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32 Reviews
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful book to entice children into Arthurian Romance
John Matthews is a well-known Arthurian scholar, with many publications on the legendary king to his name. Pavel Tatarnikov is an artist from Belarus. Together they have created a beautiful introduction to the myths of King Arthur, aimed at children but suitable for anyone.

One must remember that this is merely an overview book, and not designed to be a...
Published on 13 Mar 2010 by Marcus Pailing (Bartlesnipe's ...

versus
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Attractive look and feel, but not very inspiring.
As a physical object, this book has to be commended. It has a delightful feel to it and considerable effort has gone into the artwork. The artwork in itself is not entertaining but succeeds in providing an atmospheric backdrop to the text.

Unfortunately the writing is where the book is let down. The book consists of short passages of information about each of...
Published on 18 Jan 2010 by Prof TBun


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful book to entice children into Arthurian Romance, 13 Mar 2010
By 
Marcus Pailing (Bartlesnipe's Revenge) (Nottingham, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Arthur of Albion (Hardcover)
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John Matthews is a well-known Arthurian scholar, with many publications on the legendary king to his name. Pavel Tatarnikov is an artist from Belarus. Together they have created a beautiful introduction to the myths of King Arthur, aimed at children but suitable for anyone.

One must remember that this is merely an overview book, and not designed to be a detailed re-telling of the stories. There are parts of the book that are more of an encyclopaedia - for example, the section on magical creatures, or the pages on the Ladies of the Lake. One of two of the standard stories (such as the pulling of the sword from the stone) are re-told in more detail. But if you are looking for a detailed book on Arthurian legends, you should look elsewhere. What marks out this book are the high production values, and the gorgeous illustrations.

I was going to give this copy to my nephew once I'd finished with it (as it is about time he got interested in Arthurian legends); but I'm thinking I might keep it for myself, at least until I am sure my nephew will really appreciate and cherish it!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Attractive look and feel, but not very inspiring., 18 Jan 2010
By 
Prof TBun (Birmingham UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Arthur of Albion (Hardcover)
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As a physical object, this book has to be commended. It has a delightful feel to it and considerable effort has gone into the artwork. The artwork in itself is not entertaining but succeeds in providing an atmospheric backdrop to the text.

Unfortunately the writing is where the book is let down. The book consists of short passages of information about each of the characters and quests of the Arthurian world. There are no stories to follow, no poems or songs. The text lacks emotion of any kind and is altogether dry.

Children will love that a map of Albion is included. I didn't like the numerical index on the map, but it may be more appropriate for some children.

There are many varied versions of the Arthurian legend. Matthews has chosen to base his writings solely on the olde English tradition. I did find the author's writing style uneccessarily wordy at times. I also found my self mildly irritated by a couple of linguistic oddities, such as renaming Sir Hector as Sir Ector.

The best place for this book is probably in the library of a primary school. There any child with a few minutes time to fill can open it at any page and read a little of the Arthurian World. The lack of story means it isn't very good as a bedtime book. Most older readers will wish for meatier passages. It might work as coffee table book, but do be wary of children picking it up to use it as a weapon.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pictures of a Legend, 25 Jan 2010
This review is from: Arthur of Albion (Hardcover)
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What a very lovely book. The artwork and reproduction are excellent, full of captivating detail yet still conveying a sense of magic and the fantastical.

While predominantly a picture book, the text is much more than a few lines and is divided into section or chapters that help tell the story of Arthur is easily digestible chunks. Let;s face it, even older readers need to take things easy these days. For kids it means the book is easily navigated time and again.

But the big attraction for any age is the artwork and for this alone the is book is highly recommended
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great addition to the Arthur Library, 19 Feb 2010
By 
Rosslock "rosslock" (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Arthur of Albion (Hardcover)
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This is a lovely book. I am a bit of an 'Arthur' fan, and have lots of literature and books giving different viewpoints of the legend. This is a great addition to that library, and one my 3 1/2 year old son also enjoys. It has descriptions of all the characters, the settings and the time, explanations of Knights, Quests, and best of all, it has a map! Showing all the locations and settings of the major castles, forests, lakes that form part of the Arturian legend. This is all complimented by some lovely, bitesize stories of key points of the Arturian legend (sword in stone, Excalibur, Gawain and the Green knight) perfect to read to children. (The Lancelot and Guinevere saga has been omitted though!)

A great introduction to the legand of Artur!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and fascinating, 1 Mar 2010
By 
leftfooter "leftfooter" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Arthur of Albion (Hardcover)
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I got this book for my 11 year old daughter, who has been fascinated by the recent Merlin series on TV.

This books gives a more traditional picture of the Arthurian legends, but none the less fascinating. The illustrations are gorgeous and stylish, and very well fitted to the subject matter.

Different aspects of Arthurian legends, and surrounding tales such as Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, are told in relative short (4-5 page) chunks, just the right size for a pre-teen to take on in one go. Also, just the right length for a bedtime tale if reading to a younger one.

