Song of the Sparrow

 
5.0
 
4.3 (6)
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Song of the Sparrow
Publisher
Age Range
10+
Release Date
May 01, 2007
ISBN
0439918480
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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?

Editor reviews

1 reviews

Medieval Love & War
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
0.0
Elaine, better known as the Lady of Shalott, is the only girl in a camp full of warriors. Ever since raiders killed her mother, Elaine has been living with he father and brothers in King Arthurs camp. The Britons are rallying their troops to try and drive out the Saxon invaders from their land. Elaine plays an important role in the battles. She has learned the art of healing over the years, and is always ready with the proper herbal remedies when a man is wounded. Plus, the men depend on her for help when their clothes need mending. As the only girl in camp, Elaine sometimes wishes for more female companionship. But usually Elaine is content to run wild with the guys, especially Lancelot, whom she looks up to as her hero.

One day, Gwyneviere, a beautiful young lady arrives at camp. Her father has offered to marry her to Arthur, and Elaine is excited to have another girl around. But right from the start, Gwyneviere is cruel and snobby towards Elaine, treating her as a dirty, ignorant child. Elaine cannot help but be jealous of Gwyneviere, for her beauty and for all of the attention and love she garners from Lancelot. Gwyneviere does nothing to help out around camp, and Elaine resents her for intruding into her life.

When the men go off into battle against the Saxons, Elaine follows, like she always does. But this time, she is captured by Saxons and Gwyneviere tries to save her! The two girls must put their differences aside and band together if they are to survive and warn the men of the Saxons plans.

Lisa Ann Sandell writes a beautiful story, taking the legends of Arthur from a perspective rarely pursued. Song of the Sparrow speaks of love, friendship, truth, and courage in the voice of an innocent girl arriving at womanhood. While many of the stories written about King Arthur fail to address the women in the story as more than ornaments, Sandell brings Elaine and Gwyneviere to the forefront of the story and illustrates how much of an impact they had on the battles. Song of the Sparrow is a very empowering read for girls, and I savored every last word.
A2
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2.0
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Reader reviewed by BooksObsession

This book is really slow, and not on my list of good books to recommend. Elaine's character was weak and I didn't enjoy her whining. I also think the way the book was written was almost awkward - it was confusing when they talked to each other/dialogue. I like books that I can really dig deep into and connect to, and I just didn't feel it with this one. I don't think that the writing flowed that well, unlike other lyrical books that I've read before. It was also kind of annoying to have to turn the pages so often, since there were only a few sentences per page. Overall, not a great book.
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new take on an old legend
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4.0
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4.0
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0.0
Reader reviewed by mearley

A novel in verse based on the legend of the Lady of Shalott. This will most appeal to readers familiar with Arthurian legends, but the story can be understood easily without any previous Arthurian knowledge. In fact, Arthur has a relatively minor role here, and Lancelot is mainly admired from afar. Instead, the Lady of Shalott is given a back story and believable motivation for her actions. Told beautifully, this may introduce new readers to the story of King Arthur.
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Elaine, Lady of Shalott
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5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
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0.0
Reader reviewed by gabby

Song of the Sparrow is and epic poem. At first I was dissapointed, but then I quickly became absorbed with the grace and ease the poem flowed. It's about Elaine, or "The Lady of Shalott" in Lisa Ann Sandell's version of events, blending Elaine, Arthur, Gwynivere and the knights of the round table in a moving story of friendship, love, and war.
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A Great Book In Poetry
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5.0
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5.0
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0.0
Reader reviewed by Mairi

When her mother died Elaine of Ascolat went to live with her father and brothers at Arthur's military camp. She is the only woman in the camp save for Morgan, Arthur's mysterious older sister, and though she finds campanionship in the handsome Lancelot she is thrilled when a new girl arrives- for a time. Gwynivere, who Elaine first sees in the arms of Lancelot, is a cold woman who wears her fine dresses as a defense against the roughness of the camp.

