Here Lies Arthur

Here Lies Arthur Gwynna Is Just A Girl Who Is Forced To Run When Her Village Is Attacked And Burns To The Ground To Her Horror, She Is Discovered In The Wood But It Is Myrddin The Bard Who Has Found Her, A Traveler And Spinner Of Tales He Agrees To Protect Gwynna If She Will Agree To Be Bound In Service To Him Gwynna Is Frightened But Intrigued And Says Yes For This Myrddin Serves The Young, Rough, And Powerful Arthur In The Course Of Their Travels, Myrddin Transforms Gwynna Into The Mysterious Lady Of The Lake, A Boy Warrior, And A Spy It Is Part Of A Plot To Transform Arthur From The Leader Of A Ragtag War Band Into King Arthur, The Greatest Hero Of All TimeIf Gwynna And Myrrdin S Trickery Is Discovered, What Will Become Of Gwynna Worse, What Will Become Of Arthur Only The Endless Battling, The Mighty Belief Of Men, And The Sheer Cunning Of One Remarkable Girl Will Tell

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 no budget theatre projects.Philip then began illustrating and has since provided cartoons for around forty children s books, including the best selling Horrible Histories, Murderous Maths and Dead Famous series.Railhead, published by Oxford Un

➹ [Reading] ➻ Here Lies Arthur By Philip Reeve ➮ –
  • Paperback
  • 289 pages
  • Here Lies Arthur
  • Philip Reeve
  • English
  • 24 May 2018
  • 9781407103587

10 thoughts on “Here Lies Arthur

  1. says:

    There are eleventy billion books out there based on the King Arthur story, but this is one of the best I ve read It s one of the realistic ones Arthur isn t a king or a hero he s a thug who wants to take as much as he can from the other thugs of post Roman Britain and Merlin is a smooth talking PR man who s trying to convince everyone Arthur is the one who will save them from the Saxons The author imagines believable origins for all the stories that have been passed down as glorious myths, but he also explores how important stories are to people who are afraid of dying in battle or just living hard, boring lives The narrator is a girl who sometimes pretends to be a boy and the differences between these two existences are thoughtfully explored Because of the unflinching descriptions of life in the Dark Ages abuse, rape, wholesale slaughter it s not for younger teens The writing is beautiful.

  2. says:

    Compelling read With its super short chapters, I found it incredibly difficult to put it down I love books where the title and flap copy make the book appear to be about one thing but then, once you get into it, you realize that there is a much larger theme In this case, the book appears to be aboutwellthe man who would be King Arthur And Merlin, Lancelot, etc But it s so much bigger than that Ultimately, the book is about the power of story to change history and change lives people will believe what they want to believe, particularly in times of trouble and depression Merlin or Myrddin, as he is called here in Welsh playing the original spin doctor is brilliant I have yet to read a single Reeve story I haven t liked.

  3. says:

    A surprisingly good retelling of the King Arthur legend as told by a fictional apprentice of Merlin that, despite the author saying isn t meant as a historical novel, does feel like one nonetheless But a grim and dark one, with zero romanticism and where the Arthur we knew from the medieval epics isn t exactly a man with an unpolluted reputation yet still worthy of bard songs I liked the non magical reworking of the plot as well as the explanation through clever trickery of how elements such as the sword Excalibur came to be, and Gwyna was also an interesting voice for a narrator, as she s in a position to relay the versions of all sides Merlin s side, Arthur co s side and the women s side None of the usual characters is particularly likable, but this would appeal those who prefer a realistic gritty take on the old legends along the likes of Cornwell s books.

  4. says:

    Philip Reeve s Here Lies Arthur is not my favourite retelling of the Arthurian story it s probably not even in the top ten but it is a fun version, and it s a quick and easy read It s historical, rather than fantastical, and in the guts and gore school rather than any kind of romance It references a lot of Arthurian legends, sometimes from several varying sources, with the spin that Arthur was a brute and Merlin his clever PR guy, with the help of some trickery It feels a bit cursory at times e.g the very brief references to Culhwch ac Olwen but it is nice to see the range of sources, including the oldest ones, the Welsh ones.I m not sure how I feel about the narration It changes tense a lot, obviously intentionally, but while the idea behind it makes sense, it wasn t seamless and invisible to me, so it wasn t always well executed It was very jarring, a couple of times, though most of the time it didn t get too much in the way The first person narrator is a little flat, at times, to me Myrddin s death got to me, yes, but the deaths of Gwenhwyfar and Bedwyr, who Gwyna was less ambivalent to than Myrddin, should have felt raw, and they didn t Actually, the parts with Myrddin were the best I believed in him, and in his stories.I like what Philip Reeve has done with the stories, and I will read of his work, but I am picky about my Arthuriana Cue a resounding silence where no one is surprised

