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The Telling Pool

3.63  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,126 Ratings  ·  96 Reviews
David Clement-Davies's novel transports teen readers back to the days of Richard the Lionheart's medieval crusade. Young Rhodri Falcon and his Crusader father become entangled not only in a war of religious zealotry but also in the schemes of a seductive sorceress who literally steals men's hearts. The author of Fire Bringer and The Sight weaves an Arthurian fantasy in whi ...more
Hardcover, 360 pages
Published October 1st 2005 by Harry N. Abrams
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Jan 10, 2015 Kathy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, y-a
Hmm. My reaction to this book puzzles me. On the one hand, I kept reading it, quite anxious to find out how it ended, while at the same time thinking "oh, good grief, must the author crowd into his book every possible myth and legend?". I mean, here we are, happily going along in well past Authurian times, but lo! there are the whispers and rumors and strangenesses and pendants and fortune tellers and shifting and wow! the archetypes are all here, and lo! is that the Grail?, and gee, isn't this. ...more
Apr 22, 2015 Heather rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
Read in a day. I loved this but was left a little disappointed. I've gotten quite used to Clement-Davies turning out these monstrous tomes of books filled with rambling descriptions, so this less-than-300-pages novel left me feeling a little cheated. This is described as an 'Arthurian fantasy' in the blurb which is really a stretch. The whole Arthur thing was beyond pointless, it didn't add anything to the story except the fact Clement-Davies had a few ready made takes and myths to 'go on'. The ...more
Feb 16, 2010 Lyanne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book I read was The Telling Pool by David Clement Davies. I read the book because David Clement Davies is my favorite author who has also written other books that are very interesting. The protagonist is a young teenager named Rhodri Falcon. The antagonist would be Homeira who is an enchantress. One day during a carnival Rhodri is called by an old woman. She claims to reveal his future and pulls out a deck of cards. Each card represents an event that will occur in his future. She reveals th ...more
Katy Wilmotte
This book had so many resemblances to Kevin Crossley-Holland's The Seeing Stone it was almost uncanny. Both books feature young boys living in a small town on the border of England and Wales and discover they have a mystical connection to the long lost King Arthur. Instead of a stone, however, young Rhodri Falcon has a Telling Pool which shows him scenes of what is taking place in the wide world, especially in the Holy Land where his father fights in the Crusades. In all of this, he becomes enta ...more
Jul 05, 2009 Karen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: youth-fantasy
I had a hard time getting into this, and then, thinking back, I don't really lOVE the plot, but it did get exciting enough that I didn't want to put it down for the 2nd half.
I liked the characters, I liked the setting, I like the coming of age-ness and the little romances that didn't have to lead anywhere really, just a part of growing up.
I was a little "put-off" by the bash on Christianity, but then I realized, they're talking about it in the context of King Richard/Prince John era when it wa
Leah George
Feb 17, 2016 Leah George rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was so amazing!!! I'll definitely be doing an in depth review of this one soon!
Apr 29, 2016 Rebecca rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I love the way this author writes and his tone, flow, and narrative are great. The things that let this book down are its busy ideas, the flawless main character, and the finale.

By busy ideas, I mean that it seems like the author used the Arthurian legend as a starting point, but then remembered all of these other myths, and all other ideas he found interesting, and put those in too. It all just gets a little messy. It would have been stronger to focus on one or two and really go for them than
Shelby Lee

This book is a really good example of something really disappointing (that we've come across before), that being a fairly good idea that completely fails to make a good book. The difference this time being that the writing is not as much of a chore to get through, but still.

Like I said, the basic premise is good. Richard the Lionheart is going on crusade, and he's taking men with him. A young boy on the border of Wales and England lives with his parents as serfs. Pretty much all they seem t
Mrs. Luetje's Purple People Eaters
Oct 02, 2008 Mrs. Luetje's Purple People Eaters rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Realistic Fantasy Lovers
This book is full of suspense. I probably would have given it 5 stars if not for the lack of action. The book is long enough so it is satisfying but not too long to get the reader bored. I thought the ending could have better if it continued a little longer and did not just cut off when he gets home. For anyone who likes realistic fantasy books this is a great read and worth the money.
Dione Basseri
So, there was a little section in here where they talk about the supposed child of Jesus and Mary Magdalene, and I was like "oh, another book where the descendant is a main character." Nope. It's just...there. Somewhat connected to the theme, but ultimately unimportant.

