developed, but still serve their functions in the story. The Lady in the Green is a fascinating and mysterious character as the Queen of the Pople of the Hill.
I highly recommend this book - this book is definitely deserving of the Newbery Honor!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Lady Anne on February 19, 2002
Format: Hardcover
My mother brought this book home for me about 8 years ago when I was in high school, and I absolutely could not put it down!!! Without going into too much plot detail (since other reviewers have already done a fine job of this), I would have to recommend this book to anyone with an interest in Elizabethan England, the folklore of Great Britain, or good solid fantasy novels in general. It's a great read for anyone over the age of 12, and it's especially great for girls and young women to read because of the heroine, Kate. There is something so real and appealing about her. She is very strong and intelligent when faced with an impossible situation, and in the end she finally gets recognized for the person she really is. Overall, this is an exceptional book, and will always rank among my all-time favorites.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 20, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I stumbled on a copy of this book in the library and read it when I was 12. I must have checked it out dozens of times over the years until I finally got a copy of my own. It has become one of those books that I take with me wherever I go, from college to Europe, through med school and back again. And it's one of those books I look forward to passing on to my daughter. The story is well written, well-paced, full of twists and turns. Kate, the heroine, is wonderful, a character with whom we can all identify. She's intelligent, down-to-earth, and struggles to do the right things even when she's scared and mad and feeling all too human. My only regret is that Ms. Pope did not write more books.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By TruthnBeauty on December 13, 2004
Format: Paperback
I honestly like The Perilous Gard better each time I read it. I don't think I appreciated it enough the first time--I found the fairies so different from my Peter-Pan-ish idea of fairies. But this is a fairy tale in the best sense. Not only is the entire story "realistic" (at least more so than most fairy tales), but I find the mood so captivating. Imagine a dark woods, deep in Northern England, a Medieval party on horseback, the haunting sound of a far-off voice chanting a ballad, and the sight of a mysterious and beautiful woman in a long green cloak. I love anything Medieval, and this book captures some of my favorite Medieval topics: romance, Christianity (especially the part about the "cold iron" drew me in), paganism, ballads...together these create a thoroughly medieval mood. And the references to Tam Lin are wonderful. I can't wait to read Pope's other novel, "The Sherwood Ring."

Those of you who are Tam Lin fans will also enjoy "Fire and Hemlock" by Diana Wynne Jones. That book approaches the ballad of Tam Lin in a completely different way--and it's so complex and so compelling!
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