Reviews of At the Crossing-Places (2002)
Review by spiphany (2005-03-12)
I didn't like this quite as much as the first volume in the trilogy. Arthur de Caldicot is now a squire to Lord Stephen and eager to become a Crusader. This was undoubtably one reason I tended to have reservations about it: the Crusades were not a terribly admirable episode in European history, and Arthur's uncritical excitement about them didn't jibe too well with me. That is not, however, the main complaint.
Mostly, the two narratives are uneven and not interwoven as well as in the previous book. The Arthurian stories, which focus around the deeds of the Knights of the Round Table, don't really offer anything new in the telling, and young Arthur's life holds much more interest for the reader. (Or occasionally vice versa. One finds oneself skimming sections to get back to the interesting story.) The two stories diverge considerably, and the parallels aren't clear. I had expected that the connection between Arthur and the events in the stone would be further explained in this book, but it isn't at all, which was disappointing.
Still, in spite of my criticism, this is a fair follow-up to "The Seeing Stone". It wasn't a chore to read, but it didn't quite live up to my expectations from the first book.