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Sunday, June 19, 2011

Here Lies Arthur by Philip Reeve

A re-telling of the Arthurian legend

Philip Reeve's re-telling of the Arthurian legend has a ring of truth to it, although he openly admits in his notes that this re-telling is based on nothing more than his own imagination and is not a product of new research.

Intellectually, I appreciate his take on Arthur in Here Lies Arthur. I never have been a big fan of the Arthurian legend. To me it is too puffed up, too self-important. You would think that this re-telling - a re-telling that includes a not-so-noble Arthur being promoted by a story-weaving Merlin so that Arthur's legend can grow to the point where he can actually unite the Britons against the Saxons would appeal to me. All of the magic from the story is explained away. All of the legends are laid bare, exposed as frauds.

And, the story loses all of its punch.

It becomes nothing.

Wonderful characterization fails to make up for the fact that Here Lies Arthur takes the magic from the story which, in the end, turns out to be the whole point of the legend.

I rate this book 3 stars out of 5.

This book can be found on Amazon.com here: Here Lies Arthur.

Reviewed on January 13, 2009.

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