Tuesday, July 12, 2011

YA Fantasy: Percival's Angel by Anne Eliot Crompton

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Date: 1999 (2011)
Format: paperback
Acquired: from Red House Books
Read: for the Once Upon a Read-a-Thon
Pages: 227
Reading time: two and a half hours

From GoodReads: Lili, an apprentice of the Lady of the Lake, is the childhood friend of Percy, the boy who will become one of Arthur's greatest knights. But as they grow older, Lili begins to see their differences. She has otherworldly magic while he has the magic that lives within the Human Heart. Lili dreams of knowing human love while Percy dreams of finding the Holy Grail. Neither can succeed without the other.Once again Crompton weaves together nature, feminist perspective, and Arthurian legend for a tale that is sure to appeal to readers of all ages.

My review: Eh. This book has a lot going for it: an Arthurian retelling that's not centered around King Arthur, a fantasy plot that appeals to more than just King Arthur fans, and a perspective on the Arthurian legend other than a knight's. There's not much action to the plot, but it's not boring. What makes this novel "eh" is that it can be confusing. Maybe I should have read another version of the legend first (Wolfram von Eschenbach's 400+ page Parzival is sitting on my shelf), but there were places in the book that just didn't make much sense. They weren't really random, it was just that their importance in the story, as well as how the story had led up to them, was left unexplained. It became frustrating after a while, especially since Crompton's otherwise a good author and writes an interesting retelling. It's left me with mixed opinions on Percival's Angel.

Maturity Factor: Some profanity and non-graphic sex.

Anne Crompton has two other Arthurian novels for YA readers, also published by Sourcebooks. Despite my disappointment with Percival's Angel, I would like to try Gawain and Lady Green because I enjoyed the original earlier this year and it's not one of the legends that gets retold a lot. The covers are lovely, too.

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