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Song of the Sword by Edward Willett

by Chadwick Ginther - Thursday, Feb 24, 2011 at 12:42pm

If you think you know Arthur, Merlin and the Lady of the Lake guess again. Ariane is a troubled teen, starting a new life with her aunt in Regina. A new school would be hard enough, but learning you're a descendant of the Lady of the Lake too?

In Song of the Sword Edward Willett captures the dynamics of the school environment and the destructiveness of bullying well. As an orphan moved around in foster care, Ariane has a sense of the "other" long before her full potential is realized.

Ariane and her sidekick and "knight in shining armour", Wally Knight, must find the shards of Arthur's sword, Excalibur before Merlin can use them to restore his lost power. I especially enjoyed that Merlin was recast as an antagonist, rather than a tired old "wise counselor" archetype.

Rex Major, as the wizard is now known, is a multibillionaire software giant and owner of Excalibur Computer systems. The trickle of magic he has left gives him a great deal of personal charisma and has allowed him to do interesting things in the digital world.

Only Ariane, the new Lady of the Lake, has the power to stop Major--if she can master her gifts in time. She can sense the shards of Excalibur, and must use them to race the clock against Rex Major's vastly superior resources. Ariane and Wally's travels take them from Regina's Lake Wascana, to Hudson Bay, and finally to Yellowknife for the novel's climactic confrontation.

You can't always judge a book by its cover--but in the case of Song of the Sword, you can. Its stunning cover is the door to a unique, clever, and beautifully modern retelling of an old legend.

Categories: Reviews, Staff Pick, SciFi & Fantasy

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