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At the Crossing Places (Arthur Trilogy, #2)
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At the Crossing Places (Arthur Trilogy #2)

3.73  ·  Rating Details ·  1,859 Ratings  ·  71 Reviews
Arthur de Caldicot arrives at Holt to be squire to Lord Stephen and accompany him on crusade. It is an exciting and bewildering time for him as he finds a warhorse, is fitted with armour, and improves his fighting skills. He dreads a confrontation with his blood-father, the violent Sir William, and dreams of finding his true mother; he discovers girls - including the vivac ...more
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published August 23rd 2001 by Orion Children's Books (first published 2001)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Mariana
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Gary
Jul 24, 2016 Gary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Children and adults
Recommended to Gary by: Folio Society
At the Crossing Places is the second in the Arthur trilogy, as told by Kevin Crossley-Holland. This is a children’s book and I would say it is most suitable for 10-15 year olds, though that doesn’t mean other age groups would not enjoy it, just that they will get the most from it.

The story concerns Arthur, a 14 year old boy living in England, on the English / Welsh border, in the year 1200. The book is written by Arthur in the first person, so reads like his journal and is essentially the story
...more
Nikki
Took me a long time to get onto reading this. I can't remember what I was so eager about when it came to reading these books, because they feel so slight, somehow. There's a reasonable enough attempt at historical accuracy, but I'm not really here for Manor Arthur, I'm here for King Arthur, and this really didn't keep my attention on that score. I ended up reading this and the third book really fast today and I'm not sure they're going to stick in my mind at all: at least Gerald Morris' books, w ...more
Molly Siegel
Jun 01, 2008 Molly Siegel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I didn't like this one as much as the first one. Mostly it was because I didn't like how frequently the story switched to the world of the stone. I didn't like the stories that happened in the stone and felt like they had no real connection to the main plot. I really like when Arthur describes his normal every-day medieval life, and I think that is the best part of the book. But I just had a hard time enjoying the things that happened in the stone and staying interested in them. If they had occu ...more
Stephen
Nov 02, 2014 Stephen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literature
I quite enjoyed reading this book. My copy is the Folio Society edition, which doesn't appear on Goodreads. The story is a nice tale that is easy to read - just what I want from a bedtime book. It carries on the story from the first part of the trilogy. Arthur is now preparing for his crusade. He has doubts about his origins and wants some form of finality, whilst also preparing for his future.

This resonates with Arthur-in-the-stone, who is starting to make a mess of his reign. That is a diffic
...more
Challis
Feb 13, 2010 Challis rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-fantasy
This wasn't as good as the first one. This had a lot more about Arthur-in-the-stone, who we can no longer relate to. Much of the stories in the stone are not useful to the book and only add confusion and disgust to an otherwise charming and sweet tale. I grew weary of the tales of knights killing each other gruesomely and some weird honor code which I couldn't understand and a bunch of men who couldn't be faithful around a beautiful woman. Ugh. The end of the last book led us right into Arthur p ...more
Kristel
This book is certainly not as good as the first - it focusses much more heavily on Arthur-in-the-stone and the knights of the round table, but it's much harder to see how Arthur's life lines up with Arthur-in-the-stone's life. The stories about the knights just read like quick re-treads of stories we know from Arthurian legend, but there's little to be learned from them. (Essentially Arthur sees the knights promising to be one thing and then behaving exactly the opposite, but I'm not even sure t ...more
Nilsson
I read this book out loud because my mother once told me stories seem different when you read them that way. I had to do it far away in the boat though, lest I should sound like a fool in front of my brothers. To my embarrassment, it's when I first discovered that voices carry across the water clear as a bell. I wonder if the fish enjoyed this story?
Laurie
I especially like the way this author has a list of characters at the front of the book, so you can refresh your memory of who is who.
Valerie
Jun 03, 2011 Valerie rated it it was ok
This was the 2nd book of the trilogy. It was somewhat labrious reading. The customs and ideas of medieval England saved it. Was ok but not as well done as the first book.
Vivian
Jul 22, 2017 Vivian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels, ya
In which we follow young Arthur as he realizes his dream of becoming a squire, in which his future promises much more than he could ever have imagined, in which he observes more tales of the legendary Arthur and his knights in his Seeing Stone, in which he is confused in love and life-long held beliefs, and in which he prepares to participate in a Crusade. Three cheers for the author's grasp of the middle ages and ability to spin a tale and creating this marvelous character. Oh, and Arthur loses ...more
Rosemary Atwell
A fabulous blend of real and imagined characters invites intriguing comparison between young Arthur de Caldicot and his namesake, the once and future king. Once again, the storytelling and attention to detail are masterly and I was absolutely thrilled to discover Marie de France among the list of characters.
Lisa
Mar 16, 2017 Lisa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this book, I didn't love it. It is fairly slow paced, but for some reason I don't mind. Not a book I would read more than once though.
Charles
The Arthurian legends have always fascinated me, both as a child and as an adult. So Crossley-Holland had a wealth of material to deal with, and to synchronize the legends of King Arthur with those of young Arthur de Caldicot was no small undertaking.

