Sir Morien: The Legend of a Knight of the Round Table

Little, Brown. Oct. 2023. 40p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780316424134.
Gr 1-3–In this gleefully updated reworking of an obscure 13th-century Arthurian legend, Prince Morien, “brave and clever and true,” receives tutelage in taming dragons and surfing the Nile on crocodiles from his intrepid “Moorish” mom, and then sets out from North Africa to find his white father, Sir Aglovale, who left when he was a baby. After defeating one tiresomely aggressive knight after another, he meets Sirs Gawain and Lancelot on the road, battles the latter to a draw, then forthrightly joins his new “questing buddies” to rescue not only his dad, but also the king himself from captivity—enjoying both an amicable reunion and a well-earned place of his own at the Round Table. Though not much for accurately depicting arms, armor, or other knightly detail, such as the proper way to hold a falchion, Glenn generally places her dark-skinned young hero in properly noble poses and captures the light tone of this tongue-in-cheek exploit.
VERDICT Younger fans of knightly deeds will enjoy this version of an unjustly little known tale with its glimpse of a slightly more inclusive Round Table.

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