(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

Men of Iron cover image

Men of Iron tells the story of Myles Falworth's maturation from roughand- tumble boyhood through reckless, high-spirited adolescence to responsible manhood. The novel celebrates boyhood, with its youthful high jinks and scrapes with authority, its fierce loyalties and bitter rivalries, its hero worship, its secret societies and hide-outs. In this action-filled, fast-paced narrative, Myles achieves maturity only after he learns to channel his abundant youthful energies towards socially constructive ends and to employ his bravery, physical strength, and mental agility in a worthy cause. Myles's story is the story of every young person: his success in negotiating the formidable obstacles and trials that he must confront assures young readers that if they face their trials with the necessary courage and determination, they, too, can carve for themselves comfortable places in the adult world, where they can live productive and satisfying lives.

The novel also offers a colorful and engaging historical account of the accession of Henry IV to the English throne and the attendant social and political changes in fifteenth-century France and England. Pyle is especially adroit at providing information concerning the elaborate customs, ceremonies, weapons, and protocols supporting late-medieval knighthood.

Finally, Men of Iron is a classic adventure story, brimming with episodes of danger, intrigue, and battle, and informed with youthful...

(The entire section is 223 words.)