Which is somewhat how I feel about this book. I adored Clement-Davies's "Fire Bringer," and keep hoping for more of the same when I get his books. This was the furthest from my hopes. A complete focus on humans, and rather bland o
Jan 22, 2015 Rabeah rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I don't have much to say about this book. It wasn't particularly memorable to me, and I couldn't really connect with the protagonist, Rhodri. There may be minor spoilers ahead, so beware.
The story was very slow moving, and when Rhodri finally sets off on his quest (which, in my opinion, should have been the bulk of the novel instead of the last 100 pages), it seems like an afterthought. He could have experienced far more and grown along his journey instead of relying on his trusty falcon Melanor
Oct 14, 2010 Bg rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Though I'm not a big Saxon, King Arther, Knights of the Round Table sorta reader, I still really enjoyed this book. A little bit of magic, coming of age, romance, betrayal, and history set the tone for this book. Little Rhodri is a very simply farm boy with loving parents who run a farm and train falcons for the Lord of their land. One day, going into town for a festival Rhodri gets his fortune read by the creepy old hag and what she tells with the cards scares him more then anything. As time mo ...more
Feb 01, 2012 Nicole rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It wasn't bad, but it was set in the time period of history I never seemed to think made sense. I still never think the Crusades made any sense. Religion drives people, gives them purpose and a sense of power, but those with power sometimes take it too far and interpret the will of their god with a hidden need for more land and resources. I'm not trying to say religion is bad, but sometimes people with power don't know how to handle it properly and they take it too far. To actually tell you abou ...more
Särah Nour
Archetypal fantasy novels involving sorcerers, swords and magical odysseys often walk a fine line between having a classic, timeless quality and being generic and cliché. While famed British author David Clement-Davies straddles this line with The Telling Pool, ultimately the novel satisfies with a skilled blend of fantasy, historical fiction and Arthurian legend.

Set in late 12th century England, The Telling Pool tells the coming-of-age story of Rhodri, a young Welsh falconer whose father, Owen,
Sleepy Lemming
Feb 06, 2014 Sleepy Lemming rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Why why why, is it a stand alone novel?! I was looking forward to a story of King Arthur come again, especially with all the backstory given to Rhodri. I loved this book but the ending fell short of expectations as does the fact that it's not part of a series. I feel like so much more could have happened for it to just end there! Rhodri becoming king even, or at least going on other quests, perhaps marrying Rebecca?
Dec 08, 2014 Kendra rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was a good story, but the first half was very slow. Rhodri's quest literally started 2/3rds of the way through the book. Melanor nudged Rhodri into doing thing or showed up at the right time that it doesn't seem like they have a friendship, more that the hawk is a metaphor or was a crutch for the story to explain what happened. Overall a good story about growing up.
Jul 06, 2014 Lindsey rated it liked it
More like a 2.5

A good coming of age story but really slow. The main character spends most of the book sitting on a rock staring into a pool. And while the events in the pool were relevant and interesting, I just wanted something to happen. Finnnnally, 100 pages before the end he actually goes on a quest. Yay. But by then I was already ready for the book to end.

Literary Elements: animal on the cover
Jan 30, 2016 Stephanie rated it it was amazing
I first read this when it first came out and loved it. I was just thinking about it the other day and decided to read it again, and I still love it just the same. I would definitely reccomend reading this if you're interested in the legend of King Arthur. I do wish there was a sequal though!
Sarah Dragonking
Jun 10, 2015 Sarah Dragonking rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First off, this book was not my favorite by David Clements-Davies. There were some big characters who had barely any depth, including Sarah and Aefric. However, the story line was great. It was full of twists and turns, and deeply connects to morality and the evil and good of man. I will admit, the main character is a bit of a Mary-sue (perfect character), but the book is entertaining nonetheless. It has lots of Arthurian tales in it, and is deeply woven in the culture of the time. The ending is ...more
Susanna Shipman
Feb 17, 2016 Susanna Shipman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful fantasy

