Here Lies Arthur

For use in schools and libraries only When her village is attacked and burned, Gwyna seeks protection from the bard Myrddin, who uses Gwyna in his plan to transform young Arthur into the heroic King Arthur.
Here Lies Arthur For use in schools and libraries only When her village is attacked and burned Gwyna seeks protection from the bard Myrddin who uses Gwyna in his plan to transform young Arthur into the heroic King A

  • Title: Here Lies Arthur
  • Author: Philip Reeve
  • ISBN: 9780606105576
  • Page: 276
  • Format: Hardcover
  • 1 thought on “Here Lies Arthur”

    1. 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, [...]

    2. 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 aboutwelle 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 be [...]

    3. 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 [...]

    4. 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 more 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 [...]

    5. 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 [...]

    6. 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 more 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 b [...]

    7. 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 Art [...]

    8. 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 [...]

    9. I really don't know. This was a weird, weird book. I'm just surprised I was able to finish it.

    10. It was an interesting take on the legends, but I felt that it didn't stay true to the spirit of the old stories. That ruined it for me. It stripped away the magic, and instead of feeling like a historical take, it felt (IMO) too pessimistic for me to like it.I don't recommend this to lovers of the legends.

    11. Ultimately, I did not care for this book.Unlike other readers, I wasn't put off by how Reeve depicted a less than heroic King Arthur. This is not a new concept Arguably it was done as early as the 12th century in Chretien de Troyes works! I bring this up not to be a literary snob, but to dispel the idea that the Arthurian legend is sacrosanct. It never has been. Add in recent high profile movies and tv shows that try to deconstruct this myth and arguably Reeve is part of a trend. What does he br [...]

    12. What a disappointment. I expected to like this book--the cover is awesome, the summary on the back sounded intriguing, and it seems like most people on here thought it was pretty great.This book about King Arthur makes him into a selfish, unlikable thug and murderer. His character is so much worse than I can describe. I disliked him from the very first chapter, and I wondered how the author was possibly going to spin him into someone I would care about. In fact, the author just made him more hor [...]

    13. Gwynna is just a child when Myrddin (Merlin) takes her in after Arthur kills her master and all his household in a raid. He disguises her as a boy so that she can be his servant, following along on the adventures of Arthur and his warriors. But eventually the day comes when she can no longer be disguised as a boy, and everything changes.There was a lot about this that I liked. Here, Merlin is not a real magician (though he pretends to be one when it is useful) but a politician and a storyteller. [...]

    14. Fans of the Arthurian legends should enjoy this fresh revisioning. Personally, I think his "Larklight" series is far better.Almost three stars. A reinvention of the Arthurian myths, with a much more "authentic" feel than most, esp. the Roman and Welsh touches.Here, Arthur was no hero, no great king. Nothing more than a bully and a tyrant, surrounded by men just as petty and small - minded as himself. It was Myrrddin, the bard, whose stories gave Arthur power and prestige. It was the idea of some [...]

    15. You can find almost every kind of fantasy within the Arthurian tradition, such as classic fantasy (The Once and Future King), feminist fantasy (The Mists of Avalon), and semi-historical fantasy (The Crystal Cave). "Here Lies Arthur", perhaps, represents something new: anti-fantasy. Despite the pretty unicorn sticker affixed to my copy's spine by the Oakland Public Library, "Here Lies Arthur" contains not a single fantastic event. Reeves bursts just about every bubble in the Arthurian soap. Merli [...]

    16. We’ve all heard the story of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. A young Arthur learns of his kingly destiny by pulling the sword from the stone. He is a fair and much loved ruler who weds the beautiful Guinevere. We also know of Guinevere’s betrayal and her deep love for Lancelot. It’s a fabulous story but what if that’s all it is? Maybe it’s not the true story at all. Perhaps the real story is much grittier and far less polished. Here Lies Arthur tells of an alternative A [...]

    17. 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.

    18. “They’re only stories,” he would say, “What do stories matter?” But he wasn’t stupid. He knew as well as Myrddin that in the end stories are all that matter.--Here Lies Arthur“The heroes, the Trows--the stories that bind us, Halli. The stories we live by, that dictate what we do and where we go. The stories that give us our names, our identities, the places we belong, the people we hate.”--Heroes of the ValleyStory seems to be the theme of my reading lately (see here for more), a [...]

    19. 3.5 stars reallyOriginally posted here.I have been in an Arthurian sort of mood this week. If you should ever find yourself in an Arthurian sort of mood then Here Lies Arthur by Philip Reeve is one I would definitely recommend. Be warned that this is one of those stories that tries to place Arthur in his actual historical context. This not Le Morte d'Arthur. Not anywhere close, and that is actually my favorite thing about it. I like it when an author tries to separate the man from the myth, and [...]

