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The Squire's Tale (The Squire's Tales) Hardcover – April 27, 1998

4.6 out of 5 stars 87 customer reviews
Book 1 of 10 in the Squire's Tales Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Jousting, questing and otherwise comporting themselves in the usual fashion of Arthurian knights, Sir Gawain and his companions also exhibit emotional sensitivity and a goofy sense of humor in this medieval comedy. In his first book for young readers, Morris follows Terence, an orphan raised by a magical hermit, as he becomes squire to young Gawain. Through a series of battles and adventures, Terence remains true to his lord. As Gawain learns to love women for their souls instead of for their pretty faces, Terence discovers he has special talents of his own. A knight seems to gain honor by racking up a high body count, and the battle scenes are often funny; for example, Gawain earns his place at the Round Table by killing one rude, hungry and murderous knight while armed only with an empty stew pot. Although women do not quest or battle, Morris refreshes gender roles: Terence is a great cook, ugly women find love and Sir Gawain even cries. This Arthurian adventure is all heartAand humor. Ages 10-14.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Grade 5-9-Terence, the squire in question, is not Chaucer's but a 14 year old of unknown parentage in Arthur's England, raised in the woods by a wizard who can see the future clearly but is foggy about the past. Gawain, not yet of the Round Table, comes across the boy and, needing a squire, takes him along. The story then follows the nobleman through Terence's eyes. New adventures weave through the familiar, threaded on the story of the loathly damsel, here called the "ugly woman," one of the strongest of the Gawain legends. The entertaining action moves rapidly through encounters with fools and villains to Gawain earning knighthood and the love of a smart and worthy woman. His squire, who has recurring visions and contact with an interesting shape-changer, eventually learns the mystery of his own birth and his destiny. Overall, this is a good story, well told, both original and true to the legend of Gawain, counteracting his lesser position in Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur. Readers who savor swashbuckling tales of knighthood will enjoy this adventure. Librarians will find a great choice of comic and breathtaking quests for booktalks.
Helen Gregory, Grosse Pointe Public Library, MI
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Series: The Squire's Tales (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; First Edition edition (April 27, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0395869595
  • ISBN-13: 978-0395869598
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.8 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (87 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,197,687 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
I was browsing the "stacks" one day when I came across this book. Being the "judger of covers" as I am, I picked up, thinking,"Hey, it's pretty, I'll give it a go." I thought it would be ya know, the usual, every day, semi amusing book.(I mean, there's only a knight sitting backwards on a horse, totally cleche).
Now that I've read this book, i deserve to be slapped. The Squire's Tale is now my favorite book. Every time I went to the library, I found myself searching for a sequel! And there you go! There is now three books written by this author, set in the authorian times.
It's about a fourteen year old boy named Terence. He "coincidentally" met the great Sir Gawain. Terence finds out later that he is destined to be the great knight's squire.
So the two set out to Camelot, where the whole adventure begins.
For anyone searching for a fun-filled(sorry, had to say it...I'm sorry...)book, full of knights,magic,comedy and adventure...HORRAY! you've found it! This is one of the BEST books I've ever read. Hope you like it too! ;)
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Here there be humor! Unlike the humorless, preachy Arthuriana that usually gets ground out these days, Gerald Morris produces lighthearted, humorous little stories about quirky knights and sensible young squires. "The Squire's Tale" is a charming little fantasy story based on an old Arthurian legend, with plenty of wit and adventure to go around.

Terence lives with a rather befuddled out hermit in the woods... until the day he encounters a young Irish knight named Gawan, whom the hermit says will soon have Terence as a squire (the hermit can see the future, but only dimly knows of the past). When arrogant Sir Hautubris arrives and threatens the three, Gawain fends him off with a stewpot - and soon ends up going to his uncle's castle, Camelot, with his new squire.

Shortly thereafter, at a banquet, a white hound and hart (deer) go bounding through, followed by the most hideous woman anyone there has ever seen. Somehow she manages to get Sir Tor, Sir Gawain and Terence to go a-hunting for the hound and hart. They meet knights and ladies, dwarves and enchanters -- most of whom are one bean short of a pound -- and eventually bump into the Seelie Court...

The book is based heavily on a traditional Arthurian story, "Sir Gawain and the Loathly Lady." But Gerald Morris avoids the excessively "realistic" approaches of most Arthurian fiction -- instead he goes back to the medieval Anglo setting of the old Malory retellings, and mixes them together with some faerie stuff and plenty of humor.

Morris has a light, smooth humorous style with plenty of hilarious moments (Gawain beating up Hautabris with the stewpot!), but also some eerie moments and a very odd romance.
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By A Customer on June 5, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Gerald Morris' writing does not have the depth and description of many books, but I do love the story and the characters, especially Terence. The story has a slight mystery to it: who is Terence really? It is adventurous and set in the time of King Arthur, in fact Arthur is a part of this story as is Merlin and the greatest knight of all: Sir Gawain. As the story goes, Terence becomes Gawain's squire and later Gawain becomes a knight of the round table. It very quickly becomes apparent that Terence has faery blood in him, and he makes an excellent squire for the good knight Gawain, as they both go questing and encounter several adventures. And eventually, Terence does find out who he really is. "The Squire" has its bit of humor and is a book worth reading, very fun and charming.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
First thing: This book is awesome!!! Mr. Morris captured my attention like no other author has been able to do.
"The Squire's Tale" is a wonderful book based around Terence, a boy searching for his past, who comes to be Sir Gawain's squire, and soon encounters more adventure than he ever thought he would! Sharp, witty dialogue and absolutley lovable charaters (Like Tor, Polgrun, Gawain, Robin, Lori, Ganscotter, Authur, Kai, and, of course, Terence himself!) made this book one of my favorites (Bested only by it's sequal, "The Squire, His Knight and His Lady).
After Gawain, a young man seeking to be Knighted by King Authur has a(rather humorous, stewpot) fight with Sir Hautubris, he recrutes a Squire out of young Terence (With the help of the Hermit of the Gentle Wood, Trevensent.)
The two set out to Camelot, on the way meeting young Tor, who also wants to be a knight. Gawain gets his wish of being knighted,(Poor Tor doesn't, yet!) but only after Terence tells of the fight with Sir Hautubris. ("I have an ill-mannered squire." Gawain replied. "Will you punish him for telling of this deed?" Gawain hesitated, then shook his head. "No, sire. How could I punish him for telling what I wish to be known?")
After a wonderful fight scene with the five kings, who were threatening Camelot and Aurthur, Gawain, Tor (He's knighted, yay!), Kai and Terrence are all rewarded by the king.
A few months later, King Authur is married to Guinevere. During the party, a hart and hound, both almost compeletly white, wreak havoc. Soon after them, a hag on a white mule appears. A brief quarrel causes the hag to have Gawain pursue the hart and Tor follow the hound. ("King Aurthur," The woman said, "Send Sir Gawain after the hart." She looked at him through the corner of her eye.
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