Friday, 26 April 2013

The Magnetism of Arthurian Legend

It is with great pleasure I introduce my guest

Cheryl Carpinello
who is fascinated by the Legends of King Arthur and his Knights. So much so, Cheryl adds to them with wonderful award winning legends of her own. 

Cheryl, I loved your book, The King's Ransom. I know it was written for children, but adults will enjoy reading it too, especially if they are drawn to King Arthur and his knights...and who isn't :) What piqued your interest in this era?

            The beginning of my fascination with Arthurian Legend started when I took an English literature class in college and read Malory’s Le Morte d’Arthur. Surprising since my family traces their roots back to England and Wales on both sides of my family.

            However, I fell in love with Arthurian Legend when I read T. H. White’s The Once and Future King and included it in my high school English curriculum. Sharing with my students the pageantry of the tournaments and the gallantry of the knights from Malory excited a spark in my students.

            The fast moving adventure story of Wart, the young King Arthur of White’s creation, pulled us all into the romantic and gallant story White weaves. It is a story steeped in all things Arthurian: the exploits of the knights of the Round Table, heroes like King Arthur and Lancelot, and magic and Merlin. 

            King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table has never lost its appeal to readers. Today when I talk about the Medieval Times with kids and adults, the talk centers around the exploits of the knights of the Round Table, heroes like King Arthur and Lancelot, and magic and Merlin. The stories of the knights with their quests, their jousts, their rescuing of the damsels in distress, and their fighting for the underdog dominate the conversation. Never mind that in real life, knights weren’t always so gallant, and frequently only defended the underdog if he belong to the same or a higher social class.

            The King Arthur legend has outgrown and overshadowed any historical truth. A remarkable feat considering that in today’s fast-paced, information-on-the-run world, a legend reaching as far back as 1136 about a mythical king back in the 5th or 6th century shows no signs of abating. Packed into the Arthurian stories of quests, jousts, tournaments, and battles are the cornerstones of Honor, Loyalty, and Friendship that continue to speak to the world and particularly the young.
Cover Designer: Kaytalin Platt

  These qualities were consciously incorporated in Young Knights of the Round Table: The King’s Ransom. The Young Knights have become friends via their friendship with a beggar/vagabond called the Wild Man. Without the Wild Man, it is likely that they wouldn’t have met and become friends because they are from very different backgrounds. Eleven-year-old Gavin is the youngest prince of Pembroke Castle in southern Wales. Fifteen-year-old Bryan has been sent to Pembroke by his parents to learn to be a blacksmith. Thirteen-year-old Philip is an orphan who wandered into Pembroke village and lives and works at the church.

 Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.'
Pembroke Castle, Wales

           In the story, someone breaks into the king’s (Gavin’s father) treasury in Pembroke Castle and not only steals the medallion The King’s Ransom, but also kills the king’s advisor. The Wild Man is captured and charged with the crime. Belief in their friend’s innocence spurs the trio to swear a knight’s oath of loyalty to the Wild Man and embark upon a quest to save him. Their individual quests test their limits and force each to confront and conquer their fears or face humiliation and/or even death. Honor. Loyalty, Friendship.

  Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.'
Cardigan Bay, Wales

  I am a twice-retired high school English teacher. I’m afraid I’m one of those people who do not do retirement well. Working with kids is a passion I have never lost. I regularly conduct Medieval Writing Workshops for local elementary/middle schools and for the Colorado Girl Scouts. We explore writing and reading, and it is fulfilling to see young students excited about writing and reading. It seems I'm not the only one who loves Medieval Times and the King Arthur Legend. The kids thoroughly enjoy writing their own medieval stories complete with dragons, wizards, unicorns, and knights.

Young Knights of the Round Table: The King’s Ransom

2012 Silver Award recipient for YA Fiction from Children’s Literary Classics

2012 Children’s Literary Classics Seal of Approval

2012 USA Best Book Awards Finalist for E-Book Children


In medieval Wales, eleven-year-old Prince Gavin, thirteen-year-old orphan Philip, and fifteen-year-old blacksmith's apprentice Bryan are brought together in friendship by one they call the Wild Man. When an advisor to the king is killed and a jewelled medallion is stolen from the king’s treasury, the Wild Man is accused of the theft and murder.

Filled with disbelief at the arrest of the Wild Man, the three friends embark upon a knight’s quest to save their friend’s life. To succeed, the three must confront their fears and insecurities, and one of them will have to disclose the biggest secret of all.

Join Gavin, Philip, and Bryan on their quest and share the adventures that await them in the land of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table.

Purchase Links:

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 Author Links:



Suzanne's Thoughts for the Day said...

I read The King's Ransom and just loved it. So did one of my boys! I highly recommend this book.

Wendy said...

So did I Suzanne. A King's Ransom is very entertaining and atmospheric for young and old. Thank you for being here.

Rosalie Skinner said...

What's not to love about Arthurian legend. Couldn't get enough of it when I was younger... this book is a great read.
Great post Wendy, Cheryl.

Wendy said...

I agree, Rosalie. Lovely to see you here.

ccarpinello said...

Thanks for stopping by, Rosalie. There is only one King Arthur!

ccarpinello said...

Wendy, thanks for having me here today!

ccarpinello said...

Suzanne, thanks for stopping by and for your kind comments.

Edith Parzefall said...

King Arthur certainly conquered the world if only the world of fiction. Quite amazing how Arthurian legends have spread and continue to do so.

Wish you great success with your young knights of the round table, Cheryl.

ccarpinello said...

Thank you Edith. Happy you could stop by.

Carolina Whaley (Morganu) said...

Cheryl! I really want to read your book looks inteesting :)

ccarpinello said...

Thank you, Carolina. I would love to have you read it.

Angela Paris said...

Thank you for linking up on the Kid Lit Blog Hop!
Happy Friday!

ccarpinello said...

Thanks for taking the time to stop by, Angela. Cheryl

Renee C. said...

Aw, we just adore Cheryl and her books too! I, personally can't get enough of Arthurian legend. Thanks for linking into the Kid Lit Blog Hop! :)