Although written for children, adults will enjoy this Arthurian fantasy as well. Well written and very enjoyable. A tale in the time of Richard the Lionheart that reaches back to King Arthur and the sword, Excalibur.
Aug 08, 2014 Meg rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Unfortunately, this book, which I sincerely looked forward to reading, fell incredibly flat in all categories: characterization, intrigue, plot twists...even plot! Where I hoped to read about the grandeur of King Arthur and the excitement of the Crusades, I suffered through 360 pages of weak characters and uninteresting plot. It took me over a month to finish, and it was a chore to pick up. The villainess was vague, the hero annoying, and the romance unbelievable and arguably forced. Ugh, I just ...more
Feb 16, 2008 Tracy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The book wasn't that bad. In fact, the plot, the set-up, and the idea were all quite intriguing. However, the execution left something to be desired.

General plot: Boy and father and mom live together. Raise birds to hunt and stuff. Boy's father goes on crusades. Boy is "foretold" to do something special having to do with King Arthur, Merlin and the sword and all that.
Along with disapointments, jealousy, young love (sorta) and destiny.

The writing style was ok, but the book just didn't move enough
Yasmin Foster
One of the best, if not the best, of David Clement-Davies books and one of the best fantasy/historical fiction/Arthurian novels I have read. Very entertaining and engrossing and I love the idea of bringing the Arthurian legend into the times of Richard the Lionheart and his Crusade.
I am curious if the Jewish characters of Rebecca and Isaac in this story are meant to reference the Rebecca and Isaac in Walter Scott’s ‘Ivanhoe.’ Hmm…
Also the protagonist of this book has a connection with water, wh
Feb 05, 2015 Ali rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
While I enjoyed this book, I liked Sight and Fell better. The story had a good plot that kept you guessing at times. Some of the material might not be the best for less mature readers though.
Sep 01, 2014 Alicja rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Coming of age novel centered around a boy & Arthurian legend. This is definitely a 'boy' book but I can't imagine any child/teen would ever pick this up let alone finish it unless he or she were interested in history (Crusades, Catholic Church, King Richard) and/or stories having to do with King Arthur. Be warned: little to no action takes place, the actual quest only occurs 2/3 of the way in. However, it is solidly written, clear to follow, & immerses the reader in the time period witho ...more
Barbara Ell
Young Rhodri is not pleased that he must stay home and tend the farm and the falcons and watch over his mother, while his father joined Richard the Lion-heart in the crusades. His father came back a changed man. Now, Rhodri must go on a Arthurian quest to save his father.

This was a good book and I enjoyed it immensely. As Rhodri grows from age 13 until he finishes his quest at 16, we see parts of medieval life and enjoy the retelling of parts of the Athurian legend. The Telling Pool, deep in the
Brittany Granger
Jan 03, 2014 Brittany Granger rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, ya, arthurian
I wish I could give 1/2 stars, because I would have given it 3 1/2 stars. I enjoyed the story, though I did think it lagged in some parts. It is not an Arthurian legend, but the legends do play a part in the book. I won't so any thing more really, I know I have friends who have this book on their "To-Read" list, so I don't want to spoil anything. I wasn't too overly found of the writing style. It didn't seem to flow smoothly for me. I guess that is the best way to describe it.
Lennie Grace
i was disappointed. i read this after finding it in my school's library. i'd read fire bringer and loved that one. so when i saw something by the same author i jumped at the chance to read more of his work. it was a slow book, to say the least. i like the refernces to king arthor and robin hood. HUGE HOOD FAN! but there wasn't all whole lot of action to it. alot of it was fashbacks and staring at a pond. which is were the title "telling pool" comes form, clearly. but it was a pretty lame book, t ...more
Mary Rose Benipayo
Book full of fantasies that will cracked your mind up. Predictably unpredictable!
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Age 1 6 Nov 29, 2009 03:55PM  
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David was born in 1964 and went to Westminster School and Edinburgh University. There, Clement-Davies read History and English Literature, specializing in the Italian Renaissance, and Russian Literature and Society. For many years, he dreamed of one day becoming an actor taking a drama course and working in theater. However, he was also interested in writing and soon became a freelance travel jour ...more
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“I must try to remember that a boy's heart is not a man's, and perhaps a teacher must learn from his pupil, too, eh?” 10 likes
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