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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars You're missing the point, 17 May 2010
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Parsifal's Page (Squire's Tales) (Paperback)
Gerald Morris usually adds a wry, quirky edge to the usual Arthurian legends, but he went into angstier territory for his retelling of Parsifal's legend -- the original Grail quest, long before it was connected to Sir Galahad and so on. "Parsifal's Page" is an initially disappointing experience because it's not terribly funny, but it is an intriguing story from the perspective of... oh, you can tell already.

The son of a blacksmith and a former lady-in-waiting to the French court, Piers (calling himself "Pierre") has been prepped by his mother in manners and courtliness, and sweat and grime by his hard-working father. When a strange red knight comes by and offers Piers a road out, he eagerly comes along... only to have red knight is quickly killed off by a strange, naive young man named Parsifal, who is hoping to become a knight.

The problem is, Parsifal knows absolutely nothing about knighthood -- or manners, for that matter. He brings along the very confused and embarrassed Piers on his quest to learn manners, fighting (from a mystery woodsman who will be quite familiar to readers of this series), and chivalry (after a disastrous dinner with a noble lady). But disaster strikes when the two stay at a strange, magical castle -- and Parsifal fails to ask "the question."

I'll be the first to say: This book is not as funny as Morris' prior work. Oh, there's humor, like the catastrophic dinner with the noble lady, Parsifal sending every defeated foe to a woman Sir Kay insulted, Piers's bizarre and oft-noticed hat, the attack on the castle of an overly-romantic maiden, and so forth.

But Morris seems to have stretched his boundaries by exploring some more serious, sober territory n the Arthurian legends, such as Parsifal's self-imposed exile. And while Morris' prose still chugs along at a solid, earnest rate, he events leading up to the return to the castle, and what occurs inside is written with a beauty of words that Morris has not displayed in his prior books. But don't worry, it's not too bleak -- Morris' fondness for his characters is evident everywhere, especially since he revisits the Otherworld and some old friends.

Piers is a likeable little guy -- he's pretentious and extremely self-conscious at first, but slowly the layers are stripped away until we see Piers as he is really. Parsifal's evolution from naive and sheltered to sad and haunted to secure and newly mature is painful, but worth the journey. He's absent for a good chunk of the book, allowing us to visit old friends Terence and Gawain. (Who go on a few amusing adventures as well)

"Parsifal's Page" is an endearing little fantasy that expands Gerald Morris' writing skills -- he can do funny, but he also do a lot more. Just don't expect the level of humor as before (or after).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great old tale given new life, 17 Sep 2008
By 
M. Simon Gregg "simonsterg" (France) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Parsifal's Page (Squire's Tales) (Paperback)
Part of Gerald Morris's brilliant "Squire's Tales" series, this one is a fresh take on the Parsifal story first told in medieval times, the first 'Grail' story. Intended for older children, but my eight year old boy loved it.
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Parsifal's Page (Squire's Tales)
Parsifal's Page (Squire's Tales) by Gerald Morris (Paperback - 15 May 2006)
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