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The Seeing Stone (Arthur Trilogy #1)

3.65  ·  Rating Details ·  4,063 Ratings  ·  253 Reviews
It is 1199 and young Arthur de Caldicot is waiting impatiently to grow up and become a knight. One day his father's friend Merlin gives him a shining piece of obsidian and his life becomes entwined with that of his namesake, the Arthur whose story he sees unfold in the stone. In this many-layered novel, King Arthur is seen as a mysterious presence influencing not just one ...more
Published August 3rd 2000 by Orion Childrens (first published 2000)
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I stalled partway through reading this, at first, because I really couldn't see where it was going and how the threads of story were going to get pulled together. I still can't quite see that, now I've finished it, but I'm now at the point of very much wanting to find out where Kevin Crossley-Holland is going with this.

It's very easy to read, with short chapters and a way of painting the world of the narrative vividly without dwelling too much on details. The cold and dirt and discomfort are the
Dec 01, 2015 Gary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Children and adults over 10
Recommended to Gary by: The Folio Society
I started off not knowing if I was going to like this book or not. I had not read a children’s book for a while and knowing pretty much what happens to young Arthur (doesn’t everyone?) I wasn’t about to be bowled over in surprise.

What happened was that as I read I began to enjoy the story for what it is – a story for children AND adults, one where the author has used his imagination and obvious knowledge of Mediaeval life to expand on the basic Arthur tale and make it a much more interesting boo
Aug 04, 2008 Fiona rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone who likes travelling back in time
I can't express how much I loved this trilogy. It tells two stories - one about a young boy named Arthur, son of a lord during the medieval period. The second is the story of King Arthur, told through a magic seeing stone.

Personally, the King Arthur bits felt a bit pointless and I didn't enjoy reading them. The real interest really is going back into a well researched time and world and becoming a part of young Arthur's family and life.

The thing I love about books is their ability to take you so
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mr. Gottshalk
Read this one on the train to New York and back. It's Ok. My knowledge of the Legend of King Arthur was rusty since watching Disney's The Sword in the Stone about 30 years ago. The chapters are very short and there is a lot of unnecessary dialogue, not to mention I could tell where the story was going 300 pages from the end. There were still scenes that left images in my mind, and that's what a good author does, after all. I might read the second and third books in the trilogy. But for my my mon ...more
Brigid *Flying Kick-a-pow!*
A friend gave this book to me like a year ago and then I found it recently and decided to read it on a super long bus ride. It was a pretty quick read and entertaining even though I'm not an expert on Arthurian legend ... It held my attention most of the time and I did like it. But I don't know, it seemed to be missing something. It was written in a diary format which I always makes me feel kind of distant from the story/characters because it's just kind of like, "Today this thing happened and t ...more
May 26, 2010 Nina rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The story is set in medieval times, in 1199. It’s a story about a young boy called Arthur, that truly wants to be knight. One day he gets a magical stone from his fathers friend called Merlin. This magical stone takes Arthur in another world, the world where King Arthur lives. Arthur founds out that his life is little bit similar with the king, what a coincidence!

The story was so much fun to read. You really get to know Arthur and also his family. You get to love and hate some of them. The autho
Merlin is a very wise person, and this book is worth reading just for a bit of his insight. He gets in conversations with some interesting people, like a priest who seems not to follow his own religion, and other people who were strangely foolish in the olden days. I wish there were more books about Merlin's life, perhaps he kept to himself too much for anyone to get enough information on him for a satisfying amount of appearances in a story. That's a pity; he is the only interesting character. ...more
Kathleen Dixon
What an interesting take on the Arthur legend. Set in the Middle Ages, with Richard the Lionheart dying and John taking the throne, a boy called Arthur is befriended by a man called Merlin. Merlin gives him one day a Seeing Stone, though he doesn't tell him what it is or what it does. He does tell him not to ever show it to anyone or even talk about it. And gradually, in the stone, Arthur begins seeing the story of the famous Arthur - the story of his conception, childhood (minimally) and then t ...more
Anne Hamilton
Through a diary-like story, we glimpse fragments life in the Middle Ages just as Arthur himself glimpses fragments of a much earlier age through an obsidian stone. A 'fire and ice' stone, pocked with white marks, heavy with the past.

It's the turn of the century - the last year of the twelfth century, 1199, is giving away to the dawn of the thirteenth. It's an age of faith, of Crusades, of feudal hierarchy. It's a time when the rule of King John is just beginning.

