A Tail of Camelot

illus. by Lindsey Carr. 304p. (Mice of the Round Table: Bk. 1). HarperCollins. Oct. 2016. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780062403995.
Gr 4–6—The sword in the stone, knights, battles, and bravery bring to mind the Knights of the Round Table and their adventures in Camelot. In Arthurian retellings, the focus traditionally falls on gallant heroes such as King Arthur, Sir Lancelot, and Merlin, but in this tale a colony of mice, flying squirrels, moles, and more take center stage. Calib Christopher comes from a long line of well-respected mice who, in different ways, have all risked their lives for Camelot. Calib has been entered in the Harvest Tournament. Before the test can even take place, Calib's grandfather, Commander Yvers, is viciously murdered. Calib soons sets off on a quest in which he encounters deadly grizzlies, luminous wolves, and the Darklings, the wild forest animals, in hopes of preserving not only his royal rodent society but all of Camelot itself. Leung employs classic language, with regal terms to re-create the timeless feel of Camelot. While her vivid descriptions and attention to detail are reminiscent of Brian Jacques's "Redwall" and Avi's "Dimwood Forest Tales," the plot is much more simplified and predictable.
VERDICT An additional purchase for larger middle grade collections in need of epic animal fantasy.

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