Quality of the book is excellent - it is largish but not too big to handle comfortably. Beautiful full colour throughout and definitely worth the Amazon price.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, 9 Mar 2010
By 
N. Gratton "Writer & Photographer" (Exeter) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Arthur of Albion (Hardcover)
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This is a beautiful book - lovely, rather classical illustrations, nicely bound and with an attractive map included.
The contents take two forms - there are brief descriptions of different aspects of Arthurian mythology, and in between short stories of one of the myths taking about 4 pages. I've read a few of these to my children (aged 5 and 8) who enjoyed them, but the language was a bit complicated for my 5 year old in one or two places, and it is probably best suited for the 7-11 age group. Having said that, even for an adult it's a nice book to look at and browse.
There aren't as many of the Arthurian stories included as I would have liked, missing out some personal favourites.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An outstanding way to join King Arthur on his adventures., 22 Dec 2009
By 
ELH Browning "Esther-Lou" (Kingston Bagpuize, Oxon) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Arthur of Albion (Hardcover)
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In a large coffee table format, this is a beautifully produced book, rich with natural colours and hints of gold to give it a traditional earthly feel with a hint of magic. The illustrations are plentiful and evocative transporting the reader to the green countryside of Albion many centuries ago. The classic stories of Arthur and his round table knights, such as Sir Gawain and the green knight, are broken down into a dozen or so short tales which are cleverly interspersed with additional contextual information and the text flows well. It's well-written and yet is simple and straightforward enough to read to a child of 6 and for good readers from perhaps age 8 to read to themselves. There's also an inspiring map of the Tintagel area to inspire a young mind.
This is without question one of the loveliest books I have picked up all year and I have one very happy (and quiet) seven year old boy. A total triumph.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful book (with some minor quibbles), 18 Jan 2010
By 
Henk Beentje "Henk Beentje" (Kew, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Arthur of Albion (Hardcover)
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Plot/theme: the Arthurian legend told in short chapters, lavishly illustrated. Target age is not indicated, but not too young, I'd say - there are some quite complicated passgaes, heads are chopped off, daughters killed; ten at least, I'd think!

My opinion: The illustrations are very atmospheric. At each chapter-beginning there is a two-page spread with a beautiful faint background and rich images in muted colour. The illustrations have a medieval feel, what with the armour, hearldry and castle style; it feels, at times, more central European than British. My quibble is that some faces look rather twee, and Merlin looks (of course) like Gandalf!

The stories play just after Roman times, as 'historically' correct, but are also very much after mallory - so medieval again. The sequence is all over the place, but for readers who would read the book in instalments, that should not matter; if you read it in great hungry bits, it does, a bit.

Conclusion: not a main bestseller, I'd say - but I hope I'm wrong! This is certainly going to be some lucky child's favourite book, what with the magic, the pictures, the fold-out large map at the end... this will make a beautiful present for someone who likes stories, and I hope would appeal to the Harry Potter generation.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book with beautiful artwork, 2 Jan 2010
By 
Sue (C.I.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Arthur of Albion (Hardcover)
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This is a high quality production starting well with a beautifully designed outside cover which invites you eagerly into the book.
Inside the presentation and layout of both text and illustration is both imaginative and easy to the eye.

John Matthews' legends and myths of Arthur and his court will make compelling reading for children. The stories vary in length and are interspersed with paragraphs containing details of the characters within. Younger children will enjoy some of the stories read to them and older ones will delight in exploring the myths and legends for themselves. It is quite a comprehensive work and there is much here to interest those who follow and research all things Arthur, who after all is one of our most popular English heroes, whether fact or fiction.

Written well as it is, the illustrations by Pavel Taternikov play an equally important part in the success of the book. They are beautiful, sensitive, detailed, imaginative and romantic. Pavel communicates ideas and events with real skill and artistry. In fact the illustrations are works of Art in themselves.

This is an irresistable book and it would have my highest recommendation for those young people with imagination and a love for Art.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Delight, 23 Dec 2009
By 
Mrs. K. A. Wheatley "katywheatley" (Leicester, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Arthur of Albion (Hardcover)
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This is a beautiful gift book for an older child interested in Arthurian myths, but who is not quite ready to start on source material like Morte D'Arthur. A large format, gorgeously presented book with cloth spine, gold embossed titles and full colour, gorgeous illustrations it really is a desirable object to have, and comes complete with a beautiful, illustrated fold out map in the back cover. A Barefoot Book it has reliably high quality production values.

It combines pages of information aobut what is known about the grail myths with actual stories such as 'Gawain and the Green Knight' and tales of individual knights such as Lancelot, as well as one of the Merlin myths. The stories are told in a traditional, old style, but rendered into comprehensible English rather than middle English. The stories are short but well told. This is not a definitive guide. It is more of a tool for whetting the appetite of someone keen to know more, and it really is a lovely thing to own.
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Arthur of Albion
Arthur of Albion by John Matthews (Hardcover - 8 Sep 2008)
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