Mini-Review: Merlin’s Harp by Anne Eliot Crompton

March 15, 2010 Sourcebooks, YA 12

  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire (March 1, 2010)
  • ISBN-10: 1402237839
  • Source: Publisher

Back of the book summary:

Nivienne never thought she’d be in direct contact with barbaric Humans-let alone help them  She’s only heard stories of the evil that occurs outside the forest.  But her dear friend Merli has brought word that Arthur’s kingdom-where Humans dwell- is threatened by the Saxons.  If Nivienne doesn’t help, it could be the end for her own peaceful home.  Nivienne must now learn to trust the Humans and her heart.  Even more difficult than going to war alongside your enemies is discovering you are falling in love with them.  Anne Eliot Crompton will immerse you in a world of fantasy, passion, and adventure.

My review:

Let me start off by saying I really wanted to enjoy this book.  I love to read tales about Arthurian legends and the like, and after reading the summary, I was instantly drawn to the book.  Unfortunately, that attraction waned within a few pages.  Crompton’s writing is beautiful, I grant her that.  But it’s so exceedingly flowery and complicated it was very difficult to understand and get interested in.  I found myself rereading passages in attempt to gain understanding of what the author was trying to say. I probably comprehended one sentence out of every paragraph and unfortunately I don’t feel that it’s going to keep the attention of the intended audience. The complicated prose also prevented me from really meshing with any of the characters.

Following is an excerpt of the writing so you can form your own opinion:

Merlin’s Harp Chapter 1 Excerpt

In the end, I don’t know if I could honestly recommend this book to anyone, other than someone who isn’t restricted by excessively complicated writing.  It’s unfortunate as I was hoping this book would make the world of King Arthur exciting again to youth.  The intent was there, but perhaps not the follow-through.

Following is a list of other blog stops on this tour:

  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire (March 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1402237839

12 Responses to “Mini-Review: Merlin’s Harp by Anne Eliot Crompton”

  1. Beth F
    Twitter: BethFishReads

    I had similar expectations and a similar experience. I just couldn’t seem to connect with the characters, and yet I love the Arthur legends.

  2. Lenore
    Twitter: lenoreva

    Not nearly as overcomplicated as the book I tried (and failed) to read this weekend. But I see what you mean.

  3. Sheila DeChantal
    Twitter: bookjourney

    I had to read your review and I see you felt about the same way I did. Well written (word wise) – but I felt many times that I was literally lost in the book….

  4. Jen - Devourer of Books
    Twitter: devourerofbooks

    I agree, and I think it is particularly ill-suited to teenagers, unless they already are completely obsessed with the Arthurian legends.

  5. Pam
    Twitter: bookaliciouspam

    Am I the only one who loved the unique view and prose? I guess the world building didn’t bother me because the Arthurian world has been built for me with all the other Arthurian books I have read.

    • Jenn
      Twitter: jennbookshelves

      I’ve read quite a few Arthurian books myself, but the heavy prose prevented me from truly connecting with the characters. It took quite a bit of effort to keep up with the story. While I’m familiar with Arthurian legends, I wanted to be able to become wrapped up in this author’s take. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to do so.

  6. Sheila DeChantal
    Twitter: bookjourney

    LOL… I just posted on your Monday post that I wanted to read your review on Merlin’s Harp… and I see I already have. Now I am concerned that I may have commented twice on your Monday What Are you reading post too….. think I had a busy day? LOL

  7. Nicole

    I just had this book in my hands the other day and was looking for a reason to get it. I flipped through a few pages and didn’t find it to be very accessible, so it interesting to see your review and have some things confirmed. The story looked good, so I almost went ahead and got it anyway, but am glad that I stayed away.

    • Jenn
      Twitter: jennbookshelves

      I think this was the first book I’ve reviewed that I wouldn’t recommend. I thought long and hard about that decision!