Elaine of Shalott has many brothers. Almost 350 of them. When Elaine's mother was murdered by Saxons, Elaine's father had no choice but to bring his frightened eight-year-old daughter to the army camp where he lived and served under Arthur.
Elaine grows wise and strong in the camp and becomes a friend, sister and nurse to the men as they return from battle after battle. But she'd like to be more than friend or sister to the handsome Lancelot. And Lancelot seems to reciprocate the feelings...until Gwynivere shows up.
After nine years as the lone woman in a camp of men, Elaine is eager to make a female friend! But Gwynivere is cruel and mean spirited. Not to mention Lancelot is bewitched by the woman. Elaine's heart is broken, but the mischievous and dashing Tristan is always by her side to steal a laugh or two and lift her spirits.
As Arthur's camp readies to march to battle, and leave the women behind, Elaine must do whatever she can to ensure that her men, her brothers and friends, come home safely.
And the cost very well could be her life.
(Warning, this is a review only kinda sorta. It's more me sitting here, hugging the book to my chest and begging you to go read it. On with the kinda sorta review.)
Now this is my kind of story.
Exhibit A: King Arthur.
Exhibit B: the Lady of Shalott.
Exhibit C: Tristan. The Tristan, from Tristan and Isolde!
Exhibit D: It's a heart-warming love story.
Song of the Sparrow is written in verse, meaning it's creatively constructed almost like a song or poem. This takes about two pages to get used to, and that's it. For me it was the fact that I felt like it should rhyme or something. While this seems a little bizarre, it's fascinating! It is amazing what this allows the author to do. For example, on page 57 it says: (the dialogue is in italics in this book)
soon, I tell him.
See what she was able to do? Oh. I love it.
I really can't say too many good things about this book for fear I'll give away the whole thing and you won't have to read it. And I promise you, you want to read it.
The book is thick and intimidating, but it's actually a very quick read since each page contains a single column of writing.
You will love Elaine, headstrong, proud, caring, loving, brave and witty. She literally risks her life to save her country and her family, and she is greatly rewarded in the end. I'm going to stop now and say go read this book. Get it from your library, borrow it from a friend, steal it from...never mind. Don't steal. Borrow. That's a better idea. Then come back here and tell me what you think.