I read a review of this book somewhere or other and instantly wrote down the title because it sounded so good. Of course, writing down a title is no guarentee that I will read a book, and I only got my hands on a copy on my birthday, months later. By that time I had other things to read, so this book was on hold until now.

This book is written in poetry, but I would recommend it even to those who do not enjoy books of that type- it has action you do not generally see in books of that type.
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Breathtaking, Epic Story On A Personal Level
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5.0
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5.0
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0.0
Reader reviewed by jocelyn

Song of the Sparrow is Lisa Ann Sandells take on Arthurian legend, narrated by Elaine of Ascolat, or The Lady of Shalott. Since she was a small child, Elaine has been the only woman living in a military camp with hundreds of men. When her mother died, her father took Elaine and her brothers to Arthurs camp, where she regularly mingles with people who are now the stuff of legends (people whose existence is debatedthe Authors Note at the end talks about this)Arthur, Lancelot, Merlin, Gwynivere. To the men, Elaine is a friend, a healer, a seamstress, a childmany things, but never the woman she wishes to be in the eyes of one man in particular, her friend, Lancelot.

Elaine ceases to be the only woman in the camp when Gwynivere comes to be Arthurs bride, and changes the group dynamic. Though she is at first pleased to have another woman around, Gwynivere immediately shows cruelty and dislike for Elaine. All of that changes again, however, when the two are thrown together in a situation where many fates hang in the balancenot only their own, but that of all of Britain.

Song of the Sparrow is an enchanting verse novel that absolutely took my breath away. Lisa Ann Sandells beautifully written sophomore novel is a truly worthy addition to the long list of diverse books based on the same legends. I was reminded a bit of Lisa Kleins brilliant Ophelia, especially when Sandell talked in her Authors Note about how women are not traditionally portrayed as strong characters in Arthurian legend. Both Klein and Sandell show well-known female characters in new ways, and both of their books are simply amazing. My comparing Song of the Sparrow to Ophelia is very high praiseI count Kleins book as an all-time favorite.

Sandell does very well telling the story in verse. Her poetry is lovely, and she really makes it work for the story she is telling as well. I dont think it would have worked half as well in prose, or, at least, it would have been a very different book. Sometimes verse novels are novels with odd line breaks, but this is not the case here. Song of the Sparrow is lyrical and poetic and beautiful. Elaines voice is distinctive and she is the perfect narrator for this story, a figure who is not usually the center of Arthurian stories, and not one traditionally shown the way Sandell portrays her.

Sandell is an engaging storyteller who really manages to make her characters come to life on the page. These legendary figures are real people (but are still distinctly the well-known figures of the legends), with real relationships and personalities. Song of the Sparrow is a brilliant novel, a breathtaking, epic story told on a personal level.

Reposted from http://teenbookreview.wordpress.com
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Will she find true love?
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5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
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0.0
Reader reviewed by Vicky

This book is very intruiging book, putting together romance and war, while altogether giving the reader a good perspective of what is going on in Elayne's life.

Set back in the time of Arthur before Camelot and the sword in the stone, this book tells of Elayne's life with her two brothers and father after her mother was killed. They live in an army camp where Elayne becomes friends with Arthure, Lancelot, Tristan, and many more men there.

Later on in the book, Elayne soon realizes that she is in love with Lancelot, and hopes that he feels the same way. But all her hopes are dashed when Lady Gwenivere comes into the scene. Elayne and Gwenivere do not get along at all. Then the army has to march to a battlefield to go to war, leaving the two women behind. When Elayne follows and is captured, Gwenivere comes to try to save her, but gets captured in the process. They finally escape, but Elayne gets shot. Will she live? Or will she die? Will she ever find true love?

I fell in love with this book the moment I started to read it. The characters in this book all speak in old english, which I think is pretty cool. I love the mystery and adventure of the book, and I think Elayne's courage and bravery represents many girls of that age.

I love this book and recommend it to anyone who likes to read adventure and romance.
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