The Princess, the Crone, and the Dung-Cart Knight
By Gerald Morris
(Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, Hardcover, 9780618378234, 320pp.)
Publication Date: March 2004
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Ever since that tragic night when her mother and guardian were murdered, thirteen-year-old Sarah has been living on her own and searching for the knight who was responsible. Her quest for revenge leads to an even greater adventure when she witnesses Queen Guinevere being kidnapped. Soon Sarah finds herself accompanying Sir Gawain and Squire Terence on a remarkable journey to rescue the Queen. In their travels they meet, among others, a mystery knight traveling incognito in a dung cart, a faery who becomes Sarah’s first friend in a long time, a reclusive monk who plans to spend the rest of his life building a tomb for Sir Lancelot, and a princess who might have a little more gumption than she appears to.
As the plot thickens, Sarah finds out more about the people she’s met and befriended, as well as about herself. She begins to learn the true consequences of vengeance and what it really means to be a princess.
When Gerald Morris was in fifth grade he loved Greek and Norse mythology and before long was retelling the stories to his younger sister and then to neighborhood kids. He began carrying a notebook in which he kept some of the details related to the different stories. The joy he found in retelling those myths continued when he discovered other stories. According to Gerald Morris, "I never lost my love of retelling the old stories. When I found Arthurian literature, years later, I knew at once that I wanted to retell those grand tales. So I pulled out my notebook . . . I retell the tales, peopling them with characters that I at least find easier to recognize, and let the magic of the Arthurian tradition go where it will." Gerald Morris lives in Wausau, Wisconsin, with his wife and their three children. In addition to writing he serves as a minister in a church.
"Readers looking for page-turning adventure, a strong heroine, and some fun will find it all here." School Library Journal
"The novel is driven by a keen sense of justice and lightened by droll wit. A terrific cast of characters energizes the story, which plays out against a colorful, well-developed historical background." Booklist, ALA
"Another humorous and suspenseful tale of knightly intrigue ." Publishers Weekly