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The Seeing Stone

Narrated by: Samuel West
Series: The Arthur Trilogy, Book 1
Length: 3 hrs and 41 mins
Categories: Children, Fiction
4.5 out of 5 stars (22 ratings)

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Summary

The year is 1199, the place the Welsh Marches, where young Arthur de Caldicot practises his tilting and archery, learns to be a dutiful page to his father, and waits impatiently to grow up and become a knight. One day his father's friend Merlin gives him a shining black stone. When Arthur starts to see stories in the stone, his life quickly becomes entwined with that of his namesake, the boy who pulls the sword in the stone.

In the many-layered novel of which this is the talking book, King Arthur is seen as a figure for all time, an exemplar to his namesake, a mysterious presence influencing not just one time and place but many. The 100 short chapters are almost like sound bites, not only of the mythical past of King Arthur but the real, earthy, uncomfortable Middle Ages. The turn of the century; uncertainty about the future; war and peace; Christianity and Islam; rationalism and superstition; the sharp contracts in the lives of rich and poor; all these issues impact on the life of a boy in a medieval manor and give the book its uniquely contemporary feel.

The Seeing Stone is a unique and brilliant new take on the Arthurian story-cycle. The author is a magician with words and his light, speedy narrative is as easy to listen to as it is poetic.

Listen to a free interview with Kevin Crossley-Holland. Simply Click here to download.

©2000 Kevin Crossley Holland (P)2000 Orion Publishing Group Ltd.

Critic reviews

"Fun, intelligent highly enjoyable stuff." ( Time Out)

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Hooray for Arthur

Wonderful, intriguing and evocative story, and a great way to introduce children to the Arthur story. My 12 year old son (not a great reader) loved listening to it on the long drive to Cornwall (his parents enjoyed it too) and now wants to read the second volume in the series as a real book!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Terrific - except ...

Loved this series of books, and was enjoying listening to it again some years on. Then thought there were bits missing. Checked, and yes, this is abridged. Which is sad because the narration is great, the story is brilliant, but huge great wonderful chunks have been excised - I'd never have bought it if I'd read the details more carefully.
So listen by all means, but having done that, go read the book in full, and then read the full length version of the others. Don't miss out on a gem of a series by listening to this half-version!