Title: The Sword in the TreeThe Sword in the Tree
Author: Clyde Robert Bulla
Pages: 103
Recommended Ages: 7-10
Star Rating: ★★★★★

By the author of The Ghost of Windy Hill, Three Dollar MuleRiding the Pony Express, and Pirates Promise comes this story set during the reign of King Arthur!

The Story.

Shan dreams of becoming a knight. Already his father, Lord Weldon of Weldon Castle, is training him to sit astride a horse and hold his own in swordplay. Perhaps one day, he’ll serve as one of King Arthur’s knights!

Then one day, Shan’s uncle, Lionel, came to stay at Weldon Castle. He seemed to be a moody man – given to outbursts of temper and subject at all time to strange humors. He began to invite friends of his to stay at the castle – rowdy men. And then one day, Lord Weldon and Lionel ride off on a hunt and only Lionel returns!

He claims that Lord Weldon died accidentally, but as he begins to take over Weldon Castle, Shan and his mother are convinced that he did away with Lord Weldon by means foul and treacherous! But Shan is too young to challenge his uncle – he’ll have to appeal to King Arthur himself for help!

Discussion.

Yeah, I’m totally in love with this story. It’s for a very young audience, so it was not as detailed as it could have been, but I just loved the setting and the themes.

Shan is a young boy much given to contemplating the course of his life and the great deeds of justice he can accomplish if he becomes one of King Arthur’s knights. He respects his parents and, when his father disappears, he takes it upon himself to protect his mother as they make their wild flight away from Weldon Castle.

It is then that Shan learns that King Arthur receives pleas, not just from the rich and noble, but also from the poor and lowly. He determines [with his mother’s blessing] to seek out an audience with the king and beg him to restore Weldon Castle to its rightful owner. King Arthur agrees, and to this end sends Sir Gareth along with Shan to confront Lionel. Thence ensues a fearful battle between the knight and the scoundrel!

Which is just awesome.

Conclusion. If your children enjoy medieval history, they will LOVE this book. If they don’t, give it to them anyway – it will serve to kindle their interest.

Review © 2014 Laura Verret

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