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The Princess, the Crone, and the Dung-Cart Knight (The Squire's Tales) Hardcover – March 23, 2004


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The Princess, the Crone, and the Dung-Cart Knight (The Squire's Tales) + The Legend of the King (The Squire's Tales) + The Squire's Quest (The Squire's Tales)
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 - 14 years
  • Grade Level: 5 - 9
  • Lexile Measure: 840L (What's this?)
  • Series: The Squire's Tales
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; 2nd Edition edition (March 23, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0618378235
  • ISBN-13: 978-0618378234
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #264,448 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 6-9-In grand storytelling style, the author continues his series with Sarah, an orphaned teenager who is on a quest for revenge when she encounters Queen Guinevere and Sir Kai. After Kai catches Sarah trying to steal his sword, he gives her a special sword made for his son and teaches her how to use it. When the evil Sir Meliagant kidnaps Guinevere and wounds Kai, Sarah searches for a way to help them. A crone leads her to Camelot where she meets King Arthur, and she goes with Sir Gawain and his squire to rescue Kai and Guinevere. On the road, they encounter trickery, danger, and many characters and plot twists. Sarah gets her revenge, but it is not sweet, and this well-drawn character eventually finds strength and peace within herself. This imaginative novel doesn't take itself too seriously, and yet Morris manages to make some serious points. In the author's note, he is open about taking liberties with Chretien de Troyes's original story The Knight of the Cart, but, after all, there is no one, true Arthurian legend. Readers looking for page-turning adventure, a strong heroine, and some fun will find it all here.
Cheri Dobbs, Detroit Country Day Middle School, Beverly Hills, MI
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Gr. 6-9. After witnessing the abduction of Queen Guinevere and Sir Kay, 13-year-old Sarah detours from her own quest and seeks out King Arthur at Camelot. Soon she and her new allies embark on an adventure based on an early Arthurian tale by Chretien de Troyes. As in the other novels in the rewarding Squire's Tales series, Morris reshapes traditional plot elements, infuses them with humor and fantasy, and creates a highly readable story. More than the other books, though, this one exposes the dark side of the Middle Ages, for Sarah recalls seeing her mother and their Jewish friend burned at the stake by a peasant mob while a nearby knight called them "Christ-killers." In the appended author's note, Morris comments on the "grim historical fact" of prejudice, injustice, and violence against Jews in medieval Europe. The novel is driven by a keen sense of justice and lightened by droll wit. A terrific cast of characters energizes the story, which plays out against a colorful, well-developed historical background. Carolyn Phelan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

More About the Author

Gerald Morris grew up in Singapore, where his parents were Baptist missionaries. Singapore was a great, safe place to grow up, and he remembers that time with fond nostalgia. (Ditto for being Baptist, actually.) Since reaching adulthood, he has worked as a minister, a religion professor, a landscaper, and a teacher, all to support his predilection for writing children's novels. Or maybe the writing income supports his ministry habit.

He now lives in Wausau, Wisconsin with his wife and three kids. (Okay, one's at college and another's about to go.) There he serves as associate pastor at the First United Methodist Church, writes children's and YA novels (mostly about King Arthur), and still occasionally scapes land.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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This book is the sixth in the series.
P. Wilson
Personally, I think that was why the tv series 'Buffy' was always better than its spinoff 'Angel', because it had more strong, likeable female characters.
M. A. Bechaz
I was once again pleased with Mr. Morris' retelling of an Arthurian legend in THE PRINCESS, THE CRONE, AND THE DUNG-CART KNIGHT.
Kendra Patterson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By M. A. Bechaz on September 24, 2004
Format: Hardcover
So far this year I have only read one book better than this one--and that was 'The Savage Damsel And The Dwarf', by the same author who wrote this, Gerald Morris.

Mr Morris has a true gift for writing. All of his books are good, and I would heartily recommend reading every single one of them. However, it is in his books that star strong, willful female heroines that he really shines. Let's face it, strong women are inspiring and exciting, and unfortunately, also rather too rare in literature, or even in films and television. Girl power is great! (Personally, I think that was why the tv series 'Buffy' was always better than its spinoff 'Angel', because it had more strong, likeable female characters.)

