Great White Snark: "I am half-sick of shadows," said the Lady of Shalott.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

"I am half-sick of shadows," said the Lady of Shalott.

So, I'm obsessed with Elaine of Ascolat, aka: the Lady of Shalott. 
I don't know...I just love the whole story (it's tragic, romantic, and involves water. These usually indicate I'll love it), and especially Tennyson's poem (it's probably my favorite poem, if I had to pick one). 

Naturally, I had to read this book once I discovered it. 
It's a more "historical" take on Elaine's story. Which is stupid, because it honestly reminded me of the King Arthur movie (y'know, the one where they photo shopped suddenly-a-Pict-Guinevere, aka: Keira Knightley's boobs so it looked like she had some?). You know what else is stupid? The cover. This literally has NOTHING to do with the book. At all. There was no ivy. Elaine is never mentioned with ivy in her hair EVER. I mean, show us a lake, a spindle, a mirror...ANYTHING. This is probably the worst cover art I've encountered in a while, but luckily, the whole "judging books by their covers" and how we shouldn't do it thing is true in this case. 

Anyway, the whole book is written in a lyrical, almost poetic style except it doesn't rhyme. It's basically a free verse book.This moves it along really quickly. I finished well over 100 pages in less than an hour. The language wavers between "trying too hard" and "wow, that's actually workable." But I generally really loved the re-telling of Elaine's tale, and how the author wove in classical elements (like the boat, the spindle, the mirror, etc.) into the story but gave it a more realistic edge. She isn't locked up in a tower with a curse. She's part of Arthur's camp during the Saxon wars. She fights when she's not supposed to, is friends with Morgan and Guinevere, and is generally pretty cool. 

But she's not a Mary Sue. She's more like Katniss. You don't totally love or believe her, but she's better than most stock "femme fatale" characters. 

I mostly loved the book because of the aforementioned incorporation of classic elements from Elaine's story. And it's King Arthur. And there are Picts and battles and Merlin, so it's pretty awesome.

Overall, if you can get past the horribly generic cover art, it's worth a read, especially if you're into Arthurian legend or girls who like to ride/die in boats. 

SPOILER ALERT: she doesn't die in this book. But she comes close. 
"She doesn't get eaten by the eels at this time."

Another spoiler alert: apparently everyone underestimated Tristan's ability to get over Isolde. 

Anyway, it was good. Check it out if it sounds interesting. 

I might be becoming dangerously addicted to Candy Crush. Just so you all know.

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