Review Blog

May 12 2014

Usborne's Knights and Armour by Rachel Firth

cover image

Ill. by Giacinto Gaudenzi and Lee Montgomery, designed by Stephen Moncrieff. Usborne, 2014. ISBN 9781409566915.
(Age: 8+) Highly recommended. Knights, British History, Middle Ages. Well, I for one read this book from cover to cover, enthralled with the informative text and equally instructive illustrations. From the first two pages outlining how the book is set out, and acquainting readers with the internet links, and the next six pages telling the reader of life at the time, what life was like before, and a brief look at knights, the book is jam packed with information which will enthrall its readers.
The next four sections headed, Battle gear, Knights at war, Knights at peace, Knights and chivalry are rounded off with a section entitled Knights fact file. Each section warrants close inspection as the illustrations draw the eye in.
Battle gear for example, has a double page spread about the horse and its use in war, then four pages of the weaponry carried into war, a double page follows showing the use of the bows, including the Longbow, the famed English bow, four pages of the knight's armour, helmets, shields, and the horse's armour. The story of the longbow was fascinating, telling how it is used and showing how its use carried the day in the Battle of Crecy, while giving the information that men were to practise the longbow on Sundays rather then play sport. The Battle of Crecy again is mentioned in the next section, Battle tactics, where the reason the British won this important battle of the Hundred Years War is shown.
Internet links dot the pages allowing students to find more information, and the last section, Knight fact file, gives further facts about famous battles and famous knights. The whole has a dense glossary and most useful index, making the book a useful addition to anyone's library.
Fran Knight

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