Monday, February 29, 2016

Song of the Sparrow, by Lisa Ann Sandell

Set in Britain's Dark Ages 490 AD, teenager Elaine of Ascolat is surrounded by knights and supporting men of Sir Arthur of the Round Table. Feisty and attractive, she is the sole girl in Arthur's military encampment, living with her father and knight brothers. Mender of clothing and healer of wounds, she yearns for the attention and love of Lancelot, Arthur's right hand man. Befriending the temporary woman figure of the camp, Morgan sister of Arthur, Tristan, and Arthur himself is only a matter of trust. However, upon the arrival of the alluring Gwynivere, Elaine finds herself in a situation of utter jealousy as this new rival is also in love with Lancelot. Yet, in situations of grave danger, survival, and the birthing of an empire, love and rivalry cannot come in the way.

Song of the Sparrow, by Lisa Ann Sandell, is an engaging plot line written in verse easy enough for teen readers to decipher. Its playful poetry draws in the audience to the tale of a young girl battling with young love, omens telling her that her loved ones might perish in war, and the loss of a mother at a young age. I liked the title of this book as it refers to Elaine's gut instinct and conscience. The readers knew something was unusual when the sparrow flitted inside of Elaine. When the sparrow flew off, it indicated Elaine's freedom. This book definitely leans towards the feminine audience as it is filled with the battle of a girl or woman's place in a man's world. It is also a very interesting read to those who love history, especially the middle ages, and the tales of King Arthur, Lancelot, and Gwynivere.

Reviewed by Alexis K., Grade 10
Montrose Library