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The Hero’s Journey from Another Point of View: Here Lies Arthur

By Judi Moreillon, Texas Woman’s University, Texas Ambassador for USBBY

Book Cover for Here Lies Arthur
“Cei laughed off the slanders. ‘They’re only stories,’ he would say. ‘What do stories matter?’ But he wasn’t stupid. He knew as well as Myrddin that in the end stories are all that matter” (Reeve 204).

British author Philip Reeve uses the well-known legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Roundtable as a springboard for his novel Here Lies Arthur. Reeve offers explanations for the unexplained in the original tales, which may be part history and greater part folklore, and have been embellished by retellers since the late 5th and early 6th century when King Arthur supposedly performed heroic and even magical deeds. Along with his knights, Arthur has been credited with defending Britain from invading Saxons. He has embodied the virtues of loyalty, honor and chivalry. In his author’s note, Reeve provides historical and literary documentation for the novel.
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