In this novel, young, brave, determined Sarah goes looking for revenge, but ends up finding herself. Her journey is as much about self-discovery as it is a quest for justice, and the outcome is upliftingly beautiful and poignant.

Yes, this book tackles some serious issues, but thankfully, in the skilled hands of Gerald Morris, it is also incredibly witty, entertaining and laugh-out-loud funny! Plus, as always, there's lots of knights in shining armour, exchanging both swordplay and wordplay equally cuttingly.

I only hope that this brilliant author writes more books in this series, because I've read them all now, and I'm going into serious withdrawal...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By P. Wilson on April 2, 2007
Format: Paperback
After reading one book by author Gerald Morris, we were addicted! Now my husband (43), my son (12), and myself (37) are fighting over every book in the Squire's Tales series that we can get our hands on! We bought this book because we heard it was "good literature." We had no idea HOW good until we read it. It is clever, witty, sarcastic, adventurous, and inspirational! My husband laughed so hard he cried! It is a very entertaining retelling of the King Arthur stories and Canterbury Tales, complete with knights, castles, princesses, magic, fairies, herbs with healing powers, and quests! The characters as sassy and full of spunk, and there is a new adventure around every corner. We recommended these books to our local library, some of the librarians read one of the books, and they ended up ordering a bunch of the books from The Squire's Tales series for the library. (This book is the sixth in the series.) It is easy to recommend such a charming and entertaining book!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on December 28, 2006
Format: Paperback
This is a great book! It's not as funny as THE SQUIRE'S TALE, but it's more adventure. You see, Sarah witnesses the Queen and Sir Kai's obduction, and she goes for help. Soon she finds herself accompanied by the famous Sir Gawain, his squire, Terence, and searching for the queen and kai. But Sarah's also on a quest of her own, with only a mysterious old crone to help her. This book is filled with ACTION, ADVENTURE, KNIGHTS, ENCHANTMENTS, SUSPENSE, MAGIC, OTHER-WORLDLY-BEINGS, all on a MEDIEVAL back ground! This really is a great read!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on January 30, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Every book Mr. Morris writes leaves me yearning for the next one. His retelling of the Arthurian legends is masterful. I'm going to read through all six of the books that make up the Squire's Tales (so far) to study how he develops in his writing.

This book is my favorite of his Squire's Tales. It isn't as jocular as the others, having a darker undertone with its themes of power and revenge, but it is gripping in its suspense. He also paces his twists and turns in a "don't put this book down" sort of way.

Sarah is a fully developed and complex main character and, while I won't spoil the surprising and delightful "battle cry" uttered first by Charis and then by Sarah, I completely intend to adopt it as my own. In fact, there are a number of girls and women who would gladly wear a t-shirt (the modern evolution of the banner worn into battle) that says ... "I am my own ..." Read the book and see.

This age has great good fortune to see the likes of Gerald Morris retelling the tales of De Troyes and Mallory.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on February 9, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Good book, weird title. A girl named Sarah lived with her mother and Mordecai until a knight came with the village and killed them. Sarah has to survive on her own stealing food from the village, and an old woman, who leaves food for her. Sarah wants to get revenge from the knight, and sees one that might be him, or would lead her to him, along with a lady. She follows him and tries to steal his sword when he sits down, but he grabs her, and throws her to the middle of the clearing. She apoligises, and they offer to eat lunch with her. While she's fetching water for the horses, another knight comes, and kidnaps both of them. The knight that she met first hints to Sarah to go and tell King Arther, and that the lady is Queen Guinivere. The old lady who left out food for her told her how to get to Camelot. When she finally gets there, Arther sends a search party, and they plan to drop off Sarah on their way to find the knight, and the Queen, but things didn't go as planned.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Willow and Jasmine on August 23, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Although I absolutely love all of Gerald Morris's books so far, this one was probably my least favorite. I'm not quite sure why, since it had most of our old favorite characters like Terence and Sir Gawain. But I guess I thought Sarah wasn't a great main character. She was just a little too annoying at times. And also, there wasn't quite as much humor in this book as in the previous ones. Definitely no romance, if you're interested in that sort of thing. Anyway, it was still very good and definitely worth reading, especially for fans.
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