The original concept behind Crossley-Holland's trilogy was commendable, with the aspect of the seeing stone serving to masterly integrate and contrast those two versions of medieval life. You do feel that certain elements are well-researched, such a
...more
Janice
Did not start. Would need to acquire and read the 1st book.
Collin Moen
Sep 19, 2012 Collin Moen is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition


This book has a very interesting start. The main characters name is Arthur, and his horses name is Pip. Arthur is a young boy who is leaving his village and his friend Gatty to go to Jerusalem. He has been escorted to a castle by Simon where he will become the new squire. I think at first Arthur well become homesick because he will be away from his village Caldicot for at least 2 years. In the first book Arthur was given a stone of obsidian which a wise man named Merlin told him was something h
...more
Dusty
Sep 26, 2008 Dusty rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Dusty by: Juan Lujan
Shelves: read-in-2009
This book, the second in the so-called Arthur Trilogy, obviously has its audience: It was recommended passionately to me by a student who consumes quest-themed books like cream-filled chocolates. But I am not that audience.

In a world so full with Arthur stories, not to mention plenty of good collections of these stories rewritten for teenagers, why do we need this book? It's about a boy who lives in the Crusades and who, like Arthur, has dubious parentage and an unusual interest in defining and
...more
Katrin
This book was difficult to rate. It actually is a book for children and at times had a somehow strange vibe to it, haha. I did like some things about the book, for example reading about the Arthur-saga and all the connected stories in a playful way or the life of a squire at that times. This was nice but somehow I still don't get the whole point with the seeing stone. I would have to read the other two books in the series maybe. Or then there would be no real revelation in the end, I don't know. ...more
Krista
Jun 09, 2010 Krista rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A nice little book chock full of interesting tidbits about medieval manor life during the crusades. But I'm still waiting for how manor Arthur ties in with King Arthur and I'm beginning to think he doesn't, really, despite the fact that manor Arthur will inherit a manor called Catmole and sees the King Arthur legends reflected in a "seeing stone" given to him by a family friend named Merlin. The Seeing Stone was the title of the first book, so I expected Arthur of manor to be more intertwined wi ...more
Alison
Absolutely wonderful. A rich and complex sequel to The Seeing Stone; Arthur now 14 and a squire to Lord Stephen, preparing to join the crusade to Jerusalem. He is unsettled about the news of his parentage from the end of the first novel, his plans to become betrothed to Grace are in disarray and even this news doesn't mend his relationship with Serle, his foster-brother. The story of King Arthur in the seeing-stone reflects, predicts and comments upon Arthur de Caldicot's story, as he learns how ...more
Evan Hays
May 25, 2013 Evan Hays rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, fiction
An excellent second part of this series. If you like fiction books about Medieval Europe, the Arthurian legends, or just a good narrative, you should definitely try this series.

