Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Song of the Sword-Edward Willett

Title: Song of the Sword
Author: Edward Willett
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Format & Pages: Paperback, 330
Publication: Lobster Press, 2010
Source: Borrowed
“After several years in foster care, Ariane is trying to start a new life with her aunt. But her frightening premonitions keep getting in the way. The moment water touches her skin, she sees visions of a lake, a lady, and a sword. When a staircase opens up in the middle of Wascana Lake, and the water begins singing to her, she has no choice but to answer the call.

Ariane learns she descends from the Lady of the Lake, and the stories she thought were legend suddenly become a real life nightmare. Now, she and her unexpected companion, Wally Knight, are charged with finding the scattered shards of Excalibur before Merlin can use them to restore his limitless power.

But how can a troubled teen and her brainy sidekick outwit the ancient, ruthless sorcerer?”

If you are looking for a new spin on the Arthurian legends, then look no further than Edward Willett’s Song of the Sword, the first book in the Shards of Excalibur series. A delightful mix of urban fantasy and age old legend make this a wonderful read for young and old. The thing I really like about this novel is that the information provided on the back cover occurs within the first couple chapters. I always prefer that when big things are given away, such as someone is the descendent of the Lady of the Lake, that they happen early on in the novel.

Right off the bat I was sucked in by Ariane’s personality. The book opens of her getting a premonition, which is endearing in and of itself, of four of the “popular” older girls waiting by her locker. Being the new girl, Ariane knows what is coming. This really made me root for her, especially when we find out the circumstances surrounding her high school abuse. Enter Wally, the geeky younger student who reminds me of my friends in high school, and I just could not stop reading.

The whole premise of the story, that Merlin is evil and the Lady of the Lake has a mortal descendent is extremely creative. It spins the old legends on their heads, adding something new to the reading pool. The plot itself is pretty straight forward, but many things are thrown in the duos way, including Ariane herself. Ariane does not know the extent of her power or how long she can perform feats of magic until her energy is drained away. There was a good amount of foreshadowing, but I wasn’t really surprised with any of the events that occurred throughout the story. Since the book was aimed towards a younger audience, I am not sure if it is just simplistic or I have developed a more in-depth way of reading.

The book was enjoyable and easy to read. The story was fresh and new in an area where there is an over abundance of literature. I liked the creativity to it, as well as the sense of self-discovery that was mixed in. I am not sure if I was drawn enough into it to pursue the rest of the series, though. I can attribute this to not being really surprised by anything that happened in the novel, which is something that I really enjoy.


  1. Hi, Ashley. Thanks for the review. Just thought you might be interested to know that Song of the Sword will be reissued in an entirely new, revised edition by Coteau Books ( in May 2014, with the rest of the five-book series to follow at six-month intervals.