  5. says:

    A postmodern take on the Arthurian legends that brilliantly deconstructs these timeless myths through the eyes of a gender bending narrator could there be a perfect retelling of these stories for little ole postmodern feminist me Reeve s wonderful book cleverly demonstrates how the lives of ordinary, imperfect people become dazzling, entrancing myths and the high price that is paid to create them In this version, Arthur is no gentle Christian king but rather is the brutish leader of a pack of mercernaries roaming the British countryside, meting out swift and severe punishment to all who refuse to pay proper tribute Merlin is Myrddin, a silver tongued bard who creates the Arthur we know today through his captivating tales The narrator, Gwyna, is a unlucky young girl who stumbles across their path during one of Arthur s raids, and is transformed multiple times from Lady of the Lake to boy servant to handmaiden spy and back again.Reeve is one of my favorite fantasy authors writing today and this book is just as stellar as his outstanding Hungry City Chronicles Highly recommended for anyone who s deeply skeptical about chivalry but still loves a good story.

  6. says:

    Writers frequently play with the legendary story and Reeve s version is about the how the legend might have come to be He gives us an Arthur who isn t a very nice guy and a Merlin who was the orginal spin doctor creating the stories that people wanted to hear about a king they yearned to believe in The narrator, a scorned and abused peasant girl, tells an unflinching story of what life was really like and perhaps why the stories took on a life of their own An intriguing take on the familiar tale.

  7. says:

    An excellent, gritty take on the Arthurian legend, basically a look at the possible reality vs the legend It reminded me very much of The Crystal Cave or one of Rosemary Sutcliffe s books A quick, interesting read, there s a nice author s note at the end as well.

  8. says:

    3.5 starsI read this book over two years ago, so it s definitely been awhile What made me remember Here Lies Arthur was a conversation I overheard yesterday in which a mother was looking for Arthurian tales to recommend to her 13 year old, who just loved The Mists of Avalon When my eyes uncrossed themselves at the madness of a 13 year old reading that piece of crap clearly adult novel or watching the miniseries which I did accidentally at 13 and was incredibly disturbed scarred by it I remembered Here Lies Arthur, and how I would have offered it up as a suggestion just to be cheeky First, though, a confession I have not had the best of luck with Philip Reeve books I tried and ultimately gave up on that steampunk novel of his a few years ago view spoiler Frankly, I think his books are weird as hell, kinda like Garth Nix s books hide spoiler

  9. says:

    Here Lies Arthur by Philip Reeve This novel is a different story about the King Arthur legend.The story follows a girl named Gwyna, who is running away from her home, which is in flames During her escape she meets a man named Myrddin who is Merlin who takes pity on her and allows her a place to stay for a while However, Myrddin has another use for little Gwyna, she becomes the Lady of the Lake and is the one who gives Arthur his sword Caliburn Excalibur After Gwyna gives the sword to Arthur, Myrddin makes her into a boy so she would be able to come with them During the war bands travels, Gwyna, now Gwyn, met a girl her age named Peri who is really a boy named Peredur, or better known as Perceval The duo play a trick on a holy man that causes the holy man to become holy Later the war band takes over the city Aquae Sulis, making it Arthur s capital There Arthur meets Gwenhwyfar, whom he is really forced into marrying him By this time, Gwyna is starting to look and like a young woman than a man Myrddin seeing this decides to change Gwyn back into Gwyna and she goes into to serve Gwenhwyfar Things slowly goes from bad to worse, almost shadowing the legend This story is a different viewpoint and a whole different take on the legend of King Arthur.Negatives 1 Myrddin He goes from likable, to vile, to just delusional The problem I have is that he has all these various mood swings and it throws the reader off But it s than that For the longest time, I thought that Myrddin seemed to be really likable and enjoyable Then he just changes and becomes a bitter, vile man Then later on, you learn that the reason he becomes this way seems like a hurried explanation Because of this, you realize that he was always lost within his own false stories he made up about Arthur He s still an interesting character, however.2 Children Story I saw that this was short listed for some children story award Is this really meant to be a children s story Really With all the nudity, sex, graphic bloodshed, and the curse words, this really doesn t seem to be child friendly Unless the children stories have changed from when I was young to today.Positives 1 Pacing The story was a really fast read It really kept me entertained and excited when I was reading In fact, I really didn t want to put the story down to long The chapters were short and quick, only lasting a few pages The story wasn t bogged down in fancy wording or unimportant details Gwyna s narration was simple, yet riveting It was like I was listening to own of Myrddin s tall tales.2 Villainous Arthur Arthur was a villain Seeing him as someone who I really hated was a shock but a shock I really enjoyed Everyone thinks that Arthur is some sort of immortal hero, always just and true Yet here, he is a vile, hateful, stupid, cruel man I have to say I enjoy him like this than as a good man.3 Dark The whole story had a darker feel to it From the beginning, seeing Gwyna s home burn is dark Then you have the tragic parts of Gwenhwyfar, Bedwyr, and Cei On top of that Arthur isn t noble and kind It just felt dark But it felt so right.Side Notes 1 Movies It really seems that Philip Reeve took a lot, a lot of inspiration from movies like 1981 s Excalibur There are some scenes from Excalibur that are, for the most part, taken word for word in this story, the best example the endings are very similar.2 Legends to Characters It was fun to try to figure out who was who from the legend to the story Some were very obvious Cei was Kay, Myrddin was Merlin, and Peredur was Perceval Some where harder to figure out, but it still was interesting seeing who was who.3 Cover Art Simple, yet interesting It seems clean Seeing Caliburn being held by the Lady of the Lake reminiscent of the movie Excalibur really works well.Overall 5 5Final Thoughts This was a fun take on King Arthur s legend The reason why I thought it was fun is because of how unlike the legend it is Seeing Arthur as a vile character was different and I thought it works really well Gwyna is an interesting character, going from girl to boy to girl again and how she deals with everything was fun to read about It just was a fast paced story and exciting like nothing else.

