REVIEW: Arthur High King of Britain

Here’s another by one of my favourite children’s authors Michael Morpurgo.

This time it isn’t one of his own stories but a retelling of the legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table wrapped up in a chapter beginning and end of his own storytelling.

It is brilliant.

This was published in the mid-1990s and runs to 263 pages. It is designed for older children to read themselves and has a number of themes in it that are probably more suitable for those older children like Arthur cheating on Guinevere and having an illegitimate child, Guinevere and Lancelot having an affair, people not always acting with the best of intentions and a fair amount of killing.

But, like all of Michael Morpurgo’s books, it doesn’t shy away from the darker side of life, death and human emotions and that is one of the many things I admire about his work.

The main crux of the stories themselves we have all heard before but the retelling is beautifully done and brings to life the legends in a fantastic way.

I love his prose and the way he builds characters so you really feel yourself in their shoes. I also find his books brilliant for reading aloud although, like I’ve said, this is for an older audience who would probably prefer to read it themselves.

I have another of his retellings on my ever-burgeoning To Be Read shelves – Beowulf – which I am very much looking forward to reading but I can’t spend my life reading books by a single author, too many books and too little time, so I shall leave it sitting on the shelf for the time being.

But I honestly believe that it doesn’t matter which Michael Morpurgo book people read because they are all fantastic.

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