Download Song of the SparrowAuthor Lisa Ann Sandell –

The Year Is AD Fiery 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

10 thoughts on “Song of the Sparrow

  1. says:

    There she weaves by night and day A magic web with colours gay She has heard a whisper say, A curse is on her if she stay To look down to Camelot She knows not what the curse may be, And so she weaveth steadily, And little other care hath she, The Lady of Shalott Alfred, Lord Tennyson The Lady of Shalott 1832 I didn t get hooked into Arthurian legends by reading, it was actually the 1995 feature length film First Knight and the performances of Sean Connery, Julia Ormond, and Richard Gere that intrigued me to the legend As per the tragic figure of Elaine, Lady of Shalott Well, that would be the fault of my first literary character, Anne Shirley Anne of Green Gables and her devotion to Tennyson Song of the Sparrow is told in verse and puts Elaine on the centre stage Although I am a bit lukewarm on reading almost 400 pages of verse, I did enjoy Lisa Ann Sandell s spin on giving us a full disclosure on Elaine But there weren t a ton of surprises Arthur is a good person, but a little blind when it comes to mean girl Guinevere and her affection for playboy Lancelot Most of the knights make their appearances as well and they come with their own bag of issues I would still recommend it, but probably wouldn t re read it again.

  2. says:

    I have never had any interest in the Arthurian Legend, and have avoided the many books about it since reading The Sword in the Stone in grade 6 and winning the school library s book jacket competition with a new cover for it , and struggling through the first fifty pages of The Mists of Avalon There was even a course at uni that was solely about the legend of King Arthur which I ran a mile to avoid I can t really explain what I don t like about the myth, except to say that I don t get the attraction or why so many people feel the need to write their own versions of it They also clutter up the fantasy shelves since it is a myth, a legend, the books wind up there instead of the regular fiction section I do love Monty Python s The Holy Grail though Lovely a good piss take.This book is different, though It is the story of Elaine of Ascolat, otherwise known as the Lady of Shallot, and it s a reinvigorated, emancipated story Elaine has always got the short shrift, suffering under a curse and early death, or dying of a broken heart In Song of the Sparrow, Sandell tells the story of sixteen year old Elaine, raised since her mother was killed by Picts in the war camp of Arthur, living with her two brothers and her father The only female there, aside from Arthur s mysterious and wise sister Morgan who sometimes appears, she is friend, nurse and confidant to many of Arthur s men Her hero is Lancelot, who has been her friend and playmate since she was 12, and whom she loves.But when Arthur takes command of the Britons and Lancelot goes to fetch a nobleman who had at first refused Arthur s leadership, he brings back with him a beautiful young bride for Arthur, Gwynivere and no one can miss the look of complete adoration on Lancelot s face when he gazes at her.Gwynivere is cold and bitchy and spurns Elaine s offers of friendship while encouraging Lancelot s love The enmity between them becomes hatred, and only the friendship of one of Arthur s knights, Tristan, can help soothe Elaine s pain When the army marches to Mount Badon for an offensive attack on the invading Saxons, Elaine resolutely follows them, only to be caught by Saxons when she had nearly reached them along with Gwynivere, who had followed her in turn.Written in verse, I at first found it a bit weird it didn t rhyme or even seem to have much of a rhythm, and it could easily have been laid out in regular prose format However, after a few pages I slipped into the gentle cadences of Elaine s voice, found that there was a rhythm, a song to the words, that they glided through me gracefully and conveyed Elaine s story better than bald prose would have Narrated in the present tense by Elaine, it carries a sense of immediacy, the language vivid and immersed in nature The verse has deep roots with the earth, as Elaine is tied to it, as well as the honest emotions of herself and those around her.Elaine is a strong, resourceful character with a decisive will She is also very endearing and sympathetic and a great Young Adult heroine No damsel in distress, here Some fans of the Legend may feel it sacrilegious and too modern a version in its perspective and plotting, but since other stories of Elaine are also products of their times and written by men it s only fair I guess this is why, to answer my own question, so many people feel a need to write their own versions of the legend Plus, this is a really lovely story, and I can see it making a great film I may have fallen in love with Tristan a bit.Has it made me want to read books about King Arthur and his knights Not really It has made me curious about a period of British and European and Roman history that I m hazy on I studied European history from 1100 onwards, and only dealt with Roman history while studying Ancient Civilisations, so it s a bit of a blank spot for me I wouldn t mind reading a really good history book on ancient Briton, if I could find one.