Arthur de Caldicott lives in a ca
Nukman Salimin
Dec 04, 2014 Nukman Salimin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I personally like books set in the past, so when I saw the cover and read the blurb at the back, I knew this book would be interesting and full of unexpected things going to happen along the way.

When I read the first 30 chapters, I didn't know where this was going. First there was the bullfight, then about three jumpers who broke into the manor, then a seeing stone. I don't know how all these related with each other.

Throughout the book, I realized that the book was written in a journal format, b
this book is about a young child who is in search of himself. from his childhood he has received many trainning by his teachers but however, he hasn't the skills to be a full fledged knight. until the day he pulled out the sword from the stone.

what i learned from the first sequal would be that nobody who you are, there is always something special about you. like Arthur, he was a very small child with no special talent at all, however he was able to pull out that sword from the stone that no othe
I just really needed to re-read this series and finish it. I only got to book 2 and while it is a trilogy, I think I outgrew the series before it finished. Now, I need to re-finish these. My mind demands it.
Jun 17, 2017 Donna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
During the last months of the reign of Richard I of England, Arthur longs to be placed in service as a squire. He can't understand his father's reluctance to tell him of his plans for him. Merlin, a friend of the family gives Arthur a stone in which he sees the story of King Arthur and notices some troubling parallels between the King's story and his own.

The story young Arthur watches in the stone stays true to the legend of King Arthur. Thank goodness Crossley-Holland didn't muck that one up. H
May 20, 2017 aem rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Found it a little confusing, but interesting storyline.
I'm just going to say right here, right now, that my knowledge of Arthurian legends is.... weak, to say the least. I am familiar while also unfamiliar. It's a very like the mass population's knowledge of such characters/legends/myths as Frankenstein, Dracula, Robin Hood, Jesus Christ, etc; we know the names, we know some of the famous elements of them, but we also are ignorant of the original sources and all the juicy details. That's me on King Arthur. And considering his fame, I feel almost obl ...more
Arthur neemt je mee!

Arthur en de zienersteen is geschreven door Kevin Crossley-Holland.
Het boek gaat over Arthur en speelt zich af in 1199, ergens in de grens tussen Engeland en Wales. Op een dag krijgt Arthur van de oude Merlijn een zwarte steen. Een zienersteen. Eerst ziet hij alleen zichzelf in de steen, maar na een tijdje, ziet hij een jongen in een wereld vol ridders en magie. In de steen ziet hij het verleden. Beetje bij beetje komt Arthur erachter dat het leven van de jongen in de steen b
Charlotte Jones
‘The Seeing Stone’ is a children’s novel, and as such, has extremely short chapters, sometimes only 1 page long in places. The way it is written is from Arthur’s point of view, and the broken up chapters, that sometimes don’t seem to link together, feel almost like diary entries. Although this book is set in 1199, the language used isn’t old fashioned but there are objects that they use that aren’t really around today. In my copy of the book, there is a definitions page though so this helps a lo ...more
Nadine Jarrar
Dec 05, 2014 Nadine Jarrar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 12- 14 years
Recommended to Nadine by: English Teacher
"Tumber Hill! It's my clamber-and-tumble-and-beech-and-bramble hill!" Arthur scribbled in his journal.
Arthur and the seeing stone is an adventure. It is a journey of a boy who lives a normal life until he receives a stone. "A stone?!" I wondered. Well, it's not any old stone, it's Arthur's seeing stone.
The story plot was quite boring until Crossley-Holland magically adds in a subplot: the seeing stone.
At first, the subplot was very puzzling, but when the book came to an end the subplot finally
Becky Ginther
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 31, 2015 Reese rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
(edit: I had to read this book for school and I just recently found this review that I wrote a year ago for it so.... here it is)

