The Book That Made Me: Philip Reeve 16/10/19
Rules for a Knight
Publisher: Random House
On the eve of battle, Sir Thomas Lemuel Hawke of Cornwall writes a letter to his children. It is a guide on how to live well, like a knight: staying wise, humble, courageous, loving and kind.
Hawke has tried to make this book look as authentic as possible. The cover stands out with a gold-embossed leaf. Inside, an editor’s note talks about the discovery of the ‘historical’ letter, confirming Sir Thomas's death at the Battle of Slaughter Bridge in 1483.
It all gives the book an important and timeless feel. Hawke has a way with a sentence, and many of the sections read like note-perfect proverbs. There are also some lovely, tender scenes with the grandfather.
It can be a little dense at times, so children may want to dip in and out of the short, standalone chapters. But the book is pitched in such a way that they can get new meaning from it as they grow into teenagers and young adults.