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The Ballad of Sir Dinadan (The Squire's Tales #5)

4.08  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,854 Ratings  ·  72 Reviews
Young Dinadan has no wish to joust or quest or save damsels in distress or do any of the knightly things ex-pected of him. But he was born to be a knight, and knights, of course, have adventures. So after his father forces his knighthood upon him, he wanders toward King Arthur’s court in the company of a misguided young Welsh lad named Culloch. There Dinadan meets Sir Kai ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published May 30th 2005 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published 2003)
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Community Reviews

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I want to say I really liked this, because it was really fun -- light-hearted, not too concerned about the 'spirit' of the old stories, ready enough to laugh and actually, in one respect at least, unpredictable. (view spoiler) And Kay really was himself, his Celtic self --

Except that Gerald Morris didn't have the sweetest fucking clue what he was talking about. "The oldest of the Arthurian stories were
Sep 04, 2010 Laura rated it it was amazing
A brilliant retelling of Arthurian legend through the character of Sir Dinadan. Intelligent, creative, and honorable, Dinadan is the least capable knight of the Round Table (at least in terms of fighting prowess), but also one of the most popular among his peers.

Much of the book's humor comes from Dinadan's relentless mockery of knightly conventions (Fighting a stranger who says his lady is fairer than yours? Absurd!). For the rare readers who have also read Sir Thomas Malory's Le Morte D'Arthur
Ghost Ryter
Dinadan is such a fun character, especially the way Mr. Morris writes him! This book is a retelling of two legends that aren't technically Arthurian, one of which is the story of Tristan and Isolde. Boy. His spin on those two is like no other I've read.

The Ballad of Sir Dinadan feels geared toward an older audience than the rest of the series so far. So while the other books are technically children's, I'd call this more of a young adult book.
Mar 09, 2014 Robin rated it really liked it
The fifth book of the "Squire's Tales" series continues this Wisconsin-based author's retelling of Arthurian legends for younger readers with a combination of two knightly love stories with the point of view of a minstrel knight who has fallen out of love with romantic love. Forced into knighthood, though he would rather be a rebec-playing troubadour, Sir Dinadan rides out into the English countryside in search of inspiration for heroic ballads. Instead, he finds disillusionment. First it comes ...more
Aug 12, 2011 Christina rated it liked it
A funny take on the stories of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table. Part of a series, this particular book is the story of Dinadan, knighted in a drunken fit by his father and sent out to earn his knighthood. But Dinadan is inept with the sword or fighting, and would much rather compose and sing songs as a minstrel. He has comical encounters with other knights of varying degrees of competency, from one who swears a lovesick vow of silence (to everyone and anyone within earshot, all da ...more
Aug 08, 2015 pocket rated it liked it
this book was actually really good, 4 stars -- if the book hadn't been focused on loooOoOoOoooOOOvEeEEeeeeEeeE. and seriously, even if two people lOvE each other, that doesn't mean that have to get married?? like you kinda ruined brangienne's character at the end
Carrie Slager
Feb 14, 2014 Carrie Slager rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-i-borrowed
The first four books in The Squire’s Tales have had humour in them, but they never reached into the realm of laugh-out-loud humour. The Ballad of Sir Dinadan does because of Sir Dinadan’s attitude toward love and knights and because of the sheer craziness of some situations he gets into. This is the most cynical, irreverent take on the Arthurian legends and I absolutely love it. In some ways, it makes the first four books seem pale in comparison.

This is the first time we’re actually in the point
Jane Farrelly
Mar 21, 2016 Jane Farrelly rated it really liked it
Another cool, funny book in the Squire's Tales series. I enjoyed it almost as much as the others, although it wasn't as funny. There were more chapters about morons than about funny things.

