Summary: Merlin's Harp by Anne Eliot Crompton, tells the story of King Arthur from just before the arrival of Sir Lancelot to court to the end of Camelot. We learn the tale from the perspective of Niviene, the fey daughter of the Lady of the Lake.
Why I Abandoned the Book: I stopped reading Merlin's Harp at about halfway through, but I did skim quickly to the end. It's difficult to pinpoint why I lost interest. I am a big Arthur fan, I like stories about the fey, and I am not a purist when it comes to the Arthurian legends. I think perhaps the problem was twofold.
First, the novel is told through the eyes of Viviene (called Niviene in the novel), who was never my favorite character. She is a bit more likable here, but not enough to keep me going. I wish we had heard more from her mother. Second, I don't think Crompton's style was a good fit for me. The book is well written and internally consistent (at least as far as I read), but it didn't pull me in.
A Quick Look at Reviews: The New York Times, Library Journal, and other print review sources praised the book as a welcome and feminist addition to the Arthur legends. On the social book sites, it gets an average rating of about 3. Fortunately you can judge for yourself by visiting the Merlin's Harp page over at Sourcebook's Teen Fire ning site, where you can read from the first chapter.
Published by Sourcebooks / Fire, March 2010
Challenges: New Author, Young Adult, 2010, 100+
Source: Review (see review policy)