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I Am Morgan le Fay: A Tale from Camelot    by Nancy Springer order for
I Am Morgan le Fay
by Nancy Springer
Order:  USA  Can
Firebird, 2002 (2001)
Hardcover, Paperback, Audio

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* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

This is a companion book to the author's brilliant I Am Mordred, which told the tale of a child who grows up knowing that he is fated to end a golden age and destroy the father that he admires. Though I found Mordred's point of view a truly intriguing take on the Camelot myth, I enjoyed I Am Morgan le Fay even more. In it, Nancy Springer shows us the reality of women's lives in a time when they were chattel, and knights were not the chivalrous Round Table types of myth, but rather foul tempered believers in 'Might is Right'.

We meet Morgan first at Caer Tintagel as the six year old daughter of Igraine the Beautiful, and her father's 'little firebrand'. Soon King Uther Pendragon kills the Duke of Cornwall and, the same night, comes to Igraine disguised as her husband. Merlin's help in this endeavour is won with the promise of the resulting baby son (of course Igraine is not consulted). The author shows us these events through the mismatched eyes of young Morgan, who does not quite understand that her father is dead since she saw him that night.

Then Igraine is taken away by Uther, and Morgan and Morgause left to the care of their Nurse Ongwynn, who is not quite what she seems. When Uther dies, Igraine is fought over and mistreated by various warleaders, eventually going mad and taking refuge in Avalon with the fays. There Morgan is summoned, for she is one of them and is the possessor of a druid stone, a milpreve. Like Mordred, Morgan tries and fails to challenge fate, in her case to safeguard the life of true Thomas, a young man that she has met and loved.

I Am Morgan le Fay is the story of a spirited and powerful young woman, abandoned too young by her parents, and growing up needy and greedy for love. She wins (and loses) her true love and so doing, sets in motion events that lead to Arthur's pulling the sword from the stone. And, scorning fate and future, she makes her choice.

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