The legend of the golden-throated bard whose music soothes wild beasts and brings concord to the hearts of men is one of the oldest, best loved in our literature. It dates back thousands of years to the Greek myth of Orpheus. Now noted medievalist Constance Hieatt, reteller of six other legends from the days of King Arthur for young readers, has unearthed a beautiful, little-known English version of the Orpheus myth. Here then is the story of Orfeo, the Minstrel Knight. But unlike his Greek prototype, this Orfeo has no Eurydice; his beloved queen is Etain, princess from the invisible perilous world of Faerie. How Sir Orfeo chances to lose the fair Etain, how he becomes a shaggy penitent in the Magic Woods, how his long quest for her takes him to the dreadful Court of the Dead, may remind some of the familiar Greek myth, but the outcome of this most haunting and delicate of the Arthurian legends will be a complete surprise. As always, Mrs. Hieatt's research has been impeccable; her writing rolls with a flow that charmingly captures Middle English rhythms; and her story is taut with suspense. And as a special bonus: entwined with her narrative are three breathtaking minstrel ballads. The courtly illustrations are by James Barkley.
From the dust jacket
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