Dinadan was a good lead. How he has basically no skill with weapons is really cool, and he still becomes a really well known knight of the round table. All the morons were...morons. Palomides is a very interesting character and I quite liked another display of the gentle kind of knight. Lady Brangienne is cool
Good again. This time a young noble who is fairly lousy at the fighting part of knighthood, but great at storytelling and playing the rebec. In spite of himself he develops the courage and nobility of knighthood.
Apr 25, 2010 Karie rated it it was amazing
That's it--I want to own the series. Gentle humor, instruction in common sense through entertaining narrative, and a good introduction to Arthurian legends--Morris has done very well.
I love this series, It's so funny and so exciting and so adventurous. It makes me so happy.
May 14, 2016 Rusty rated it really liked it
Another wonderful little tale written by a most talented author. Love the way Morris approaches the world of Arthur, his knights and the stories of that era. Sir Dinadan is a wonderful character who loves to play and sing with his rebec. Knighted by his father because he believes that this gentle son will never become a knight otherwise, Dinadan sets about his travels, having adventure after adventure. He falls into the strangest of situations and survives them all more by accident than by skill ...more
Oct 30, 2015 Honya rated it it was amazing
I love, love, love Morris’ Squires Tale books–they’re good for numerous, frequent re-reads and they’re equally engaging and funny every time. Plus, I love the way their insight into human nature often tells me something important about myself as I’m reading. In any case, although The Ballad of Sir Dinadan is technically the fifth volume, the books are only loosely connected, so there’s nothing to be lost by reading this one independently. As I said, the prose is remarkably well-written, insightf ...more
Jan 05, 2016 Jacob rated it really liked it
This entry is the weakest in the series so far, but that means it's merely "very good" instead of excellent. Despite this being titled a Ballad, the prose is actually more straightforward with less wry wit than the previous ones -- it's getting dangerously close to simple sarcasm. Many of the characters are stupid and boring (by design), so the writing matches them, but it's still not as enjoyable to read so much about these idiots. Morris' fresh take on an old Welsh story from the Mabinogion (t ...more
Jun 23, 2013 Me rated it really liked it
There are so many ways that the legends of Arthur can be told.

Dinadan's is quite interesting. He's a minstrel, no matter how much he given the title of Sir.

So everyone knows that it's suspected that the legends have been exaggerated. However it's really interesting to see the legends from the POV of the exaggerator, and why they did it. It's an interesting way of putting things, and quite funny.

Morris actually did a quite un-imaginable feat. One character was Welsh, and they spent a bit of t
Aug 28, 2013 Rachel rated it liked it

Young Dinadan has no wish to joust or quest or save damsels in distress or do any of the knightly things ex-pected of him. But he was born to be a knight, and knights, of course, have adventures. So after his father forces his knighthood upon him, he wanders toward King Arthur’s court in the company of a misguided young Welsh lad named Culloch. There Dinadan meets Sir Kai and Sir Bedivere, and the three find themselves accompanying Culloch on the worst sort of quest.

Along the way, Dinada
Joshua Routh
Dec 25, 2015 Joshua Routh rated it really liked it
The Ballad of Sir Dinadan is A fun read that almost anyone can get behind. It's lighthearted ,funny and has an amazing Variety of characters truly good good book. But I felt that somethings could have been a little less lighthearted so 4 stars. Still a recommended read.
Apr 09, 2016 Graylark rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-fantasy
Just one thing that bothered me. This Brangienne is supposed to be so smart, yet she didn't have the common sense to use an alias when hiding. (view spoiler)
Nina Gayle
I like the humor in this book best. I also enjoyed the unconventional romance between Sir Dinadan and Brangienne and the friendship between Dianadan and the Moor, Palomides. The intelligence and nobility of these characters contrast sharply with the unbelievable stupidity of other characters, such as Tristram and Colluch. Tristram's love Iseult, while outwardly beautiful, was unfaithful and manipulative. In one part of the book, she faked a lisp because she believed it made her more attractive. ...more
What more could a knight want than great foes to defeat, honor to defend, and damsels in distress to save? Sir Dinadan could do with much less. He wants no enemies or honor or damsels. He simply wants to be free to play his rebec and retell tales of heroes past and present. However, since he was forced to become a knight, he is whisked away on knightly endeavors much to his dismay. These adventures give him the inspiration for many songs and the opportunity to help those who would otherwise be h ...more
Jul 07, 2014 Abigail rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: EVERYONE
Gerald Morris books are like Lays chips. You can never eat just one.
His stories are full of wit,adventures,and spunky love stories that leave you smiling like a madman that has just escaped an Insane Asylum.

