- Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
- Publisher: Scholastic Paperbacks; Reprint edition (March 1, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0545094631
- ISBN-13: 978-0545094634
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 40 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,979,770 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Here Lies Arthur Mass Market Paperback – March 1, 2010
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Gwynna is just a girl who is forced to run when her village is attacked and burns to the ground. To her horror, she is discovered in the wood. But it is Myrddin the bard who has found her, a traveler and spinner of tales. He agrees to protect Gwynna if she will agree to be bound in service to him. Gwynna is frightened but intrigued-and says yes-for this Myrddin serves the young, rough, and powerful Arthur. In the course of their travels, Myrddin transforms Gwynna into the mysterious Lady of the Lake, a boy warrior, and a spy. It is part of a plot to transform Arthur from the leader of (con't)
Top customer reviews
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Approached with these expectations, however, the book was disappointing. The plot moved relatively slowly, even though the book encompassed many years. I also didn't grow attached to any of the characters, and again, this might have been because the book tried to cover too many years -- people change over time, and if you only get small "snippets" of them at various points, it's hard to gain any insight into their true, enduring traits. As a character, Myrddin was at least interesting, but often played a cursory role.
That said, it was a great book to read during an exam term -- it was engaging enough that I enjoyed reading it at night, but it certainly did not keep me up reading, and I was easily able to put it down to go to bed. The writing was also pretty solid, and I think the book could be appropriate for a wide range of audiences.
BOTTOM LINE: If you're short on books to read, this one isn't the worst to add to your queue, but I also don't think it's one of the best. If you're looking for a more "fun" book like the show Leverage, look elsewhere. If you're fascinated by Arthurian lore, and want to read an interesting take on the legends, then this books probably worth a read.
The whole story is written on a girl named Gwyna's view, who had to dive in the cold, cold water on the start of the book to not get slashed by a sword-boy. She has no families, no friends, and no one to care for her, till she meets Myrddin on the far side of the riverbank. After him noticing her talents of swimming, he takes her under his wings, and gives her a very important task the very next day. It was there, when I learned the "Lies" stands for telling lies for sure, because it was Gwyna who gave Caliburn to Arthur. After successing on his tricks, Myrddin makes her to talk and live like a boy to hide his tricks.
Many days passed, till Gwyna grew in to a noticeable girl. Mealwas figured out that she was a boy, and Myrddin had to find a safe place for her so his tricks would stay hidden. So he sent her to Arthur's palace to spy on Gwenhwyfar. By now she learns much of her master's tricks, and becomes a trickster herself. She becomes closer to Gwenhwyfar and discovers she is in love with a man other then Arthur and after a thought, she tells Myrddin.
The rest of the stories are like this, only that she uses her talent more than she did before. Through Cei, she learns Myrddin loved her and later returns to him, to see him die. Later, after Arthur's death, she spins her tale of how a boat came and took him to an island to live forever. Though Gwyna ran away from Myrddin and broke his heart, she did not forget him, and took him as an only family and so did Myrddin. The book describes Arthur as a selfish greedy man, with Cei as his kin, noble and humble. Myrddin is a clever old fox, traveling across the worlds, spreading wonderful stories of Arthur, making them think Arthur is not the real Arthur at all.
I think Phillip Reeve was trying to tell us that not all stories are true, and yet, anything could be done if you believe it would. It tells us that Myrddin was behind everything and Arthur is just a impatient man, killing everyone on his way, but also that this is a story after all, and no one could tell which one is correct.