It blends together the very well-researched history of the 13th/14th centuries, Arthurian legends, and tenderly written dialogue to form a very enjoyable whole. I would say this book felt a lot like the first one, but it had more of the Arthurian stories, and less of Merlin. There is still the question of how much the cha
...more
Lisa Rathbun
I didn't like this book anywhere near as much as the first. Arthur traveled from manor to manor in this book, but there were few of the interesting details of medieval life that filled the first book. The focus seemed to be on the scenes of Arthur's court seen in the stone, but they portrayed the parts of the story that I liked least: fantastical visions and monsters, unfaithful men, scheming and promiscuous women. Those stories were told baldly too, with little nuance or finesse to them. I espe ...more
Nick
Jan 29, 2012 Nick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The second part of the trilogy is not as strong as the first, though it's still good. The issue is not the 'real' story of the olde English lad growing up with foster parents, but rather the King Arthur re-tellings. They have a dutiful feel, as if the author didn't find them as much fun as the sword-in -the-stone part of the story. But then again, who does? All the semi-religious wizardry, anguished purity, and noble self-denial of the Round Table gets a bit tiresome after a while, doesn't it? N ...more
Matilda Rose
Arthur has finally achieved his dream and now works as a squire to Lord Stephen. He falls in love with Winnie, Lord Stephen's beautiful daughter, and they plan to get betrothed. But meanwhile, his best friend at home in Caldicot, Grace, is jealous of his love for Winnie, for they were originally going to be married. Unfortunately, they recently found out that they share the same father, and their betrothal had to be cancelled.

Arthur also dreams of being a crusader, famed for his courage and brav
...more
Daniel
Oct 05, 2011 Daniel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, children-s
Though a children's book, this is a great read for anybody interested in the Arthurian legends. Two stories run in parallel; Arthur-in-the-stone is the legendary King Arthur, and Arthur who holds the stone sees surprising similarities with the legendary king he watches. Kevin Crossley-Holland does well to bring the authentic tales of the Arthurian Cycle to life, as well as creating a believable and historically accurate view of thirteenth-century England. The characters are likeable and well-fle ...more
Mari
Mar 07, 2014 Mari rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's better than the first part and, since it's a children's book, I kind of rated it as I would a few years back, when I was at an age with the protagonist. I dig the "Arthur in the stone" stories, but most of the time it feels like the protagonist is mostly a boring distraction from the story I really want to read. And I must say I really, really don't like (sometimes even hate) 1st person narrative books, especially when it's a child's perspective as dull as this one. Anyway, when it comes to ...more
Bonnie
I just finished this book. I'm waiting for the third book to come. I want to know how Arthur does on the Crusade and as a squire. I also want to find out what happens with Gatty, the quiet farm girl from his home. This book built more on the King Arthur legend and but also the story of Arthur, the main character, grew as well. The paraelles between the two are becoming clear and the chances in names such as 'Winnie' from Gwinafer (or what ever spelling you prefer). These books are quick, simple ...more
Brigid Keely
Feb 04, 2013 Brigid Keely rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kids, fiction, 2013
"At the Crossing Places," by Kevin Crossley-Holland, is the 2nd book in his Arthur trilogy. Arthur has become a squire and is gearing up to join the crusades. This is very much a book of growing up and discovery. I especially like the further introduction and development of female characters, discussion of Jews in the era/locale (which I think is a bit more enlightened/modern of a viewpoint than most people of that era/place would hold but whatever), and the way pagan tradition/ritual are part o ...more
Lillian
Like the first book in the series, At the Crossing Places reads like a journal, but I found it more confusing! I wasn't sure what chapters were part of the main plot and I didn't know what to focus on the most. Still, it was cool reading material.~ Arthur is awesome!

This book is even MORE PG 13 than the first book... I’m not sure why it’s listed for middle grade readers. Is my moral standards too high or something? I dunno. :P
Ann Thomas
Well-written story, as for the first in the trilogy, but not so engrossing as the first. I'm also not sure how the stories of King Arthur that Arthur of Caldicott sees in his stone are related to his life. They seem to be random events thrown in between what is happening in his life. I am intrigued enough to read the third book, but won't be recommending this to my grandson as I did with the first book.
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13878
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)
  • The Seeing Stone (Arthur Trilogy, #1)
  • King of the Middle March (Arthur Trilogy, #3)

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