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|Excalibur : the legend of King Arthur|
Author: Lee, Tony
A graphic novel on the tale of Arthur who draws a legendary sword from a stone.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 3.00
Points: 2.0 Quiz: 157262
Booklist - 03/15/2011 In an age overflowing with comics adaptations of just about every canonical classic out there, it’s a puzzler why there aren’t a slew of Arthurian graphic novels exploring the timeless legend of magic, adventure, chivalry, and betrayal. Well, the creative team behind Outlaw: The Legend of Robin Hood (2009) have now authoritatively filled that gap. Taking cues from a wide range of familiar sources, they construct a coherent narrative in which Arthur proves himself by pulling the famous sword from the stone, defeats a villainous pretender to the throne, and unites his kingdom. But instead of spinning off into the exploits of the Round Table, the focus shifts primarily to the vengeance quest of Arthur’s half-sister enchantress, Morgana, whose dark-faerie machinations impact everything from Lancelot and Guinevere’s betrayal to Arthur’s eventual fall. Hart captures it all with intense, shadow- and light-filled artwork, bringing an exciting, gritty visualization to the book’s balance of wizardry, court intrigue, gruff romance, and loads of sword-swinging action. - Copyright 2011 Booklist.
Bulletin for the Center... - 05/01/2011 According to Lee and Hart in this graphic-novel-styled retelling of the Arthurian legend, Arthur’s fate was decided long before he pulled a sword out of a stone in a moment of desperation. Here he is torn between his true love in the Seelie fairy court (a relationship forged during his years of training in this other realm, a period of time that seemed only hours in his own) and his responsibilities that weigh on him in the human world; Merlin, Guinevere, and Lancelot are little help, distracted and plagued as they are by their own worries, missed loves, and dangers. It is little wonder that Arthur asks Merlin to take away his memories of his first love, allowing him to focus on his role as king and leader, at least until the death he has always had visions of catches up to him. The somber storyline, with most characters barely surviving under forces they cannot control, is matched with subtle color schemes; often the black inking plays out against a tightly controlled colorway, whether it be the rich earthtones of action moments or the cool pale blues and lilacs of even bleaker times. While the text bubbles and structured panels may be fairly traditional graphic-novel fare, Lee and Hart make excellent use of the interplay between narrative and digital artwork, using each to emphasize, exaggerate, and sometimes even challenge the other (in particular, the depth of emotion shown on many of the faces often directly reveals the reluctance behind their steely words about dedication and honor). Romance fans will get just as much out of the haunting love stories as Arthur fans will from this reenergizing of the classic tale. AS - Copyright 2011 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.
School Library Journal - 05/01/2011 Gr 8 Up—A dramatic retelling of King Arthur's life, death, and beyond. With centuries of divergent, often contradictory, story lines to pull from, Lee was able to pick and choose those aspects of Arthurian legend that would best suit his vision. The final product emphasizes the magical elements of the tale, placing Arthur within a grand scheme of warring fairy factions. The artwork is certainly up to the task of recounting these events. In particular, the artist's use of color does a fantastic job of creating different moods. The work isn't perfect, however. The dialogue is written in a faux archaic style that lapses occasionally into anachronism; whatever your take on Arthur's historicity, it's doubtful that Lancelot would reply to a question with a Keanu Reeves-esque "Totally." The many characters and plotlines are often crammed together, giving short shrift to some elements. Still, this is a solid work, and one that will attract new readers to a classic story.—Douglas P. Davey, Halton Hills Public Library, Ontario, Canada - Copyright 2011 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.