  3. says:

    I ve decided I just don t like modern books in verse There is no cadence to them Take for instance this stance The noise brings me back,the fearsome noise of swordsstriking swords, a metallic clanging that rings inmy ears, echoing and echoingthe fearsomedin of menscreaming and crying as theymeet the sharp ends of blades.Why is the fourth line broken after in There is no rhythm in that And why is the second to the last line not broken before as they I d personally separate echoing and echoing too There are no examples in this stance of the words Sandell chose to set apart, but most of them lacked the power to require pause or emphasis You pause at the end of a line, there should by rhythm, significance to those breaks It gets frustrating to read a book with all these breaks that are insignificant and pointless It detracts from some of the beautiful imagery that Sandell creates.If you re going to take on something as iconic as The Lady of Shalott, and on top of that write it in verse, you better make sure your piece is worthy of comparison to the greats Your characters can t be weak backdrops that requires legend to define as worthy of a story As a fan of Arthurian literature, anything that attempts to redefine these historic stories must be strong and powerful and impressive This was simple, too modern, and just okay.

  4. says:

    I was wondering how Sandell would write a nearly four hundred page book about a woman who died because Lancelot didn t return the love she had for him Needless to say much was changed from the original Arthurian legend, giving the main character a much happier ending Some of the other characters and well known events of the legend were changed to fit the YA category Overall, this was an okay read, although I will complain again about the format It is suppose to be written in verse but once again, I find that like so many other books like this, if it had been written in the format of regular sentences and paragraphs it wouldn t have read any different then what it did.

  5. says:

    Originally reviewed here.So this is a book I ve spent a lot of time talking about Chances are, if you ve hung around these parts, you ve heard me push it But I actually read it for the first time way back in the olden days before the blog was, well, what it is now I read it shortly after it was first published, back in 2007, when I was writing monthly posts, mere collections of mini reviews So SONG OF THE SPARROW got shortchanged The fun thing is lots of friends have read and reviewed it since, and so I was able to trip through their lovely thoughts and remember my own When I heard about a retelling of Tennyson s Lady of Shalott, I was so in I mean, I m nothing if not up for a good Camelot tale I could bore you to tears with my obsession with the entire Arthurian legend, but who needs that on a Friday afternoon The thing is, when I heard this retelling was, like Tennyson s version, told entirely in verse, I was no longer so sure Truthfully, I tend to like my modern poetry short and to the point So I did what I often do I went to the bookstore and read the first page Then I read the second page And on through the tenth, at which point I accepted the delicious inevitable and bought the book.Elaine of Ascolat is sixteen years old and alone The lone woman among an endless encampment of men, she has grown up wild and independent and determined to keep her father and brothers and friends alive Though she is not allowed to fight alongside them, she works tirelessly in any way she can to keep their spirits alive, to mend both their limbs and their souls between battle forays against the ever encroaching Saxons After her mother died, her father brought his two sons and one small daughter to live with the soldiers And so Elaine s oldest friends are Arthur, Lancelot, Gawain, Tristan But when Ambrosius Aurelius, dux bellorum, is killed, Elaine must watch the laughing eyes of her friends turn grim with strain and responsibility She must watch as they rally around Arthur their new leader As they reform in their new roles and battle leaders and men And she must watch as a someone new enters their lives and disrupts their old balance perhaps forever Gwynivere Haughty and proud, she ensnares Elaine s friends with seemingly no effort at all But, though her boys seem entranced, Elaine can see clearly just how much craft Gwynivere puts into the web she casts And when that web extends to Lancelot, the one she loves most, wild, independent, determined Elaine decides it is time to fight at last.This book This book set a flock of butterflies free in my stomach on the first page The writing is that heady blend of urgency, vision, and nostalgia I loved Sandell s revisionist version of Elaine of Ascolat I knew there was to her than her magic web and her love for Lancelot I just knew there was Sometimes you meet a character, sometimes over and over through the years, and you know her In bits and pieces, through various art forms and articulations, I have always felt a kinship with the lily maid But it took until Lisa Ann Sandell decided to paint her version of her, for me to realize why All that history you just know is there, the spell, the mirror, knotted web of threads, the loyalty to Lancelot, it all comes together in SONG OF THE SPARROW Any lover of all things Arthurian will tell you, it can be a life of suffering A rich life, but a rocky one This retelling soothes the soul And the beautiful thing is that, by all accounts, it seems to work for newbies even those utterly uninterested in the myth as well as us dedicated fans And it s because the writing and characterization are strong and sure I m so glad this Elaine chose to fight instead of die I loved beautiful Gwynivere, and the choice she makes The women in this novel are ace They inhabit the tale, fleshing it out with life and pain and wanting, and together they are my favorite part about this version But right up there with the ladies is the way Sandell wove in Tristan and his horrible past In a genius move, we get a glimpse of Tristan of Tristan and Isolde fame , and I kind of am of the opinion it should always be this way Forgive the long passage, but it is the moment Elaine first comes to the camp, and it is a favorite.It was nighttime when we reached the camp.When my mind began making senseof what it saw and heard again.In the torchlight I could see Lavain s facewas smeared with dirt,streaked with ash.His eyes were still wide with shock,so whiteso whiteagainst his dirty ash face.He looked like a scared, wild animal.I must have looked the same.Frightened animals.Arthur, younger then,stepped forward,caught my father in hisarms in an embrace.Then Tirry.He pressed little Lavain s shoulder,then put his hands on my hair,petting, stroking.And I felt safe,a tiny bit,for the first time again Poor children, he murmured You are welcome here,in this camp,into this brotherhood.Lavain, someday, no doubt,you will be a fierce fighter.Aye, I can see it in your eyes.But for now, you must take careof your little sister.Lavain turned away sullenly,but I alone saw him blinkback tears.Arthur looked to me, What a brave girl you are,indeed, I ve never met a girlso courageous.There are not any othershere to keep you company,but you have a whole armyof brothers now.He gave me a sad smile andstepped back.Then raven haired Lancelot came to us,kneeling to look in my eyes.And I felt I was standing inthe sunlight, as thoughhis bright gaze alone could warmmy frozen insides.He had blankets for Lavain and me.And once I felt protected.Finally, a young boy who could nothave been than a few yearsolder than Lavainpresented me with a dollunevenly sewn of corn husks and rags.He turned to Lavain and placeda wooden sword in his hand.He said his name was Tristan.His golden cat eyes shone in the dark,his mouth downturned, his browcreased as though as though he knew.He said his name was Tristan This one joins Beauty, Daughter of the Forest, The Outlaws of Sherwood, and Valiant on my most beloved retellings shelf I love gifting it I love re reading it And I will be doing both for the foreseeable future.

  6. says:

    I read Song of the Sparrow last year, but it s only now that I m posting my rating and review because, in truth, I was nervous I have good friends who all seemed to fall into passionate, swoony love with Lisa Ann Sandell s verse interpretation of the Lady of Shallott And I. did not So I held off Did I really want to be the lone lukewarm drop in the bucket of adoration And maybe it was me Maybe I was just a philistine with no literary taste While reviewers and critics alike praise this book, I just didn t feel the magic After some thought, I suspect that verse novels are just not my particular thing Like when my friends are talking about how aesthetically pleasing Gerard Butler is and I m just sitting there with my Um, what face on Or when people say that rocket is the best salad green, and I say I hate rocket and everyone goes quiet I have a complicated and ridiculous relationship with salad leaves, but that s a rant for another day I feel a similar awkwardness in admitting that I don t enjoy reading verse novels As I read Song of the Sparrow, I remember having two very distinct, recurring thoughts 1 I wish this story was written in prose, not poetry and 2 I just want to be finished with this I d flick forward to check how many pages I had left to read not a good sign I was loathe to give up and DNF it, because I thought that maybe, just maybe, I d reach some incredible passage and see the light Become a verse convert Write a review testifying to the brilliance of this book But I can t Don t get me wrong I think this is a good book Very good, even I enjoyed Sandell s particular take on the characters and the way she wove threads of the original legends, myths and historical texts into her own richly imagined story This realistic take on King Arthur, Lancelot et al is definitely to my taste Likewise, I appreciate that Sandell wrote strong, interesting female characters who took initiative and demonstrated courage I liked the way she developed the relationship between Elaine and Gwynivere, from initial coldness and apparent antagonism to mutual respect and friendship On the other hand, I found the romance view spoiler between Elaine and Tristan hide spoiler

  7. says:

    I have a weakness for stories told in verse.

  8. says:

    This prose style novel ends with the disclaimer that the author has completely used artistic license based on semi fact I love that the author spun a fanciful and romantic tale and ended it with responsible tone and further research notes Sandell, before beginning her tale, includes the poem by Tennyson entitled The Lady of Shalott This poem sets the tone for the main character who Sandell speculates, is actually the true Lady She then spins her tale of Arthur and the Round Table Of Gwynivere, Lancelot, Tristan of Tristan and Isolde fame , Merlin, and Elaine The Lady of Shalott In it she includes intrigues of all types Her prose style excellently frames up words that call for pause and digestion It is masterful.The story s main character is Elaine Elaine lost her mother early on in the ongoing war over Briton Since she was a little girl she has followed her father and brothers around from encampment to encampment, living among the men, serving as a healer, mender, etc Elaine interacts with each of the afore mentioned characters and Elaine is getting older Lancelot notices Elaine and she quite easily falls for him, or at least acquires a crush Lancelot leads her on a bit, gives her hope, but then has to ride out on a mission for Arthur, the new king.The mission is to bring back Arthur s new betrothed queen, Gwynivere, and along the way, as legend goes, Lancelot falls irrevocably in love with Gwynivere.Once back at camp, Elaine feels betrayed at Lancelot s change of heart To top it off Gwynivere has a far superior attitude and while Elaine and Gwyn should have shared a sister bond at this camp filled with all men, they now have a rivalry.When Elaine slips off to follow Arthur s camp to war, Gwyn follows And when Elaine falls into enemy clutches, it is up to Gwyn to save her The two girls must hatch an elaborate plan to save the men that they love and, in turn, form an irrevocable bond With several sub plots present and the whimsical language of chivalry, this novel is a great romantic read that will entertain students who like Arthurian lore.

  9. says:

    4.5 and a fave read of the year A re telling of the Lady of Shallott in verse I am the fan of the verse Featuring Camelot, Lancelot, Arthur and Tristan from Tristan and Isolde sounds kinda cool, yeah Started slow for me, but then suddenly I couldn t put it down And I stayed up sneakily until 2am just having the best time reading it.Loved it, a re read for sure.Lyrical and atmospheric.Even felt a little teary towards the end which was weird, to suddenly feel that prickle of tears but also kind of awesome.And, gosh, how much did I CRUSH on Tristan

  10. says:

    Elaine of Ascolat, better known as The Lady of Shalott, is the main character in this new telling of Arthurian legend It is told in prose It is advertised as of a romance than anything else, but it is much than that, the story of a girl becoming a woman, a soldier, and a friend I LOVE ARTHURIAN MYTH SO MUCH Not very accurate on the Gwynivere canon Or the original canon, but most works don t follow it, so there is that Cool characters that have HONOURRRRRRRR