In Young Knights of the Round Table: The King’s Ransom, three friends embark upon a quest to save their mentor accused of murder and theft.Gavin, Philip, and Bryan take the Knight’s Oath and embark on individual quests to save The Wild Man. In the end, each one faces their fears and even death in their determination not to fail.
3 Friends 3 Quests 3 Mysterious Predications
In medieval Wales, an advisor to the king is killed and a jewelled medallion is stolen from the king’s treasury. The mentor of 11-year-old Prince Gavin, 13-year-old orphan Philip, and 15-year-old blacksmith's apprentice, the Wild Man, is accused of the theft and murder. Filled with disbelief at the arrest of the Wild Man, the three friends embark upon a Knight’s Quest to save their friend’s life. To succeed, the three must confront their fears and insecurities, one will disclose a big secret, and one may not survive. Join Gavin, Philip, and Bryan on their quests and share the adventures that await them in the land of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table.
2012 Silver Award Recipient for YA Fiction from Children's Literary Classics
Excerpt from Chapter 6
Gavin leaned close and whispered, “The throne room is just around that corner.”
Philip’s gaze followed his friend’s outstretched arm.
“We have to be quiet from now on. Even a whisper will give us away.”
Philip nodded. Silently he followed Gavin. Only slivers of light from between the wooden slats lit the dark passageway. As they rounded the corner, voices seeped through the walls.
“I don’t know whether he did it or not. We’ll keep the guard doubled until we know for certain.”
“Father, he had to have done it. The bloody knife was found in his blanket,” argued Sean,Gavin’s oldest brother. “We don’t know where he’s from or how he came to be here. Besides, how could he have gotten inside the castle if Aldred didn’t know him?”
“I’m not so certain he killed Aldred,” said Robert. “He’s pretty harmless from what I’ve heard and seen.”
“What do you mean ‘harmless’?” Sean asked. “He killed Aldred to cover up the theft and to keep him from spreading the alarm.”
“I’ve seen him with Gavin and his friends, Philip and Bryan.”
“The boys worship him. He often watches Gavin practice and gives him good suggestions for improvement. I’ve even seen him instructing Bryan in sword fighting. He’s handy with a sword. He also works for the friar and helps Philip with repairs around the church.”
“I don’t call a stranger who shows up out of nowhere and is good with a sword ‘harmless.’ And why’s a man like that passing time with a prince of Pembroke?” Sean asked.
“That has little bearing here,” King Wallace pointed out.
“I disagree. The people are angry over Aldred’s death. I’m afraid if we don’t convict this Wild Man, the people may take that to mean we are unwilling to prosecute a guilty man because of his friendship with Gavin,” Sean said. “Maybe that’s what he counted on.”
Philip gripped Gavin’s arm. What if the Wild Man had killed Aldred and stolen the King’s Ransom? What if he’d used Gavin’s friendship to do just that? What if the Wild Man had used them all?
Philip calmed himself and squeezed Gavin’s arm harder, knowing he was thinking the same thing. When Gavin turned, Philip shook his head and mouthed the word “No!” twice. Gavin nodded.
“The people do not enforce the law here. I do!” King Wallace declared. “I’ll decide if the man is guilty or not, and the people will live with my decision.”
“As you say, Father,” both sons replied, subdued.
“It troubles me that there was no sign of the King’s Ransom with this...this Wild Man’s things,” the King continued.
A chair scraped on the floor. The noise made Philip jump. He relaxed when someone, probably the king, paced.
“Why keep the knife and not the medallion?” King Wallace asked. “You two take a small contingent of knights tomorrow and search his camp. Find that medallion. He must have hidden it nearby, knowing it would be worthless around here. Probably planned on leaving the area after the uproar calmed down, never thinking we would be able to follow his trail so quickly. I bet he has a buyer for it.” The king pounded his desk with his fist.
Gavin and Philip jumped.
“That’s it! And I’d wager his buyer is King Edward,” the king said.
“Of Manorbier Castle?” Sean asked.
“Why not? You’ve heard him threaten often enough that he’d like nothing better than to buy
up all of Pembroke and get rid of us for good.”
“Why don’t we confront him? That might throw him off guard,” Robert suggested.
“No. Unless we have proof, King Arthur would have my head if I provoked a conflict. It
took him long enough to convince Edward to end his raids. Confronting him isn’t the answer.” The scraping of chairs startled Gavin and Philip again.
“Go out tomorrow. Search well. When you return, have the knights question the villagers. If
you turn up nothing, we’ll apply pressure to our prisoner.”
Both sons started to protest.
“I know, you want to question him now. However, some time without contact will put him
in a more agreeable mood. Might make him eager to tell us where he’s hidden the King’s Ransom.”
“What about King Arthur?”
“He will be here in four to five days. Either I have the medallion to present to him, or I give him the man’s head. Close the door behind you. I need to think.”
Gavin signaled Philip to return the way they had come. When they reached the tapestry, Philip let Gavin move ahead to make sure the way was clear.
Once outside, they sat on a shadowed bench across from the dungeon.
“If we can’t prove the Wild Man’s innocent, then your father, I mean the king, will have him killed,” Philip said.
Both boys sat quietly.
Finally Philip said, “Gavin?”
“Do you think the Wild Man would use our friendship?” Philip’s voice trembled. Gavin didn’t answer.
Professional Reviews A Wonderful Introduction to Castles and Quests
I have a large collection of Arthurian literature. I believe it is something all ages should be allowed to enjoy.
Cheryl Carpinello's middle grade adventure novel, featuring a visit from King Arthur and a few of his knights, is a wonderful introduction ~ to King Arthur, and to the lives of knights and others in a castle.
While there is some mild violence, and blunt discussion of how to deal with a murdering thief, this is a wonderful book for young readers as well as older students.
I hope this series continues. I'd love to meet Seanna again.
3 young friends befriend a stranger to their kingdom. When he is falsely accused of a crime, they take it upon themselves to find the true criminal.
I did receive a copy of this wonderful book in exchange for my honest opinions.
This is definitely not for boys alone! Girls will enjoy it also
In their quest for to justice to prevail, three young men unite in their desires to be knights.
The fairy tale story is idealistic but is still a great book for entertaining and teaching elementary age students and early teenage youth.
Smoothly moving from one character's interactions to another, it is very easy for the reader to follow. Although the characters are from very different backgrounds, they share the same type of values and goals.
With plenty of action - and a couple of surprises - the writing style is very well done and keeps the readers interest..
This is a refreshing tale, with very little violence and no bad language nor bad manners.
Bonus Opportunity: Visit the Wise Owl Factory for a FREE study guide to aid teachers!
Although this is a fairly predictable story and a pleasant read, it still falls short, in my appraisal, of a Five Stars review. However, my review of this book offers a Four and a Half Stars rating.
*This book was sent to me in exchange for an honest review,, of which I have given.
A Timeless Story of Courage and Loyalty
I recently had the pleasure of reading The King’s Ransom (Young Knights of the Round Table) by Cheryl Carpinello. It was a wonderful story, well-written and interesting, with surprises thrown in at the end.
As you can guess from the title, the story takes place during the reign of King Arthur. The protagonists are ages eleven, thirteen, and fifteen. Their adventure lies in trying to clear the name of a friend who has been framed for murder. Each boy must face his fear and complete a quest by himself in order to save the friend.
The book is short–just over 100 pages–so it’s ideal for use in a classroom setting. It is also wonderful for kids who maybe do not yet love reading or are intimidated by longer books. The book ends nicely, but leaves itself open for many sequels where we might again enjoy the company of Gavin, Philip, and Bryan.
The content of The King’s Ransom is appropriate for children of any age.