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The Ballad of Sir Dinadan
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Gr 5-9-Morris's latest retelling of Arthurian legends introduces a reluctant knight who upholds the noble standards of Camelot in his own way. The likable and unassuming Dinadan, younger brother of the famous Sir Tristram, travels the land, encountering deceptive damsels and foolish knights. His compassion and common sense earn him the respect of many, and his keen wit satirizes the excesses of Arthurian heroism that he observes along the way. The tragic tale of Tristram and Iseult becomes a funny story "about two fools drinking from the wrong flask." Dinadan befriends a would-be knight named Culloch, but can't endure the useless parade of tasks his friend eagerly attempts to win a bride. The humor is accessible; readers don't need to know The Faery Queene to appreciate Dinadan's playful mockery of allegory (or, as he calls it, "saying things by pretending to say something else"). Along with the satire, though, Dinadan succeeds in righting some true wrongs, protecting a young woman he admires, and restoring a deposed king to his throne. Morris's skilled storytelling keeps the tale moving smoothly through various plot strands featuring many characters. The humor ranges from subtle irony to scenes of pure comedy, but never distracts from the engaging plot. Fans of the previous titles or Arthurian legend in general will thoroughly enjoy Sir Dinadan, but it stands on its own as a lighthearted introduction to the period.-Steven Engelfried, Beaverton City Library, OR Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

A minor knight from Sir Thomas Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur takes center stage in The Ballad of Sir Dinadan, the latest in Gerald Morris's reworking of the Arthurian cycle begun with The Squire's Tale. But the subjects of Dinadan's "ballad" are far from obscure: they are Tristan and Isolde. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

"Fans of the previous titles or Arthurian legend in general will thoroughly enjoy Sir Dinadan, but it stands on its own as a lighthearted introduction to the period." School Library Journal, Starred

"Morris interweaves action with sophisticated, wry humor and deft characterization to bring to life yet another medieval tale." VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocates)

"A witty tale of adventure and reflection, this is another rewarding entry in the series that began with the Squire's Tale." Booklist, ALA

"Morris creates in Dinadan one of his most appealing protagonists. Written in accessible prose and laced with occasional magic, the novel moves at a quick pace and showcases a continually maturing hero." Horn Book

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