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The Seeing Stone - Arthur Trilogy, Book One…

The Seeing Stone - Arthur Trilogy, Book One (original 2000; edition 2002)

by Kevin Crossley-Holland

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1,403235,401 (3.6)51
Title:The Seeing Stone - Arthur Trilogy, Book One
Authors:Kevin Crossley-Holland
Info:Scholastic Paperbacks (2002), Edition: First Edition, Mass Market Paperback, 342 pages
Collections:Your library

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The Seeing Stone by Kevin Crossley-Holland (2000)

  1. 00
    The Earl by Cecelia Holland (themulhern)
    themulhern: The Earl, a novel for adults, is set in England about 20 years before "The Seeing Stone" but the conflict between inclinations and the expectations of society is just as strong. The eponymous earl holds some lands on the Welsh border and one of his pages is officially a Welsh hostage.… (more)

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» See also 51 mentions

English (22)  German (1)  All (23)
Showing 1-5 of 22 (next | show all)
I got this for a leisure read. Sometimes I just like to fall back into a little fantasy and let my mind explore a world that doesn't exist in the same space as mine. The Seeing Stone is told in very short chapters that were enjoyable. They move the story forward quickly while revealing tidbits about the history of the time and the family involved. It's told from the point of view of a thirteen year old boy. His mild observations about the world around him will draw you in, as you can sense that something much bigger than him is going on. Fun read. ( )
  SarinaLeigh | Apr 21, 2017 |
An excellent read in short paragraphs with a helpful list of (the many) characters. Woodcut illustrations from mediaeval sources. ( )
  supersnake | Jun 29, 2016 |
I’ve read to the end of the first book of a trilogy and I want to read on. This doesn’t happen to me very often. Usually, book one is enough. Often, more than enough.

I am not quite sure where this trilogy is going and that’s a good thing. It’s a series about King Arthur, with all the usual, yet somehow still surprising revelations: pulling the sword from the stone, enchantment of Arthur’s father for his mother, and Merlin.

But it is more. In this version, there are two Arthurs and two Merlins and two storylines that converge and diverge and twist and turn and intertwine.

Do you see why I want to read on? Yes, I think I must. ( )
  debnance | Feb 16, 2014 |
‘The Seeing Stone’ is a children’s novel, and as such, has extremely short chapters, sometimes only 1 page long in places. The way it is written is from Arthur’s point of view, and the broken up chapters, that sometimes don’t seem to link together, feel almost like diary entries. Although this book is set in 1199, the language used isn’t old fashioned but there are objects that they use that aren’t really around today. In my copy of the book, there is a definitions page though so this helps a lot, and also there is a character list, with who each character is detailed clearly. The writing style annoyed me slightly in that there were a lot of exclamation points that weren’t always necessary, and it made the language sound quite immature.

Reading this I had a few problems in that the characters don’t seem to sound their ages. For instance, because Arthur is only thirteen and he is the narrator, it feels almost as if all of the other characters are also his age, which isn’t the case.

I really liked the fast-paced nature of this book, helped by the short chapters and the medieval style illustrations that were in my copy really helped set the scene for the story. The inclusion of Welsh words was really well done and I think this is possibly one of the reasons I used to like these books so much, as when I was originally reading this about ten years ago, I was learning Welsh.

After about halfway, I found that I was losing interest in this book. The way it is written is obvious that it is a series and not a standalone book because things happen very slowly and the alternating narrative got a little distracting, to the point where I much preferred one point of view over the other. Some of the mysteries became very predictable and I was forcing myself to keep reading.

Another thing that annoyed me with this book was the dominance of religion in the story. I understand that in 1199 this would have been how people were, and I have nothing against religion,though I am not religious myself, but I found that sometimes it took over from the storyline and some of the other themes weren’t explored to their full potential.

Near the end, the story seemed to pick up and although the events were quite predictable, it was actually enjoyable by the end. I think this would be great for younger readers but it didn’t really draw me in enough so I won’t be rereading the rest of the series. ( )
  charlottejones952 | Sep 2, 2013 |
I stalled partway through reading this, at first, because I really couldn't see where it was going and how the threads of story were going to get pulled together. I still can't quite see that, now I've finished it, but I'm now at the point of very much wanting to find out where Kevin Crossley-Holland is going with this.

It's very easy to read, with short chapters and a way of painting the world of the narrative vividly without dwelling too much on details. The cold and dirt and discomfort are there and felt by the reader, without being made to sound extraordinary to the narrator (for whom, of course, it would be normal). It's well researched and carefully put together. The narrator is believably a twelve year old boy, too: his voice is handled just right.

I'm not sure how quickly I'll get round to reading the rest of the trilogy, but I definitely plan to. ( )
  shanaqui | Apr 9, 2013 |
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» Add other authors (29 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Kevin Crossley-Hollandprimary authorall editionscalculated
Lawrence, JohnIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tran Van Khai, Michelle-VivianeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
West, SamuelNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Each of us needs a quest, and a person without one is lost to himself.
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
The year is 1199, and on the borders of England and Wales young Arthur de Caldicot waits impatiently to grow up and become a knight. One day his father's friend Merlin gives Arthur a shining black stone, and he starts to see stories of his namesake, King Arthur. As the stories of the two Arthurs intertwine, the narrative builds to a thrilling and mysterious climax.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0439263271, Mass Market Paperback)

"Tumber Hill! It's my clamber-and-tumble-and-beech-and-bramble hill! Sometimes, when I'm standing on the top, I fill my lungs with air and I shout. I shout."

As The Seeing Stone opens, exuberant young Arthur has no idea what adventure lies ahead. A 13-year-old growing up in 12th-century England, Arthur soon discovers that his life parallels that of another Arthur, son of Uther centuries past, the legendary boy king "who was and will be." The second son of Sir John de Caldicot, lord of a manor near the Welsh border, Arthur narrates his everyday life in the Marchland in 100 clipped chapters of crisp, melodic prose. But his destiny entwined with that other, ancient Arthur is revealed only in snatches, after he receives (courtesy of our old friend Merlin) a piece of obsidian, a seeing stone, through which a well-woven story within a story unfolds.

But rather than the fantasy of T.H. White's The Sword in the Stone, Kevin Crossley-Holland offers a convincing and meticulously researched account of what life might have actually been like for a curious, capable, earnest young man in this peculiar time and place, with all its customs, rituals, and regimented routine and social structure. In a well-paced story that alternates between drama, comedy, and even a little mystery, Arthur tackles some surprisingly sophisticated topics, whether he's questioning the pompous priest Oliver (is the poverty on the manor truly part of God's will?), pestering his father over his plans for him (will he become a squire, as he wishes, or a monk or priest or school man?), or just contemplating his place in the scheme of things under the blue sky atop Tumber Hill. The Seeing Stone is a fun, involving read for kids, but will hold grownup attentions, too, with its flowing language, dense period detail, and all the questions that it asks--and doesn't always answer. (Ages 9 to 12) --Paul Hughes

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:15 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

In late twelfth-century England, a thirteen-year-old boy named Arthur recounts how Merlin gives him a magical seeing stone which shows him images of the legendary King Arthur, the events of whose life seem to have many parallels to his own.

(summary from another edition)

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