The story follows of a young boy Arthur living in the Medieval society with desperate wishes to become a squire. He receives a present from his dear friend Merlin — an obsidian. The obsidian which Arthur has figured out was a seeing stone and the events that are happening in the stone are starkly resembling his own life. What could this mean? Could Arthur be connected
Matilda Rose
Arthur is the son of Sir John, who has four other children, including Arthur's mortal enemy, Serle. A mysterious old man named Merlin is now part of the family. He comes and goes as he pleases, and Arthur is suspicious he has magical powers. Merlin possesses a strange, smooth, black stone which he gives to Arthur. Arthur must figure out the stone's true meaning, and before long realises it is his very own Seeing Stone. Clear visions appear in the stone's misty surfaces, and Arthur finds a whole ...more
Kirsten Simkiss
Jan 06, 2016 Kirsten Simkiss rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
This book is exceedingly slow and simple. It follows the story of a boy named Arthur who may or may not be destined to be a king. The ending really implies you need to read the next book to see what happens to Arthur, with no real overarching conflict in the first novel. This book as a standalone is more about the daily life of the son of a lord in the year 1199 as told from the perspective of a boy named Arthur. It isn't, after all, about a boy who is in fact a young King Arthur - at least not ...more
Nov 07, 2013 Layney rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was the first King Arthur book I ever read (except possibly Christmas in Camelot, which is a Magic Tree House book, and I'm wondrously glad I pulled it off the shelf in the library in sixth grade. Almost everything I know about the medieval world I learned from Kevin Crossley-Holland (and T.H. White), and it's surprising how useful that knowledge is, if only to sound clever at parties. But more importantly, The Seeing Stone introduced me to one of my favorite stories of all time, told throu ...more
Teal Techline
Dec 05, 2014 Teal Techline rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A book entrusted to us in our english class. We read it.

This book is both fascinating and fun. Moreover, I've never heard of a book concluding about a stone in it before!...

At first I thought this book was set in the medieval times (which is true). And the stone was the main plot. Kevin Crossley proved me that that was wrong. Although I'm slightly dissapointed because the 'Seeing' stone is interesting and attractive enough for me to read the entire series.

Ok. So, this book is full of mists
This is the story of Arthur, who lives with his family in the Welsh Marches, next to Tumber Hill, where a man lives by the name of Merlin.. Merlin gives Arthur an obsidian, a stone, in which Arthur sees visions, visions from another Arthur, an Arthur who would be king..

This book was very obviously a kid's book - the writing was gripping, to the point, and it made for a very easy read. For those familiar with the Arthurian legend, it is very predictable. But it was a good read all the same, I lik
May 07, 2008 Amber rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Arthur de Caldicot is a thirteen-year-old boy who is wise beyond his years. He lives on his father's manor and is learning the skills of a squire. He is a sure shot with the long bow, and Arthur desperately wants to be a knight someday. But it seems like just a foolish dream at times.

His best friend is the Reeve's daughter Gatty. Arthur gets into all kinds of trouble for helping with her work, which is considered below him. But his father's friend, Merlin, encourages him to help wherever it is n
Kate Hart
Dec 07, 2009 Kate Hart rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Arthurian legend has always held a fascination for me, but it has been a long time since I have read as engaging a story on the topic.
Crossley-Holland, the author, is an educator from Britian, and a lover of Medieval history. He backs this story line with a good bit of thorough research and places it within a solidly built, Medieval setting.
Although the book targets the "YA" readership audience, it does not disappoint the adult reader. I culled a couple of meaty quotes from between the cover
R. G. Nairam
When I first started this book I thought it fit solidly into the "dirty Middle Ages" stereotype. "Dirty Middle Ages" being one side of that weird divide in medieval historical fiction that books seemed to fall on either side of: highly romanticized, probably with magic or fantasy of some sort, or high into all the 21st centuries idea of "gross" details.

Having finished it, I'm not so sure.

The details are fascinating, sometimes gross, but at the same time, honest. It doesn't feel like the author i
Shannon McGee
Aug 15, 2012 Shannon McGee rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
Arthur wants to be squire like his brother, so he can become the knight he dreams of being but his father has other plans for him. The strange but likable family friend, Merlin, has a present for Arthur. Something only Arthur can view. When he looks at the stone it tells a story (or is it actually history) that Arthur does not quite understand.

This is a very unique telling of pieces of the Arthurian myth that mixes in a new story that makes you wonder how the new connects with the myth. Going ba
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Kevin Crossley-Holland is a well-known poet and prize-winning author for children. His books include Waterslain Angels, a detective story set in north Norfolk in 1955, and Moored Man: A Cycle of North Norfolk Poems; Gatty's Tale, a medieval pilgrimage novel; and the Arthur trilogy (The Seeing Stone, At the Crossing-Places and King of the Middle March), which combines historical fiction with the re ...more
More about Kevin Crossley-Holland...

Other Books in the Series

Arthur Trilogy (3 books)
  • At the Crossing Places (Arthur Trilogy, #2)
  • King of the Middle March (Arthur Trilogy, #3)

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