Read The Perilous Gard by Elizabeth Marie Pope Free Online
Book Title: The Perilous Gard|
The author of the book: Elizabeth Marie Pope
ISBN: No data
ISBN 13: No data
Edition: Paw Prints 2007-06-28
Date of issue: June 28th 2007
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 13.91 MB
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Reader ratings: 7.5
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Of the several Tam Lin retellings I've read, the classic YA novel The Perilous Gard is a standout. I frequently sing the praises of Pamela Dean's version of Tam Lin, while knowing full well that that novel will only appeal to a limited subset of the fraction of readers who like fairy tale novelizations. Well, this one is for readers who prefer a more traditional retelling of Tam Lin. It also, by the way, leaves out the racier aspects of the Tam Lin story (the woman who saves her lover from the fairy queen is pregnant with his child), so this one's safe for the younger crowd, but still complex and intriguing enough for adult fantasy readers. In this 1974 Newbery Honor book, the Fairy Folk are an ancient and mysterious Druid-like people living in caves deep under the earth(view spoiler)[, and they are determined to make a human sacrifice on All Hallows Eve (hide spoiler)].
The year is 1558. Queen Mary is on the throne, and Lady Elizabeth (later to be Queen Elizabeth I) is exiled to a drafty English manor house with a few ladies in waiting, including Kate and her lovely but airheaded younger sister Alicia. Kate ends up being blamed for something Alicia has done (which is par for the course) and is exiled even further away to the northernmost parts of England. There is something very strange about the mansion she is sent to live in, called the Perilous Gard, as well as the people who live in this house, including a troubled young man named Christopher, and the frightened and highly superstitious villagers.
But it turns out that the villagers have good reasons to be fearful and superstitious, and Christopher, excellent reasons to be troubled. His four year old niece Cecily disappeared some time ago, and he blames himself for her loss. Christopher and his older brother, Sir Geoffrey, try to tell Kate to mind her own business and stay out of trouble:"You know the old proverb that there's no sense meddling in what you can't mend? -- Didn't your father ever say that to you?"
Kate nodded a little doubtfully. "Well," she began, "he --"
"Then you take his advice if you won't take mine. He has the name of being a wise man, your father."
The corner of Kate's mouth quivered very slightly. She had often heard her father quote that proverb; he said it was invented by fools to save them the trouble of thinking.So Kate, of course, decides to dig into the mystery, and after some initial resistance, Christopher takes her into his confidence. Gradually Christopher and Kate begin to piece the clues together and realize (we're getting into semi-spoilerish territory here now) (view spoiler)[that Cecily has been taken by the Fairy Folk to pay the teind, or human sacrifice, that the Fairy Folk believe is needed to keep the world in order. Christopher does what he thinks he needs to do (he offers himself to the Fairy Folk as a willing substitute for his niece) and Kate, who knows too much for the comfort of the people in the Perilous Gard who are dealing with the Fairy Folk, ends up being handed over to the Folk as a human servant. (hide spoiler)] It's up to Kate to use her wits to try to save both Christopher and herself.
This is a very good version of the Tam Lin tale, with a subtle magical realism to it, but what kicks it up from 4 stars to 5 for me is the outstanding ending. The last twenty pages contain a surprise or two for both Kate and the reader, and are both heartwarming and a great life lesson.
I love this book (I've read it at least 3 or 4 times over the years) and highly recommend it, for both young and older readers.
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Read information about the authorBorn in Washington D.C. on May 1, 1917, Pope later graduated from Bryn Mawr College and then earned her Ph. D. in English literature from John Hopkins University. Next she began teaching at Mills College in Oakland, California and remained there for many years. Beginning as an assistant professor and moving up to hold the position of professor and chairman of the department, Pope excelled as an instructor. Also an author, Pope concentrated mostly on Milton, Shakespeare, and Elizabethan England, and she traveled abroad in order to do historical research for her book The Perilous Guard which was selected for the Newbery Honor Book Award in 1975. Pope passed away in 1992.
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