Title: Song of the Sparrow
Author: Lisa Sandell
Summery: This is the story of Elaine, the Lady of Shalott. Elaine and her brothers come to live in Arthur's war camp after their castle is burned down. As the only female in the camp, Elaine learns the art of healing and how to mend clothing, helping out in every way she can. Then Guenivere comes to camp, bringing her haughty princess-y ways and bossing Elaine around. The two learn how to work together though in efforts to save Arthur and his men from the Saxon army at Mount Badon.
Thoughts Sandell told the book in free verse which was somewhat difficult to get around at first, but got much easier once I remembered to read from period to period instead of line by line. Thank you Homer and Shakespeare for that lesson. While I don't see why that was necessary, it didn't detract from the story. A fanatic of the Arthurian legends, I haven't read much on Elaine other than "The Lady of Shalott" by Tennyson and her appearance in the tidbits of Le Morte d'Arthur I've read and The Mists of Avalon. The Elaine in this story is not the weak, love-struck, cursed woman she is in those stories though. In this story, she is a strong, self-sufficient girl learning the ways of life and love in a world full of war and men. I particularly loved how Sandell dealt with her trip down the river in her boat. Anyone who has read or seen "Anne of Green Gables" knows which part I am talking about. Overall I'd say this was a nice easy read for the end of summer before I head back to school.