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At the Crossing Places

By Kevin Crossley-Holland

This is the middle book for the eminent writer’s Arthur Trilogy. It’s chock-o-block full of good stuff. It also shows some of the challenges of a middle book, to be honest - it continues the dramatic story of the first book without completely concluding it. But there’s plenty of beautiful writing and original storytelling here to enjoy. And it’s well worth bridging the truly remarkable beginning and end of this trilogy.

Visit Kevin's website at It is 1200 and young Arthur de Caldicot is all set to accompany Lord Stephen on the Fourth Crusade. But first Arthur must find a war-horse, be fitted with a suit of armor and learn the art of serving as a squire. Events at Lord Stephen’s manor have their own momentum too. There is a murder. There is a crush - on the vivacious Winnie de Verdon. There is a meeting with Arthur’s blood-father, the ferocious Sir William de Gortanore, and a beginning to Arthur’s search for his birth mother.

The exciting and bewildering events in Arthur’s own life are reflected in the magical seeing stone, where he steps into stories revolving around his namesake, the young King Arthur - the establishing of the Round Table, the quests of the knights, and the days of great glory at Camelot.

The second volume in the Arthur trilogy bursts with thrilling characters, stories, and themes both true to the Middle Ages and shockingly relevant to the present: Then and now we find religious intolerance fueling bitter conflict and misunderstanding, as well as acts of valor, courage and compassion.

Reviews and Awards

Smithsonian Magazine Notable Books for Children
Booklist Top 10 Fantasy Novels for Youth
Washington Post Top 10 Kids’ Books of 2002
#5 Pick on Book Sense 76 Teen Readers List

⋆ “Readers who devoured The Seeing Stone will happily fall under the spell of Arthur's first-person narrative again. Short, satisfying chapters telling of events in his life are again interspersed with vivid tales of what he sees in the stone given him by Merlin: traditional stories of King Arthur unfolding, fresh and dramatic, for him and for readers as well.” - Booklist, starred review

⋆ “It's the year 1200, and young Arthur de Caldicot is at the crossing-places, those murky, in-between places not quite defined: dawn and dusk, New Year's Day, the foreshore, and the times and places of our lives where change is likely. Arthur is living in the Marches-part English, part Welsh-beginning a new life as squire for Lord Stephen at Holt Castle…. Readers will look forward to the third installment of this grand epic tale to see what Arthur makes of himself.” - Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“Crossley-Holland once again evokes a rich and credible panoply of circumstances and characters (well over one hundred in the useful list provided). Much is left open: does Arthur's left-handedness refer only to his (illegitimate) birth, or to something more significant (if not sinister)? Who exactly is the mother who lives at anagrammatic Catmole, the Welsh manor he'll inherit from Sir William? Book Three should reveal not only "what happens" but also the true design of this absorbing and carefully wrought trilogy.” - The Horn Book

“King Arthur fans won't be disappointed.” - School Library Journal

“As well as being rich in the particulars of place and time-from the rituals of a medieval harvest to the processes of making and donning a suit of armor-it considers questions of faith, literacy, prejudice and responsibility. The more the reader makes connections and ponders the resonances, the more this book has to offer.” - The Sunday Times (London)

“A fine tale of two Arthurs... An equally splendid sequel” - Jan Mark, Times Educational Supplement

Purchase Options
Indiebound • Amazon • Barnes & Noble

Fall 2002
ISBN: 0-439-26598-3
Price: $17.95
Trim Size: 6" x 9"
Page Count: 360
Foreign Rights: Orion Children's Books
Translation Rights: Orion Children's Books
Rights Available? yes

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