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Song of the Sparrowby Lisa Sandell
Synopses & Reviews
Since the days of King Arthur, there have been poems and paintings done in her name. She is the Lady of Shalott, and now there is a new story about her, from an exciting new talent.
The year is 490 AD. Fiery 16-year-old Elaine of Ascolat, the daughter of one of King Arthur's supporters, lives with her father on Arthur's base camp, the sole girl in a militaristic world of men. Elaine's only girl companion is the mysterious Morgan, Arthur's older sister, but Elaine cannot tell Morgan her deepest secret: She is in love with Lancelot, Arthur's second-in-command. However, when yet another girl — the lovely Gwynivere-- joins their world, Elaine is confronted with startling emotions of jealousy and rivalry. But can her love for Lancelot survive the birth of an empire?
"'Sandell (The Weight of the Sky) invents a unique and eloquently wrought addition to Arthurian lore in 44 verses expressing the sentiments of Lady Elaine, the subject of Tennyson's 'The Lady of Shalott' and other classical legends. Here, Elaine is cast as a motherless tomboy living in Arthur's encampment with her father and two brothers. Raised amidst soldiers who are like brothers to her, she knows little of what it means to be a woman until her passion is roused by handsome Lancelot. Any hope that Lancelot may some day return her love quickly dissolves with the arrival of beautiful Gwynivere, Arthur's future bride, who immediately steals Lancelot's heart. Elaine despises Gwynivere for her haughty and flirtatious manner ('A gown woven by faeries/ could not disguise her cruel nature,' Elaine declares). Gwynivere conveys equal dislike for Elaine, but the two women form a bond in the throes of danger after they are kidnapped and held hostage by invading Saxons. The poetic narrative — a mix of observations, dialogue and laments — evokes a remarkable range (and natural progression) of emotions. Elaine's coming of age encompasses moments of adolescent infatuation, jealousy, grief and sacrifice and an evolution of friendship into mature love as she ultimately relinquishes her feelings for Lancelot and pledges her heart to Tristan. Characterized as unconventional for her time, Elaine encapsulates modern feminist values, proving herself to be as intelligent, determined and loyal as her male companions. Ages 12-up.' Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)"
This lyrical novel in verse tells the tale of fiery, 16-year-old Elaine of Ascolat--who will one day be known in poems and paintings as RThe Lady of ShalottS from Arthurian lore.
About the Author
Lisa Ann Sandell studies sculpture, is re-learning to play the trumpet, and, like Cora, has always found art and writing to be a driving force in her life. She is the author of THE WEIGHT OF THE SKY, which was named one of the New York Public Librarys Books for the Teen Age, and SONG OF THE SPARROW, which was a BookSense Summer 2007 pick and which Publishers Weekly called "unique and eloquently wrought" in a starred review. Lisa works as a childrens books editor and lives in New York City with her husband, the author Liel Leibovitz, and their dog, Molly. Please visit her online at www.lisaannsandell.com
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