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Rules for a Knight by Ethan Hawke
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Rules for a Knight

by Ethan Hawke

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I read a third of this sentimental syrup. It was enough. ( )
1 vote MarthaJeanne | Oct 4, 2016 |
The e-reader advance copy of this book was provided to me by Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

Who hasn't daydreamed about discovering some fabulous ancestor hanging out in your family tree?

Ethan Hawke has imagined the last days of a noble warrior Sir Thomas Lemuel Hawke. This man of integrity and honor did exist; according to the author, Sir Thomas was killed at the Battle of Slaughter Bridge in the winter of 1483.

Whether this man is actually related to the author is doubtful but it does make a nice place to begin a fun read.

The story begins with Sir Thomas at Cornwall facing almost certain death in battle the next day. In these final hours, he thinks of his children. They are young and unprepared for the future without him. He tells them that their Grandfather prepared a handwritten rubric for him when he was a young aspiring knight and that he feels compelled "to pass on to you Grandfather's list of 'Rules'."

Sir Thomas begins his letter with a description of his own childhood. He describes a life out-of-control until one day he realizes, on his own at age 17, that he needs guidance. " I decided to seek out the wisest man I could find and ask him to tell me how to live...The first thing I was given was a small handwritten list entitled 'Rules for a Knight'."

The letter is broken up into these 20 Rules; each followed by a parable from his own experience on that particular virtue.

Overall, I really enjoyed the book. In a way it reminded me of Rocky and Bullwinkle's Aesop and Son fables. (That's a 1960s cartoon show.)

I have little knowledge of medieval life so I can't spot gaffes in the story. Our hero, Sir Thomas, can wear a Timex watch for all I care. But it was obvious to me that the author pulled his thoughts from a myriad of traditional self-help sources and other popular stories to create the medieval version of Chicken Soup for Knights.

This adorable little book is a family work; Ethan's wife, Ryan did all the cute b&w illustrations. I believe the book would be best read to young children together with their parents.

In my perfect vision of quality family time, 20 star lit nights are spent reading and sharing chapters around a campfire with cocoa and marshmallows.
( )
1 vote Itzey | Jan 23, 2016 |
A great fast read (took me less than three hours). Thought provoking and insightful - this books inspires those who read it to reflect on their own character and motivations. Strongly recommended for all. ( )
1 vote TZYuhas | Jan 16, 2016 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0307962334, Hardcover)


From four-time Academy Award nominee Ethan Hawke, star of Dead Poets Society, Reality Bites, Training Day as well as Richard Linklater's Before Sunrise trilogy and Boyhood, an unforgettable fable about a Knight's journey and a short guide to what gives life beauty and meaning.

It is 1483, and Sir Thomas Lemuel Hawke, a Cornish knight, is about to ride into battle. On the eve of his departure, he composes a letter to his four young children, consisting of twenty virtues that provide instruction on how to live a noble life, and on all the lessons, large and small, that he might have imparted to them himself were he not expecting to die on the battlefield.

"Why am I alive? Where was I before I was born? What will happen to me when I die? Whatever well our lives are drawn from, it is deep, wild, mysterious, and unknowable..."Rules for a Knight is many things: a code of ethics; an intimate record of a lifelong quest; a careful recounting of a knight's hardest won lessons, deepest aspirations, and most richly instructive failures; and an artifact, a relic of a father's exquisite love. 

Drawing on the ancient teachings of Eastern and Western philosophy and religion, on literature, and poetry, and on the great spiritual and political writings of our time, Ethan Hawke has written a parable that—in the story of a young man's journey toward a life of authenticity and meaning—captures the instinctive movement of the heart toward truth and beauty. Rules for a Knight has the appeal of Arthurian legend; the economy of Aesop; and the vitality, intelligence, and risk-taking that could only emanate from Ethan Hawke.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 03 Sep 2015 19:37:01 -0400)

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