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Coming Soon:
~Review: The Killing Woods
~Review: The Waiting Sky
~Review: A Certain Slant of Light
~Review: Timepiece
~Review: Infinityglass

Friday, April 2, 2010

Review: Merlin's Harp

Merlin's Harp by Anne Eliot Crompton
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Pub. Date: March 1st, 2010 (First published 1995)
Pages: 256
Age Level: Adult (Considered on an interest level basis. 'Content' wise, 15+.)

Among the towering trees of magical Avalon, where humans dare not tread, lives Niviene, daughter of the Lady of the Lake and apprentice to Merlin the mage. Her people, the Fey, are folk of the wood and avoid the violence and avarice of man. But the strife of King Arthur's realm threatens even Avalon's peace, and Merlin needs his apprentice to thwart the chaos devouring Camelot. And so Niviene must use her special talents to help save a kingdom and discover the treachery of men and the beauty of love. A mystical love story, now back in print, sure to become a modern teen classic.

Niviene is fey and since Crompton stuck to the true nature and lore of fey, which I appreciated, she is mostly heartless and doesn't carry the same feelings and emotions as humans. This caused problems in not only her, but also some of the other fey characters, development. You see I believe it is our emotions and feelings as humans that allow for good character development in stories. However, I still liked the characters in Merlin's Harp fairly well, despite the fact that I couldn't relate to them. Of all the characters, I would probably have to say that Lugh was the most dynamic one.

I honestly didn't think I was going to make it through the first half of this book. There wasn't much of anything going on and the writing, though very beautifully written and authentic, was a bit confusing; it could get a little difficult for me to distinguish between past and present because of how the flashbacks were done. However, once I got beyond that, there was a lot more action, the pace quickened, and I grew used to the writing.

The ending wasn't anything spectacular but I liked it and felt it tied everything up well.

In the end, Merlin's Harp was a fairly enjoyable read once I was able to get through the first half. It was lyrical, enchanting, almost dreamy even. It is not a quick read, despite it's short length, and I suggest making sure you have plenty of time to spend on it before picking it up. Also, I can't help but question the decision to re-market this book to teens; the complicated writing and the story line make this book more of an acquired taste that I believe would be better enjoyed by adults. I'm not saying other teens wouldn't like it, just that there'd probably be far more adults who would. I would recommend Merlin's Harp to true fans of ancient faery lore and Arthurian Legend. I, myself, will probably read this again.

Characters: C
Writing: C+
Plot: C
Ending: C+
Enjoyment/Likability: C
Recommendable: C-
Cover: B-

Overall: C


Sandy said...

"the writing, though very beautifully written and authentic, was a bit confusing."

That's what most people say in regard to this book. I'm glad you were able to get through it in one piece. I don't think I'll be reading this one though...

Anonymous said...

Good review. I haven't heard much about this. I heard the name and thought that sounded interesting but that was it. I may have to get this one at the library first.

Monster of Books said...

Hahaha I think your the first person to actually review this. Everyone who has tried to says they can't do it. I don't think I'll be reading this, but nice honest review!!

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Hello all! My name is Briana, I'm 20, and I live in the beautiful state of Georgia. I love reading and photography.

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