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Young Knights of the Round Table: The King’s Ransom (Tales and Legends for Reluctant Readers) (Volume 1) Paperback – August 1, 2016
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About the Author
Cheryl Carpinello uses her love of the Ancient and Medieval Worlds to introduce young readers to the timeless legend of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table. As a retired English teacher, she strives to inspire young readers, especially reluctant readers, with exciting tales and legends, packed with adventure.
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Synopsis (from the author): Three Friends. Three Quests. Three Mysterious Predictions
In medieval Wales, eleven-year-old Prince Gavin, thirteen-year-old orphan Philip, and fifteen-year-old blacksmith's apprentice Bryan are brought together in friendship by one they call the Wild Man. When an advisor to the king is killed and a jewelled medallion is stolen from the king's treasury, the Wild Man is accused of the theft and murder. Filled with disbelief at the arrest of the Wild Man, the three friends embark upon a knight's quest to save their friend's life. To succeed, the three must confront their fears and insecurities, and one of them will have to disclose the biggest secret of all.
What I liked: Adding a coming of age twist to the King Arthur era was a neat storyline to me. Gavin, Philip, and Bryan all have different fears to confront, and each handled their quest bravely. The idealism each displayed was inspiring, and there was enough action and intrigue to keep my attention. Add to that a few interesting secrets, and the stage is set for a good story. Lastly, although written for ages 9-12, I enjoyed the read!
What I didn’t like: King’s Ransom (Young Knights of the Roundtable) had a few predictable parts, especially during the three quests. Additionally, though I liked the characters, they were a bit clichéd.
Overall impression: King’s Ransom (Young Knights of the Round Table) by Cheryl Carpinello captured the essence of the King Arthur legends and the idealism embodied in the stories. With good characters, nice plot twists, and a few surprises, the book is an excellent read for ages 9-12 (or anyone who simply enjoys a good book!
My rating: 5 Stars
Young Prince Gavin wishes for nothing more than to grow up quickly and become a knight like the rest of his royal family. So does his friend, Bryan, a blacksmith apprentice. So when an old man they both consider dear gets accused of having stolen a jewel very important for Gavin's kingdom, they enlist the help of their other friend, Phillip, and rush to help prove the man innocent. But the adventure they find themselves into might prove much harder than they originally thought...
Honestly, there were some parts I found fine thanks to the plot twists and some others I could have done without. It;s a good thing that the pace was fast and the story short, so it didn't take me too long to finish the book. If I had been some years younger, I would have immensely enjoyed it. So, if we're talking about middle grade, this is a perfect book. However, it doesn't fall in that category of middle grade fantasy that adults could enjoy as well.
That being said, I'm not into finding out the rest of Gavin's life - even with the new member added to the royal family, which was a total shocker, if you ask me.
***I was given an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The opinion stated in this review is solely mine, and no compensation was given or taken to alter it.***
There's a lot to like here. The characters are fully realized, the story is well written and flows nicely. There's a good balance between action and dialogue, both internal and external. And I like the author's focus on the ideals of knighthood--it should appeal to all children, but especially to boys (who often seem to be forgotten these days).
Before starting the story, I wasn't sure exactly what the 'Reluctant Readers' label implied. But I need not have worried. The story doesn't use over-simplified language, and there's no sense of talking down to a less skilled reader. I think this book would be well within the range of most middle graders.
Judging by "The King's Ransom", I would definitely be interested in looking at other titles in the Young Knights of the Round Table series.
I am voluntarily reviewing this book; thanks to the author for sharing a copy with me.
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