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Here Lies Arthur Library Binding – Mar 2010


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Product details

  • Library Binding: 339 pages
  • Publisher: Turtleback Books (Mar 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0606105573
  • ISBN-13: 978-0606105576
  • Product Dimensions: 20.1 x 13 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,753,312 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Philip Reeve is the creator of one of the most brilliantly inventive worlds in fantasy fiction. He won the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize with his Mortal Engines series, as well as the Nestlé Book Prize - Gold Award and the Blue Peter Book of the Year Award. He has been short-listed for the Whitbread Children's Book of the Year Award and the WH Smith People's Choice Awards. Here Lies Arthur won the prestigious 2008 CILIP Carnegie Medal. Philip Reeve was born and raised in Brighton, where he worked in a bookshop for a number of years while also co-writing, producing and directing a number of theatre projects. He is a talented illustrator and has provided cartoons for many books, including several titles in the Horrible Histories series, and the brilliant Urgum the Axeman books written by Kjartan Poskitt. Philip has been writing stories since he was five, and Mortal Engines was the first to be published.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Hazy Daisy on 13 April 2007
Format: Hardcover
Philip Reeve is an excellent author whose stories are always written with a great deal of intelligence and charm. His retelling of the Arthurian myth, as seen through the eyes of the charismatic protagonist, Gwyna, is done with affection and shows a substantial knowledge of Arthur's story in it's earliest incarnations. The events that came to be legends are here more often the tricks and coincidences used by Myrddin (the bard) to create his fantastical tales of Arthur's exploits. His understanding of his people's need for a hero leads him to build the very human Arthur into one. This book's triumph is it's ability to tell the story of Arthur in realistic terms without spoiling the charm of the myth. I read it in under a day and thoroughly enjoyed it. Well worth buying if you like historical fiction, or fantasy with an historical twist.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By E. L. Woodcock on 17 May 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Another thrilling story from philip reeve. Beautiful prose coupled with a compelling story. He pulls no punches in demonstrating the brutal realities of life in the Dark Ages.

The plot bears enough similarities with the legends to be recognisable, but has twists of its own to keep you guessing. The writing is fresh and evocative.

His take on Merlin as Arthur's chief spin doctor gives a stark relevancy to the story, affording easy comparisons with the machinations and cynicism of today's political figures.

After the fantastic Mortal Engines books and the charming and funny Larklight, Philip Reeve is fast becoming my favourite author.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Annabel Gaskell VINE VOICE on 13 April 2009
Format: Paperback
I love novels based on Arthurian myths and legends and this one is a great read. Reeve's book for teens presents a totally different take on the stories that is highly original, and uses the Welsh Mabinogion as the basis for the tale rather than Mallory or any of the later romances. What's more this interpretation of the story could so easily be the real thing!

The land it portrays is one of warring tribes; Arthur could be the one to pull the tribes of the west together to face the Saxons, and Myrddin (Merlin) is doing his best to make it so. However, Myrddin's chief weapon is not Earth magic - it's spin! Yes, you heard me right, 'twas ever thus.

Myrddin comes from the bardic tradition and is a master story-teller, embellishing and embroidering Arthur's exploits to the masses to put his man forward as the natural leader. He's also good at creating illusions and using any opportunity to promote his master.

As the novel opens, a young servant girl Gwyna, is hiding from the Arthur and his war-band who have just slashed and burned her master's home. She swims to avoid them, and is spotted by Myrrdin who immediately sees that he can use her to shine light on Arthur, and persuades her to become the Lady of the Lake and present him with a new sword (here named Caliburn). As all eyes will be on Arthur, no-one will notice that the Lady is just a girl who can swim like a fish. Gwynna is a bright girl and does well, and Myrrdin could use an assistant, so she joins him - dressed as a boy for safety.

And thus begins the story - told almost entirely from Gwynna/Gwynn's point of view. It takes us from the episode of the Lady of the Lake through to the deaths of Merlin and Arthur. All is seen from the slightly removed perspective which reveals the politics and spin underneath and the legacy it creates.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By J. on 2 July 2007
Format: Hardcover
Beautifully written, moving and blood-chilling at the same time. This book allows you a glance behind probably every kind of political propaganda machine.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Tami Brady TOP 500 REVIEWER on 11 Dec 2008
Format: Hardcover
We've all heard the story of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. A young Arthur learns of his kingly destiny by pulling the sword from the stone. He is a fair and much loved ruler who weds the beautiful Guinevere. We also know of Guinevere's betrayal and her deep love for Lancelot.

It's a fabulous story but what if that's all it is? Maybe it's not the true story at all. Perhaps the real story is much grittier and far less polished.

Here Lies Arthur tells of an alternative Arthur and Camelot. No magic, just some very good spin doctoring and a few well acted out scenes to create a certain persona for Arthur. The story is told through the eyes of Gwyna, the girl who acted the part of the Lady of the Lake. This little scene went over so well that even Arthur himself believed that the incident actually occurred. Then there's the truth behind the Queen's betrayal...You'll have to read the book and find out yourself.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By S. Edwards-Sim on 4 Jan 2008
Format: Hardcover
This really is a fantastic book which makes you view the Arthurian legends in a whole new light. Philip Reeve has a fantastic, attractive and easily readable style and this book is particularly gripping. Read it and enjoy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Candy Gourlay VINE VOICE on 4 Dec 2010
Format: Paperback
Here Lies Arthur was an unexpected delight - the writing so delicious, I found myself reading and re-reading passages. At its heart is a rich imagining of how legend, myth and story are woven through the ages, told with a plot that raced, and characters that steal your heart. I shed tears for more than one as if I knew them well. Philip Reeve manages to evoke a disarming innocence of a brutal era. If you are looking for the usual Arthurian story, this is not for you. Here Lies Arthur is far more than that. Bravo and thank you, Mr Reeve. It's the best book I've read this year. Soon to be a classic.
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