Corbenic (Definitions) Paperback – 4 Jul 2002
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"Catherine Fisher is a writer of rare talent" (The Sunday Times)
"A terrific coming-of-age tale" (Daily Telegraph)
"An elaborate and intricate reworking of the Grail Legend . . . An absorbing story" (The Bookseller)
"Elegiac, mature modern fantasy" (Publishers Weekly)
An intriguing reworking of the Grail legend.See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
There are various versions of the Grail legend and Fisher has based her book on the Welsh versions (naturally) as well as those by Chrëtien de Troyes and Wolfram von Eschenbach. Hence Cal is Percival and not Gawain or Galahad who are the Grail Knights in other versions. Those who are interested in such things can trace the parallels, but it is not necessary for the appreciation of this powerful story.
As ever it is beautifully written with a terrific sense of place and although the characters have their roots in their legendary counterparts, they are real people with real flaws and problems.
Young readers, 12 plus I would say, (though as with Philip Pullman some mature 10 or 11 year olds too) will love it, but as the other reviewers have said it's for adults too. A great read!
But I'm not sure how much I would have got out of it as a teenager; I think I would have been too troubled by its subtlety, its refusal to differentiate Cal's internal and external worlds. Maybe that's just the kind of kid I was, but I think this book will be appreciated most by adults (those who don't think YA literature beneath them).
It's "YA", however, only because of its protagonist's age and its lack of sex and politics. And its length, I suppose, but since it's so well-written, demanding to be read with care, it feels longer than it actually is. The language is beautiful; every word and punctuation mark well-chosen. Cal is a complex character; Fisher has taken a risk by making him in some ways unlikeable, though my sympathy for him (or his mother, or pretty much anyone else in the story) never wavered. Fisher's refusal to make characters obviously "good" or "bad" is a relief after reading so many fantasy stories which trade lazily in medieval concepts of good/evil.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Its a boring start and then it starts being better but u get bored after a while...
Too much description
Beautifully written, tender and heartbreaking this is a reworking of the Grail myth through the life of a lost boy running from the hell of his life caring for his alcoholic... Read morePublished on 9 Dec. 2009 by Jo Bennie
Fantastic in the main. Catherine Fisher has an excellent grasp of tradgedy. Her characters are never simply good or bad - Cal is flawed. Read morePublished on 16 Nov. 2002 by Neil Butler
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