The Squire’s Tale by Gerald Morris
For years, my sister raved about Morris’ Arthurian series. I liked Sir Thomas Malory‘s version but got a little tired of reading so many variations.
But since I’m going on a surfeit of reading, I’d thought I’d pick it up.
The author explains that he wanted to restore some of Sir Gawain’s honor and I think he did so with this retelling. The story is about Terence, an orphan, who signs on as Sir Gawain’s squire. He adjusts to courtly world of Camelot and grows up while questing with the knights.
It’s packed with knightly adventuring and unsettling moments with dire eels (or something). There is humor but it’s not quite as cynical as Monty Python or White‘s version. There are some genuinely magical elements but for the most part, it is pretty down-to-earth.
I rather like it that Terence, the young protagonist, didn’t undergo lengthy episodes of self-pity or petulant anger. Cool kid.
After I finished it, I called my sister and insisted that Morris was as much fun as Malory.
My sister, not as smug as she had every right to be, assured me that the second book is even better.