Sir Gawain the Undefeated is riding comfortably upon his horse when he hears the shrieks of a damsel in distress. A dragon with fiery breath has captured the fair maiden. Sir Gawain fights off the dragon, saving the damsel. No longer in distress, Sir Gawain decides the she no longer needs his assistance and begins to ride off. The damsel is so thankful that she wants to give Sir Gawain her treasured green sash. He refuses to accept. She then offers a kiss on the check, simply to say thank you. Again, Sir Gawain refuses and rides off, leaving the damsel where he found her. This is the precursor to the rest of the story.
After sharing how he saved the distressed damsel and killed the dragon, that night at dinner, Sir Gawain is flabbergasted to learn of his rudeness. The King thought it rude Sir Gawain refused the damsel’s gift of thanks not once, but twice. Shameful knight behavior. In King Author’s court, he requires his knights to be comfortable in iron suits and use sharp swords, just like any knight. Unlike most knights, they must also be courteous and respectful while doing their knightly duties.
Later, at the Christmas Feast, the Green Knight crashes the party to challenge a knight, specifically Sir Gawain, to a strange dual. Sir Gawain is to go first. He swings and knocks the Green Knight’s head clean off his neck. The Green Knight will strike Sir Gawain, in the same fashion, in exactly one year.
As the year goes by, Sir Gawain and the King decide the Green Knight must have used magic. How else could his head continue to speak after it was severed from his neck? King Arthur and his knights leave the kingdom in search of the great Merlin the Enchanter. If anyone can help Sir Gawain keep his head attached, it is Merlin.
On their way to Green Chapel to meet the Green Knight, the King and his knights run into several interesting characters. The group will run into an odd dwarf, sorcerers, and a stubborn nobleman, but not everyone is who they profess to be. Once at Green Chapel, Sir Gawain will face the Green Knight for what may be his last challenge.
While making their way to the challenge, King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table will have their abilities to fight and their manners both tested. One of those two will prove to be the better weapon. Reading the story and meeting these characters is so much fun, revealing any more would ruin it for everyone else.
Sir Gawain the True is the third knight to get his own story in Mr. Morris’ Knight Tales Series. First was Sir Lancelot the Great and then Sir Givret the Short. As with the first two editions, the story is witty, fun and a great addition to reluctant readers’ libraries. The sentences and words are at the 8 to 10 year-old-level, though occasionally there will be a word that might require a dictionary. The chapters are short and a fast read. The pacing is such that it is difficult to become bored at any one point.
This is a fun, short, chapter book boys will love to read. The illustrations are line drawings and enhance the story. The fight scene collage is especially funny. Speaking of fighting, none of the fight scenes are gory or gruesome. The sword fights in the pages of Sir Gawain the True are G-rated. Mothers will love the story for the King’s emphasis on courtesy, respect, honoring oaths, and the value of friendships.
Note: received from netgalley, courtesy of the publisher