Dinadan wishes to be a minstrel, but that's not an acceptable occupation for a nobleman's son. Especially when his older brother Tristram is a legendary knight, out doing grand knightly things in the world. But when Dinadan gets knighted in a hurry he sets out to find great exploits to turn into heroic ballads. What he finds is the difference between true knights and merely grand ones, between tragedy and stupidity.
This is one of the most cynical books in the Squire's Tales series. Through the eyes of Sir Dinadan, Morris is harsh towards some of the most "romantic" stories in Arthurian legend. He takes on the story of Tristan and Iseult, choosing to portray the two as lovelorn idiots who end up hurting everyone around them (including themselves). He and his characters blatantly decry the glorification of adultery that typifies courtly love stories.
Prepare to put aside all your preconceived ideas about Arthurian legend. Nothing is safe or sacred in Gerald Morris' stories, with the possible exception of King Arthur himself. The result is an excellent and entertaining look at the stories of the Round Table, stripped of the abject romanticism (and highbrow language) of most serious retellings.
Review by Lauren Shearer
Lauren Shearer writes words for fun and profit. She also makes films, but everyone knows you can't make a profit doing that. Her other hobby is consistently volunteering way too much of her time. You can read more of her reviews here.
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