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I Am Morgan Lefay: A Tale from Camelot [Turtleback]

Nancy Springer
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)

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Turtleback, December 2002 --  
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Mass Market Paperback CDN $8.54  

Book Description

December 2002
Morgan is a willful, mischievous girl with mismatched eyes of emerald and violet. A girl of magic, whose childhood ends when King Uther Pendragon murders her father and steals away her mother. Then Pendragon dies and, in a warring country with no one to claim the throne, there are many who want Morgan dead. But Morgan has power, and magic. She is able to change the course of history, to become other, to determine her own fate-and, thus the fate of Britain. She will become Morgan le Fay.

"Springer wields language like a sword, and both blood and flowers spring to these pages in vivid hues." (Booklist, starred review)
--This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

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From Publishers Weekly

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 womanAwho 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 bedchambersAthe future King Arthur would be their yield. Thus, Morgan's filial jealousyAand her fate as one of the "fey" or fairy realm (her mismatched eyes are a tip-off)Alead 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.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Gr 7-12-Nancy Springer's version of the legend of Morgan (Philomel, 2001), the darkly magical half-sister of King Arthur, unfolds in cadences befitting this medieval tale while allowing modern listeners access to both its imagery and freight. British actress Jenny Sterlin's slow delivery well suits Morgan's grim story that begins here with the death of the Duke of Cornwall, beloved husband of Ingraine and father of Morgan. Morgan recounts her years of childhood, mourning her father, realizing the powers of the nurse, Ongwynne, whom she shares with her sister Morgause, and her own first quest to Avalon, where she falls in love with Thomas, who is fated to die. In this version, Morgan's powers as an immortal spirit and as a woman grow and ripen sensually at the forefront of the tale, while Arthur grows from embryo to adolescence mostly offstage. The deliberate pacing of both narrative and delivery is best suited to serious readers who come to the book with some knowledge of the legend cycle to which this story belongs. Those who fall under its spell, however, will be easy targets for more Arthurian tales and for examining other modern retellings.

Francisca Goldsmith, Berkeley Public Library, CA

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A good book May 17 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I am Morgan le fay has to be one of the best books I have ever read.It's about this girl in the middle ages,who gets in truble a lot.Then, her dad dies one night,and she goes to live with her nurse.One day she feels like she needs to go to Avalon.On her way she runs into a knight,and he kills her horse. When she gets to Avalon she sees her mother.To find out what happens, read the book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Totally amazing!! May 13 2004
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
This book was one of the best books I have read in a while. It makes me want to learn more about her. I don't really know much about King Arthur or Camelot before this book, but now I can't get enough!! Everyone needs to read this book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Breathtaking! May 30 2003
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This has to be the best book I have EVER read in my entire life. It not only contains magic, suspense, betrayle, and hatered, but it also containes passion,undieing love,and loss.
This story is about a little girl who doesn't really know her destiny, and as she grows up she starts to find it step by step. She finds a magical druid stone one day, and then, before she knows it, starts to start on a never ending adventure- literally. For Morgan le Fay means Morgan the fate, and this fated girl will have to live with the scars of her youth for the rest of her life, and be burdend with the infamous power that brought her those scars. For she is Morgan le Fay...
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5.0 out of 5 stars An Enchanting Book! April 20 2003
Format:Hardcover
This book is about Morgan Le Fay and her magical life. This book has it all, romance, good, evil, but best of all; magic, enchantment, mistory, and wonder. Every sentence in this book intreages the mind of the reader, and takes he/she out of their seat, and into the magical world of Morgan Le Fay. I would deffenetly recommened this book to anyone with an imagination!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Fate Jan. 9 2003
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Fate
Interestingly, Arthur exists s a miner character I am Morgan le Fay an Arthurian legend written by Nancy Springer. This book forces on Arthur's half sister Morgan and her struggles to deal with her new magical powers as she struggle with dealing with herself. What makes this book so interesting along with other events is that Merlin in almost all of the other book is described as a happy jolly man who helps Arthur with his kingdom, but in this book he is a dark sorcerer. As fascinating as this book seems it still consists as a not so long and thrilling as it seems at times hard to follow with some characters and events that took place in the thriller I am Morgan le Fay.
This legend is recommended by this review to be read by middle school kids or someone who wants to read a unique version of the Arthur Tail. The twists are unique don'y let them fool you this is a great book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful writing and a Tragic tone! Nov. 14 2002
Format:Hardcover
This book truly makes one feel for poor Morgan. Her mother wouldn't care if she had her head nailed to a wall, her sister is perfect, and the only person who ever truly loved her, her father, was brutally murdered by the cruel Uther Pendragon! The same man who murdered her father weds her mother. Her mother, Iragraine the Beautiful, gives birth to baby Arthur. How Morgan hates the baby. Iragraine loves him more than Morgan or her older sister Morgause. Time comes when Morgan Must flee her home with Morgause, her nurse, and a handsome youth with big blue eyes named Thomas. Morgan always felt something for Thomas ever since she was a little girl. When she learns he will die in battle, she panics. Why should one so innocent and pure of heart die in a king's pathetic battle? Uther Pendragon is dead and all the other men who want power are determined to win the throne, and the queen, Queen Iragraine! Morgan heals her nurse with her Druid stone. She found the stone the day her mother had surrendered to Uther Pendragon. The day she had encountered the fearsome sorcerer Merlin. Morgan Feared Merlin and despised the very Idea of being a sorcerer. One day, at Her Nurses home Cear Ongowyn, Morgan awakens in the middle of the night. She had received a calling. She knows she must go to Avalon. The packs her provisions and saddles up Thomas' pony Annie. On the way to Avalon, she meets a horrible night that tries to abduct her. His squire rushes over and it is none other than Thomas! Annie springs to Morgan's defense and the Knight lops off the pony's head. then the night tries to Hurt Thomas and Morgan could stand no more. she touches her milperve, the druid stone, and screams, "Death to the knight!" and the knight falls down dead. Thomas and Morgan travel to Avalon together. Read more ›
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4.0 out of 5 stars Explain, don't excuse Aug. 20 2002
By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
Nancy Springer's "I Am Mordred" is still one of the most original and intriguing retellings of Arthurian legend. Now there is a prequel to that work "I Am Morgan Le Fey," a haunting story of a young girl's gradual downhill stumble.
Morgan's father died the night she saw a strange man going off with her mother Igraine. That man, the king, soon took Igraine to be his queen, and her little daughters went to live with the nurse Ongwynn. During that time, Morgan falls in love with Ongwynn's doomed son Thomas, and learns of her own blossoming magical powers.
But things take a nasty turn when she is a teenager. Armed with a druid stone and the aid of gods and fay, she goes on a quest to find her traumatized mother in Avalon. But losses and rejection will spur her on to a destiny that she was desperate to avoid...
Like its sequel, "Morgan" is ultimately a psychological work. Springer avoids "it wasn't his/her fault" traps, instead focusing on explaining rather than excusing. The romance is bittersweet and well-written, which makes the violence and darker undercurrents even more disturbing. And though Morgan's glimpses of the future, we also see a few facets of what we also saw in "I Am Mordred" -- Morgan as she would be about twenty or thirty years in the future, and what she would do to her family.
The main difficulty with the book is that in places it feels a little distended, as if the plot is being scraped a bit too thin. The writing is lush and detailed, with different atmosphere for different settings: Dreamy for Avalon, woodsy and homelike for Ongwynn's cottage, and dangerous for any of the roads.
Morgan is a genuinely compelling anti-heroine, who will have readers wishing that her path were anything else.
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