This book continues the story of young Arthur, begun in "Arthur: The Seeing Stone". It is now the year 1200, one year on from the previous novel, and Arthur is all set to join Lord Stephen de Holt (the man to whom he is now squire) on the Fourth Crusade against the infidels. However, there are many preparations that have to be made before they can even think of crossing the Channel... Armour to get ready, horses... and will Arthur become betrothed??
This book, like the first in the trilogy, is cut short into 101 chapters, and the chapters chop and change between the story of Arthur of the Marches and the myth of King Arthur in the stone. Being used to the short chapters from the previous novel, I barely noticed them. Unfortunately, though, I just couldn't enjoy the story of the mythological Arthur in this novel. I found the sections about the legend of King Arthur seemed muddled and didn't have any continuity to them, making them difficult to read and follow. There also seems to be a greater emphasis on the mythology story in this novel as well, whereas in the first book it was used less often.
In all, although I still enjoyed the story of young Arthur in the Marches at his crossing point between boyhood and manhood, and the vivid descriptions of medieval life, I felt the legend of Arthur sections could have been used to tie the book together a lot better. As it is, they are just a confusing muddle and I was left disappointed.