The highly acclaimed novel from the unparalleled Philip Reeve-now in paperback. Gwyna is just a small girl, a mouse, when she is bound in service to Myrddin the bard-a traveller and spinner of tales. But Myrddin transforms her-into a goddess, a boy warrior, and a spy. Without Gwyna, Myrddin will not be able to work the most glorious transformation of all-and turn the leader of a raggle-taggle war-band into King Arthur, the greatest hero of all time. An ancient story and a brilliant allegory of our own times.
Winner Cargegie Medal 2008.
Winner of Nestle Children's Book Prize: Age 9-11 (Bronze) 2007.
"Reeve, like Myrddin, turns hallowed myth and supple prose to political purposes, neatly skewering the modern-day cult of spin and the age-old trickery behind it. Smart teens will love this. Ages 12-up." Publishers Weekly
"Reeve offers up a revisionist retelling of the Arthurian legend, set in southwest Britain in A.D. 500, and exposing the dark side of Camelot. Arthur is a brutal, bullying tyrant, and not terribly bright. His fame stems solely from the stories spun by Myrrdin, a traveling bard and trickster. But this story is not primarily Arthur's. It is Gwyna's, a child who is rescued by Myrddin when her village is sacked and burned....The power of stories is a theme of the novel. Reeve's usual lyrical, cinematic prose underscores the message that in the end perhaps they are the only things that matter. A multilayered tour de force for mature young readers." School Library Journal
"Reeve, the author of the excellent Mortal Engines quartet and the Larklight series, turns his attention here to a different fantasy, the legend of King Arthur—but Reeve's Arthur is a far less noble, far more brutish man than in other retellings...Reeve adds original new dimensions to the famous characters, fleshing them out into flawed, all-too-human people, and his language is powerful and poetic. Clever, observant Gwynna is the narrator, and we share her sorrow at the many tragedies she witnesses. As she learns, "in the end stories are all
that matter," and she deliberately craftsher own legend about Gwenhwyfar for posterity. Reeve brings to life the gritty reality of the times, comparing the lives of women to the dangerous but often exciting lives of men, and describing the complex political alliances that are involved in conquest as well as the bloody battles. It's a marvelous read, unsentimental yet deeply moving, and it's sure to garner well-deserved awards." KLIATT
Philip Reeve was born and grew up in Brighton. He worked in a bookshop there and on various other projects before starting a career as an illustrator. Although he has been writing stories since he was very young, Mortal Engines was the first to be published - and to incredible critical acclaim. Philip lives in Devon with this wife and son. David Wyatt has worked on many beautiful covers for authors including Terry Pratchett, Philip Pullman and JRR Tolkien. He lives in Devon, and is a keen Lutist, cyclist, and wanderer of the moors.