I Am Morgan Le Fay: A Tale from Camelot

Nancy Springer, Author Philomel Books $17.99 (227p) ISBN 978-0-399-23451-4
HThe equally suspenseful follow-up to Springer's I Am Mordred again reinterprets Arthurian legend through the eyes of an archetypal villain, this time sorceress Morgan le Fay. In stylish prose, Morgan narrates her transformation from a willful, neglected child to a complex young woman--who ends up embracing the ugly destiny she has always resisted: ""I was the one who would bring down King Arthur.... Damn my fate and damn my future."" As a six-year-old child she witnesses an act that she would only later come to understand: King Uther Pendragon, driven by lust for Morgan's mother, murders the Duke of Cornwall (Morgan's father) and, aided by Merlin's magic, disguises himself as the Duke in order to enter his widow's bedchambers--the future King Arthur would be their yield. Thus, Morgan's filial jealousy--and her fate as one of the ""fey"" or fairy realm (her mismatched eyes are a tip-off)--lead to her dark deeds. Though she is not always likable, Morgan's power is seductive, and readers will at times summon sympathy for her and her plight. Springer parcels out plenty of magic and adventure to keep fantasy readers hooked. Some parts of the story may be challenging to those unfamiliar with Camelot, but for fans of The Sword in the Stone and other Round Table retellings, Morgan's side of the story will prove engrossing and thought-provoking. Ages 12-up. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 03/01/2001
Release date: 03/01/2001
Genre: Children's
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