    20. I don’t know what took me so long to get to this book, seeing as how I’m a huge fan of both Reeve’s Immortal Engines quartet and practically anything even remotely Arthurian (including books that simply take place in the cold and mucky England of yore – very long-ago yore).Here Lies Arthur was well worth the wait. After Myrddin the bard rescues young Gwyna from the aftermath of one of war-band leader Arthur’s slash-and-burn raids, she is transformed from a slave who just tried to get t [...]

    21. I got this book as an uncorrected proof through the Vine program. This was a really good book. It is a very unique take on the tale of Arthur and his "knights".This book focuses around the life of Gwyna. When her village is burned down by Arthur and his warband she is pulled aside by Myrddin and asked to aid him in a ruse as the Lady of the Lake after Myrddin sees Gwyna swimming down the river from her village. Myrddin decides to keep Gwyna around after the ruse is accomplished and from there o [...]

    22. With his newest book, Reeve jumps into the past and presents a modern re-imaging of the Arthurian legends. The story is told through the eyes a girl named Gwyna, who starts of the book at the young age of nine. Arthur is leading an army against the manor in which she lives. All there are crushed, and she is one of the few survivors. Myrddin, who me have come to call Merlin, finds her and takes pity on her. He also sees a chance to use her.While England has become a Christian land, many of its in [...]

    23. This is a book for the Arthurian Legends enthusiasts, and I happen to be one.  Having read many re-imagined Arthurian tales, I was completely delighted by this fresh take on the “true story” behind the legends.   Reeve’s conceit is a fabulous one: it is all about the power of stories, storytelling, and story tellers.  The title alone is worthy of much examination, with its double meanings of "lying dead" and "telling lies." At the beginning, I was perplexed by the switches between pas [...]

    24. I've always loved the King Arthur stories, ever since I was very, very young. In fact one of my most treasured picture books when I was probably 5 or 6 was an illustrated copy of one of the Arthurian legends. Later my mom would introduce me to Mary Stewarts Merlin-centric books and it got me into the genre all over again. I was obsessed and went on to read many series involving the legends from a variety of angles including some of the historical information.So it only seemed natural that I woul [...]

    25. Opening: "Even the woods are burning."I'm a big fan of Arthurian re-tellings, though I know I haven't read even a tiny portion of them. Often they focus on Arthur, or his knights, or at least one of the side characters in the original stories. In Here Likes Arthur, we have something different. This is Gwyna's story, the story of how she came to know Arthur and Myrddin. The characters she describes are self-consciously different from the usual depictions, and the whole book is on one level a kind [...]

    26. My expectations for a fictional Arthur-type character are rather specific. I don't rate at all highly any back-projection of Malory, Tennyson or even Geoffrey of Monmouth into a sub-Roman context, with medieval concepts of round tables, grails and swords embedded in stones appearing anachronistically in Late Antiquity. And so my heart sank when I began reading a scenario involving a Lady in a Lake in this young adult fiction book.But, dedicated Arthurian that I am, I persisted, and am very glad [...]

    27. Philip Reeve adds his own layer to the canvas of Arthurian lore. In this journey to the Camelot-front, expect to meet many of the usual players: Arthur, Myrddin (Merlin), Gwenhwyfar (Geneviere) and Bedwir (reminiscent of Lancelot) are all on the scene. Fans of the legends will pay close attention to how Reeve lays out the various relationships and plotlines. Is Myrddin a magician, or an illusionist? Will Arthur be the popular, noble hero who unites his warriors around the symbolic table? Can Bed [...]

    28. Here Lies Arthur refers to the King Arthur of legends, but the tale also portrays the story of Gwyna who undergoes a transformation from a young and insignificant slave girl into the mysterious Lady of the Lake, a boy warrior, and a spy. It begins with her escape from the clutches of Arthur only to be adopted by Myrddin the bard. Through her adventures, she witnesses her master fabricate the fantastic stories that make Arthur a man of legend. When really he is no hero, no great king. She discove [...]

    29. Really, really, really great re-imagining of King Arthur from Philip Reeve. Rather than being written in the third person, or from Merlin's or Arthur's point of view, the book is actually from the perspective of a young girl throughout the book. Turns out King Arthur wasn't that nice a guy after all: according to Reeve he was actually a petty warlord, running round razing villages, stealing cattle, and then lying back in his (stolen) town and enjoying his spoils. However, Arthur had a bit of a t [...]

    30. This is a brilliant book.It works on 2 levels: 1stly as a story in it's own right.The novel tells of Myrddin (or Merlin, as he's better known) , bard with a group of warriors led by Arthur (yes, that Arthur.), who rescues a young girl named Gwyna when Arthur's band sack the camp where she lives.There then follows a tale of romance, adventure, & cross-dressingPhilip Reeve writes beautifully,using Gwyna as the narrator: her voice is credible , & the story flows well. Despite this being ost [...]

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