Review Blog

Apr 09 2014

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight by Michael Morpurgo

cover image

Walker, 2013. ISBN 9781406348880.
Knights of the Round Table, amassed under the famed King Arthur's rule, were legendary as being the finest and fiercest Knights of the Kingdom of Britain.
Worthy Knights, to this day, wear a silken belt. Why? The answer lies with the tale of the chivalrous and courageous nephew of King Arthur, Sir Gawain.
Stronger in battle than any other, honest and true, Sir Gawain stepped up to the challenge thrown down by the dreadful, murderous green man, on his huge green steed, who dropped in on Camelot, brandishing a gargantuan battle axe, just as their New Year's Eve feast was about to commence.
Terrible to behold, the Green Knight challenged Sir Gawain to strike his head from his shoulders with his weapon. But, the rules of the 'game' were such that the Knight must agree to seek out the Green Knight of the Green Chapel twelve months and a day later, and submit to a 'return match', this time with the Green Knight wielding the massive axe.
As the next New Year approached Sir Gawain valiantly bid Camelot farewell and journeyed alone in search of the Green Chapel. Travel-weary and hungry he came upon a magnificent Castle, where he was welcomed, feasted and entertained for several days.
The very hospitable Lord of the Castle took his men hunting on three days, leaving the quite perplexed Gawain in the company of the Castle's ladies.
Why did the Lord's beautiful wife try to entice Sir Gawain into a love situation? Did the dazzling green belt really possess magical powers? And who was the ugly old crone who seemed to be forever watching the young Knight?
Eventually the day of his appointment with the dreaded Green Knight dawned, and, leaving the Castle with much trepidation, Sir Gawain rode to his rendezvous with destiny at the Green Chapel.
Who really was the Green Knight?
Joan Kerr-Smith

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