Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Blog Tour + GIVEAWAY: Merlin's Harp by Anne Eliot Crompton

Nivenne never thought she'd be in direct contact with barbaric Humans--let alone help them. She's only heard stories of the evil that occurs outside of the forest. But her dear friend Merlin has brought word that Arthur's kingdom--where Humans dwell--is threatened by the Saxons. If Nivienne doesn't help, it could be the end for her own peaceful home. Nivienne must learn how to trust the Humans and her heart. Even more difficult than going to war alongside your enemies is discovering you are falling in love with them.
Told from a female perspective, the legend of King Arthur, Merlin, and the infamous Morgan le Faye has never looked more magical. Brimming with fairy [Fey] lore and myths of how Arthur’s misty history unfolds, Merlin’s Harp will satisfy any Arthurian fan or reader--teen or adult--alike.
What I liked most about Merlin’s Harp was the very detailed descriptions of the mythical Fey folk. The author wrote as if a real Fey girl witnessed the story of Avalon [Apple Island]. Nivienne (pronounced similar to Vivienne) is a very passionate and dramatic character. She tells everything as it is and leaves absolutely nothing out. To create such a backdrop with details about legends, history, or Arthurian tales, you would have to do quite a bit of research....... and it really paid off.
The negative things I have to say about Merlin's Harp is that I kept getting the feeling the story was being rushed and it sometimes wandered of the main trail if you will. It was would slow way down, then it would speed up and would lose me completely. I kept having to go back and reread several important passages. The beginning of the book was rushed as well and there was so much stuff to "learn" about the Fey folk, that I felt a little overwhelmed by the details. Sometimes I felt kinda of silly reading about all this fairy stuff, but that is probably a fantasy newbie talking. Things like this may or may not turn off the reader. It just depends. Read a few chapters here.
I had no idea that I would grow use to talk of auras and magic spells. As the story progressed, so did my attraction to the “magical” setting. There is also a modern genuinely about this novel that is unique. Some of the phrases Nivienne and the other characters say are not true to the middles ages, but I didn't notice it all that much and sometimes modern phrases are okay to throw in when it comes to young adults. Again, depends on what style you like. Personally, I could have handled any kind of medieval terminology--that's just me though.
As for key content factors I will mention the references to several sexual situations. Not a flower moon goes by without.......you get the picture. There are also a lot of talk of pagan rituals, witches, mages, and goddesses. Of course it wouldn’t be ancient medieval times without out stuff like that (or Arthurian myths for that matter), but just be sure you feel comfortable about reading things like that. There is a lot symbolism in Arthurian legends as well. Whether the author intends to add them or not, they are still branded in somewhere in the story: the sword, the round table, even Arthur himself.
Overall, Merlin’s Harp was an okay book, a little dark perhaps and rough at some points, but the fantasy theme of the novel was new to me and provided some sort of enjoyment. I think teens and adults would like reading this fictional account of King Arthur from a woman’s point of view. Fans of The Mists of Avalon would enjoy this novel as well. I would recommend to teen ages 15 and up. 
|Pages: 241|Year Published: March 2010|Publisher: Sourcebooks|
|Genre: Fantasy, Arthurian|Age Group: YA, ages 15 to adult|
|Content: Sexuality (PG-13 level)|Buy or Borrow? Borrow|
|Enjoyed It: 3/5|Content Rating: 2/5|Cover: 4/5|

(Contest Closed)



LunaMoth said...

ohh it h as pagan themes?! i will so have to read this one!

Orchid said...

Merlin's HArp sounds like a really good book. :)

Kelly said...

Great review! I love Arthurian legends. I am interested in this book. I hope the pacing doesn't ruin it for me. :D

donnas said...

Great review. I love reading about the Arthurian legends from different points of view or stories.

Lydia said...

Good review - I've been loving the reviews I've read of this book and am itching to get my hands on it!

Lisa_Gibson said...

Great review! Sounds like a terrific read.

Bookie said...

Enjoyed the review. I'm obsessed with the King Arthur legends.

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