His books can all be read as novels, but if you read all his books, which you SHOULD, then you will soon meet the characters from your last book as side characters in the next. It's great fun seeing all these stories interlacing with each other. Each thread in itself is a lovely story, but yo
Jul 17, 2014 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Story of a knight who would rather make music than fight battles, and who models a romantic relationship that is heartfelt but platonic and doesn't include a marriage. I thought this episode was a little heavy handed compared to others in the series, as that romance is contrasted to two others---including that of Tristram and Iseult---in which the principals are made out to be either self absorbed schemers or buffoons...or both.
Apr 01, 2014 AudryT rated it it was amazing
Charming and witty. Will have to read the others in the series now.
Hannah Morris
I love Dinadan!
Aug 13, 2011 Atticus rated it it was amazing
I honestly love this book. The first time I read it, I immediately opened it from the front and read it again. The cover gave me cause for doubt, but from the moment we are introduced to Dinadan, I loved him. He's not some boring knight doing deeds for ladies our gaining honor. He's a nobleman's son with unwanted glory thrust upon him. And he earns that glory with his rebec other that the sword. A must read for any Renaissance or King Arthur fans.
Deborah Lewitt
I think this is my favorite of "the Squire's Tales". I know it has my favorite character in Sir Dinadan, himself. Gerald Morris is very bold in his look at the extra-marital activity so prevalent in the legends surrounding Camelot, while keeping the content appropriate for younger readers. LOVE this book. this book is a stand out in an outstanding series. clever, witty, sparkling, are just a few of the words that come to mind.
Dec 12, 2012 Joy rated it it was amazing
This series just gets better and better. I've always thought Tristan and Isolde were idiots, and that King Mark was a bit of a sucker. This is a story about them, but it is told through the eyes of Dinadan, a knight who played a minor role in Malory's version of the story. I appreciated his level-headedness and the resolution at the end with Brangienne. On to The Princess, the Crone, and the Dung-Cart Knight (Book 6).
Jun 07, 2008 Jing rated it it was ok
This book was SO boring. I hate Sir Dinadan. I wanted to read from the point of view of a famous knight or an interesting girl or something, but instead I get a boring knight who wishes to be a minstrel. I love the myth of Tristan and Isolde, and but from Dinadan's point of view, it's just stupid.
Jun 14, 2008 Lia rated it it was amazing
Shelves: retellings
Gerald Morris' retellings of the Authuring legends are wonderful. Their humor, cadence, characters---all are well worth the read. He has some obvious opinions about chivalric codes and what it means to be a knight, but this adds to the fun.

One of my favorites.
I seriously love all the books in this series that I've read so far. This book made me laugh out loud a lot. I especially love the story of Tristram and Iseult. What a goofy couple. I'm not sure that I liked the ending. I'm going to have to think about it for awhile.
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Gerald Morris is known for his light yet addictive series of stories for preteen and teen readers based in the Middle Ages during the time of King Arthur. Collectively called "The Squire's Tales", the series includes The Squire's Tale, The Squire, His Knight, and His Lady, The Savage Damsel and The Dwarf, and Parsifal's Page. The books at the start of the series focus on Gawain, but primarily on T ...more
More about Gerald Morris...

Other Books in the Series

The Squire's Tales (10 books)
  • The Squire's Tale (The Squire's Tales, #1)
  • The Squire, His Knight, and His Lady (The Squire's Tales, #2)
  • The Savage Damsel and the Dwarf (The Squire's Tales, #3)
  • Parsifal's Page (The Squire's Tales, #4)
  • The Princess, the Crone, and the Dung-Cart Knight (The Squire's Tales, #6)
  • The Lioness and Her Knight (The Squire's Tales, #7)
  • The Quest of the Fair Unknown (The Squire's Tales, #8)
  • The Squire's Quest (The Squire's Tales, #9)
  • The Legend of the King (The Squire's Tales, #10)

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“He expects us to kill him," Palomides said to Dinadan.
"Some people are so demanding," Dinadan replied. "Considering we've only just met, I mean.”
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