  10. says:

    For some reason, I cannot read this title without intuitively reading it in Latin hic iacit Arcturus I attended a literacy conference this week where Philip Reeve was for wont of a better phrase the keynote speaker and I was lent this book as an introduction to his work as to my total shame I ve never read any I ve been aware of Mortal Engines and intending to read it being a definite steampunk fan but something s always got in my way So onto hic iacit Arctururs which is obviously based on the King Arthur legend Lets look at the cover above We see a youthful face, armoured, with piercing blue eyes raised to Heaven in a saintly way No one tells us that this face is Arthur s but it is the assumption we make But let s look at it in detail The metaphor Reeve uses to describe Arthur is the bear petty, violent and brutally violent This is not the picture that decorates the cover So who else could it be Gwyna the main character and narrator Is the face sufficiently feminine rather than saintly to be a young woman Possibly, but she is never a soldier and far earthy than this character looks No, I think the picture is Peredur A relatively minor character introduced a few chapters in and dismissed to return in the second half and become really very important And there is a very obvious reason why this would fit with the femininity of the image Reeve seems to be creating a world that is closer to historical reality with it s hardships, horrors, tedium and petty brutality as well as beauty, stink and death Listening to him yesterday, he described how he was inspired by John Boorman s Excalibur and lifted stole both the opening and closing scenes from it It was lovely hearing him describe how as a teenager inspired by this film he devoured Arthurian mythology in a remarkably similar way to the way I did myself Reeve sets the story deeply into the Celtic world, translating familiar names like Merlin into the Welsh and authentic sounding Myrddin Tintagel become Din Tagel Myrddin is for Arthur what Alastair Campbell was for Tony Blair Reeve shows him spinning and weaving the legends of Arthur from half formed truths, ancient myths, lost religions and outright lies It is an explicitly metafictional book a book about books a tale of tales a story of songs which explores the powers of the transformative narrative word to bind and inspire, to create belief out of the air We hear the tales we all know Uthr transformed into the shape of his enemy to seduce Ygraine the Lady of the Lake Excalibur or Caliburn here the Holy Grail and we see the sleight of hand by which they were created And what I find amazing is that, just like Gwyna, we both recognise the lies for what they are and we are seduced by them ourselves There is something beautifully Shakespearean here The gender ambiguities of Gwyna who becomes a boy, Gwyn, to be safe upon the road and the parallel story of Peredur kept safe from the army by being dressed as a girl echoes As You Like It s Rosalind I recall the series on Channel 4 not many months back called Camelot starring Joseph Fiennes as a not dissimilar Merlin albeit one with genuine magic In reflection, it s such a shame they didn t just dramatise this book which despite the lack of raunchiness breasts were bared nearly moment by moment and maidens defiled each episode was so much authentic, genuinely moving and just interesting.On a separate point Philip Reeve is fabulous Clad in a three piece suit which my untrained eye wants to claim as gabardine and walking upright he looked like he had strode out of Dartmoor which I guess he literally had where no doubt he was to return to find the footprint of a monstrous hound by his garden gate He is, however, a truly inspirational speaker and I feel privileged to have heard him speak

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