As someone who blogs primarily about fantasy and science fiction, it’s not often that I review books outside my genre. So I wanted to take this opportunity to share my review of a book that is nominated in the Young Adult category. Song of the Sparrow is based on the Arthurian legends, which would seem to make it fantasy, but it’s actually grounded in reality, at least as much as it can be when writing about a legend. In my original review, I said:
Song of the Sparrow is a beautiful novel in verse which tells the story of Elaine, the Lady of Shalott. Author Lisa Ann Sandell attempts to paint a realistic picture of the time in which Arthur might really have lived. All the familiar aspects of the Arthurian stories are here, but portrayed in a way that they might really have happened. The sword in the stone, for example, is a symbolic gesture: Merlin thrusts the sword in the earth for Arthur to draw forth as a symbol of his role as protector of the land.
Sandell’s rich imagery brings to life the world that Elaine lives in, from the beauty of nature to the horrors of war. The verse form works well with the realism of the story; it creates a vivid sense of place. There’s plenty of excitement, too, as this Elaine is not the type to stay at home while the men go off to war.
Read the entire review here.
I also interviewed author Lisa Ann Sandell at Book Expo America.