Cover image for The princess, the crone, and the dung-cart knight
The princess, the crone, and the dung-cart knight
Morris, Gerald, 1963-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Boston : Houghton Mifflin, [2004]

Physical Description:
310 pages ; 22 cm
Determined to find the knight responsible for the terrible deaths of her mother and the Jewish peddler who had given them a home, thirteen-year-old Sarah is helped in her quest by a strange old woman, a magical sword, a young faery, and an unkempt knight with little armor and no horse.
Reading Level:
840 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 5.2 10.0 77350.

Reading Counts RC 6-8 5.4 17 Quiz: 36775 Guided reading level: T.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Young Adult Fiction Young Adult

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Ever since that tragic night when her mother and guardian were murdered, thirteen-year-old Sarah has been living on her own and searching for the knight who was responsible. Her quest for revenge leads to an even greater adventure when she witnesses Queen Guinevere being kidnapped. Soon Sarah finds herself accompanying Sir Gawain and Squire Terence on a remarkable journey to rescue the Queen. In their travels they meet, among others, a mystery knight traveling incognito in a dung cart, a faery who becomes Sarah's first friend in a long time, a reclusive monk who plans to spend the rest of his life building a tomb for Sir Lancelot, and a princess who might have a little more gumption than she appears to.

As the plot thickens, Sarah finds out more about the people she's met and befriended, as well as about herself. She begins to learn the true consequences of vengeance and what it really means to be a princess.

Author Notes

Gerald Morris lives in Wausau, Wisconsin, with his wife and three children. In addition to writing he also serves as pastor of a church and teaches theology. As a child, Morris read voraciously, but mostly bad Western novels. Years later, when he discovered the ancient tales of King Arthur and realized what a good thing he had been missing all those years, he decided to retell those stories for the next generation

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 6-9. After witnessing the abduction of Queen Guinevere and Sir Kay, 13-year-old Sarah detours from her own quest and seeks out King Arthur at Camelot. Soon she and her new allies embark on an adventure based on an early Arthurian tale by Chretien de Troyes. As in the other novels in the rewarding Squire's Tales series, Morris reshapes traditional plot elements, infuses them with humor and fantasy, and creates a highly readable story. More than the other books, though, this one exposes the dark side of the Middle Ages, for Sarah recalls seeing her mother and their Jewish friend burned at the stake by a peasant mob while a nearby knight called them Christ-killers. In the appended author's note, Morris comments on the grim historical fact of prejudice, injustice, and violence against Jews in medieval Europe. The novel is driven by a keen sense of justice and lightened by droll wit. A terrific cast of characters energizes the story, which plays out against a colorful, well-developed historical background. --Carolyn Phelan Copyright 2004 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Gerald Morris weaves another humorous and suspenseful tale of knightly intrigue in The Princess, the Crone, and the Dung-Cart Knight, the sixth in the Squire's Tales series. Sarah, a young princess, goes on a quest to rescue Queen Guinevere with familiar characters in the series, Terence and Sir Gawain. As the title suggests, the band is visited by a mysterious old woman and also joins a knight of dubious repute. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 6-9-In grand storytelling style, the author continues his series with Sarah, an orphaned teenager who is on a quest for revenge when she encounters Queen Guinevere and Sir Kai. After Kai catches Sarah trying to steal his sword, he gives her a special sword made for his son and teaches her how to use it. When the evil Sir Meliagant kidnaps Guinevere and wounds Kai, Sarah searches for a way to help them. A crone leads her to Camelot where she meets King Arthur, and she goes with Sir Gawain and his squire to rescue Kai and Guinevere. On the road, they encounter trickery, danger, and many characters and plot twists. Sarah gets her revenge, but it is not sweet, and this well-drawn character eventually finds strength and peace within herself. This imaginative novel doesn't take itself too seriously, and yet Morris manages to make some serious points. In the author's note, he is open about taking liberties with Chr?tien de Troyes's original story The Knight of the Cart, but, after all, there is no one, true Arthurian legend. Readers looking for page-turning adventure, a strong heroine, and some fun will find it all here.-Cheri Dobbs, Detroit Country Day Middle School, Beverly Hills, MI (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

I Sarahp. 1
II Belrepeire and Camelotp. 22
III Questingp. 48
IV The Dung-Cart Knightp. 73
V The Dividing of the Waysp. 94
VI The Hermit of the Tombp. 118
VII The Custom of the Landp. 143
VIII The Sword Bridgep. 169
IX Night in Logres Castlep. 200
X The Wounded Landp. 224
XI The Trialp. 252
XII Her Own Princessp. 274
Author's Notep. 307