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At the Crossing Places

(Arthur Trilogy #2)

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  2,237 ratings  ·  90 reviews
The second thrilling novel in Kevin Crossley-Holland's bestselling Arthur trilogy

Arthur de Caldicot has achieved his dream: He now serves as squire to Lord Stephen of Holt Castle. But this new world opens up fresh visions as well as old concerns. Arthur longs to escape the shadow of his unfeeling father and meet his birth mother. To marry the beautiful Winnie, but maintain
Paperback, 416 pages
Published October 1st 2004 by Scholastic Paperbacks (first published August 23rd 2001)
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Average rating 3.74  · 
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 ·  2,237 ratings  ·  90 reviews

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Sep 09, 2019 rated it liked it
I loved the first book in this series The Seeing Stone-I loved the characters especially Arthur, Gatty, Tanwen, Sir John and Merlin. I loved the Canterbury Tales feel and the way mediaeval England was so beautifully done, and looked forward to reading the sequel At The Crossing Places-and the part that did focus on my favourite characters was still an enthralling read. The problem was the main narrative was not developed well enough or expanded enough on because of the continual switching to Art ...more
Jun 01, 2008 rated it liked it
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
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
Jul 24, 2016 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
Nov 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Feb 13, 2010 rated it liked it
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
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? ...more
Rosemary Atwell
Jun 28, 2017 rated it liked it
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.
Jun 03, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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.
Sep 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
So I was walking around my school library, like us teenagers always have to do when we can’t buy books off of Amazon with our parents’ diminishing general budget and, if the book has anything to do with a personal interest, against the will of our siblings and their constant desire for a lot of us to live like a normal person for just one minute so they can finally gain even a speck of popularity at their school, and I came across this cool-looking book called Arthur: The Seeing Stone, and I tho ...more
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
Apr 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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.
Apr 17, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I didn’t feel like the two halves of this book married as well as they did in the first instalment of this trilogy, The Seeing Stone, but I still really enjoyed this. The narrative flips between Arthur, a medieval squire getting ready to go on crusade, and Arthurian legend viewed through his seeing stone.

In the first book the two narratives work really well together as both Arthurs discover hidden pasts and go through their own ‘becomings’, but I didn’t feel that same thread here. It made it fe
Len Hayter
If only I could have been twelve or thirteen again, and prepared to be mesmerised by the tales of King Arthur and the Round Table, I would have enjoyed this so much more than I did. The action adventures in the story are those of King Arthur, Sir Gawain and his Green Knight, Sir Pellinore and the Yelping Beast and, oh, I was so hoping the author would slip in the Knights Who Say Ni or a Killer Rabbit just for the fun of it; perhaps copyright, or common sense, got in the way. Young Arthur de Cald ...more
Stephanie Fachiol
Jun 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The strength in this narrative lies in Arthur's strong (and sometimes poetic) voice, and the details built into the setting. I also love the subtle characterization, such as how Guinevere's insistence on knighting a youth who later gets grievously wounded is setup for her reaction to Lancelot's declaration that he'd rather die with honor than live meaninglessly. This is a strongly atmospheric work, and it's easy to get engrossed within it.

However, the plot is more meandering than the previous; i
Apr 18, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I see to have had quite the 'reverse' reading experience considering the 2nd book in the Arthur Trilogy. When I read some other Goodread reviews the lion's share of people seemed to enjoy the first book better than the second whereas for me it was definately the other way arround. Although, I loved the characterbuilding, scene descriptions and composition of 'The Seeing Stone', this is all to be found in 'At the Crossing Places' plus a wonderful stortyline that was much better structured and mor ...more
Jul 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
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
Lindsey Rojem
I read this for the "A Book With A Green Spine" part of my 2018 reading challenge. I feel it was more of a 2.5 than a 3, it was ok but I wasn't in love with it. I ended up with way more questions than answers. Maybe if I read more of the series I would like it more, but it didn't make me desperate to pick them up. ...more
Oct 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
This series is historical in nature giving great view into what life might have been like at that time after King Arthur reigned, and war was done in armor with swords. The highest goal was spiritual absolution. Great parallelism to the King Arthur story and nicely woven through the use of a seeing stone and Merlin.
Sep 12, 2020 rated it liked it
Arthur's first person narrative continues to be vivid and appealing, but the stories in the stone became boring, bitty, and not obviously relevant. This book did not make much progress with the main plot of Arthur's origins and destiny, and seems clearly weaker than the first book. I had some trouble getting to the end. ...more
Orchard Academy
Apr 25, 2018 rated it liked it
I loved this book very much because it transported me another world, a fantasy world. It made me imagine what life was like in the 1200s. I would recommend it to my mates, in fact I already have!
By Etienne
Jun 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
An appreciated continuation of the story of Arthur de Caldicot and his adventures in becoming a squire and learning his true heritage, all while continuing to watch the story of King Arthur and learning the life lessons it gives him. Very enjoyable and very well written.
This second installment in Crossley-Holland's Arthur trilogy was absolutely superb. It was incredibly well researched, and I enjoyed the juxtaposition of teenaged Arthur of Caldicot's life with that of King Arthhur and his knights of the round table. I could better understand the choice of dual storytelling in this novel than the first. I definitely recommend it for anyone interested in realistic medieval period fiction, keeping in mind that it is Middle Grade level so it is more simple in style ...more
Jillian Fox
Dec 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
A very clever, original, and magical interpretation of Arthur and the roots of Arthurian legend. Plays with the idea of building a mythology and how such mythologies come about!
Feb 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked the mix of Arthurian stories and young Arthur’s adventures in At the Crossing Places. The narration by Michael Maloney was wonderful. I’m curious to find out what happens next.
Aug 18, 2019 rated it liked it
Read this book last year, Loved it!
This was a good book to read because its action pact. This is was an interesting book for poeple who like action.
Feb 09, 2021 rated it liked it

I remember it being a bit confusing for my 10 year old self, but I really enjoyed the story.

It’s been a dozen years now since I read it and I’m thinking of rereading the trilogy.
Mar 16, 2017 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. ...more
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
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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

Other books in the series

Arthur Trilogy (3 books)
  • The Seeing Stone
  • King of the Middle March

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