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Parsifal's Page


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Gr 5-8-As he did in The Squire's Tale (Houghton, 1998), the author retells a knight's legend from the perspective of his helper and companion. In this entertaining and substantive story, Piers's wanderlust takes him to the court of King Arthur where he meets up with a lost soul, Parsifal, who longs to be a knight. Piers's mother has regaled him with stories of her life as a maid-in-waiting at the French court, so he has grown up with lofty ideas and the ambition to become a knight's page. Parsifal is clearly in need of his expertise. Readers familiar with the legend will recognize the main events. After Parsifal fails to ask "the" question and realizes his mistake, he continues his Grail quest alone, and Piers joins Sir Gawain and his page on further adventures, thus continuing the story begun in The Squire's Tale. Piers's overly earnest attempts to do the right thing and Gawain's wit provide most of the humor in the story, but the author avoids cheapening the significance of the Grail quest. Readers unfamiliar with Parsifal and Gawain's stories may wish for a "who's who" to keep up with the characters, but the sheer fun of this novel will keep them going. Unfortunately, the cover art looks like a video game and doesn't fit the story. Once past it, Arthurian fans will be hooked by the great writing. Katherine Paterson's Parzival (Dutton, 1998) is a more traditional retelling that would appeal to similar readers.-Cheri Estes, Detroit Country Day School Middle School, Beverly Hills, MI Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

"Entertaining . . . Arthurian fans will be hooked by the great writing. " School Library Journal

"Libraries where Morris's Arthurian series has a following will certainly want to add this to their fiction collections." Booklist, ALA

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