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I Am Morgan le Fay Mass Market Paperback – September 16, 2002

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

HThe equally suspenseful follow-up to Springer's I Am Mordred again reinterprets Arthurian legend through the eyes of an archetypal villain, this time sorceress Morgan le Fay. In stylish prose, Morgan narrates her transformation from a willful, neglected child to a complex young womanAwho ends up embracing the ugly destiny she has always resisted: "I was the one who would bring down King Arthur.... Damn my fate and damn my future." As a six-year-old child she witnesses an act that she would only later come to understand: King Uther Pendragon, driven by lust for Morgan's mother, murders the Duke of Cornwall (Morgan's father) and, aided by Merlin's magic, disguises himself as the Duke in order to enter his widow's bedchambersAthe future King Arthur would be their yield. Thus, Morgan's filial jealousyAand her fate as one of the "fey" or fairy realm (her mismatched eyes are a tip-off)Alead to her dark deeds. Though she is not always likable, Morgan's power is seductive, and readers will at times summon sympathy for her and her plight. Springer parcels out plenty of magic and adventure to keep fantasy readers hooked. Some parts of the story may be challenging to those unfamiliar with Camelot, but for fans of The Sword in the Stone and other Round Table retellings, Morgan's side of the story will prove engrossing and thought-provoking. Ages 12-up. (Mar.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Gr 7-10-As a girl of seven, Morgan has reason to resent her younger half-brother. Arthur's father, Uther Pendragon, killed her father and carried off her mother, Igraine the Beautiful. Furthermore, Igraine acts as though Arthur is her favorite child. As she grows into a teenager, Morgan accepts the fact that she is a fay, one of the immortal demigods of legendary Britain. She becomes a powerful sorceress but is undecided about her fate, until the death of her beloved and a final slight by her mother wound her soul beyond recovery. Her long-held resentment turns to hatred, and she realizes she is "the one who would bring down King Arthur." The strength of this story lies in its characterizations, especially of the fierce young Morgan, the mystical fays of Avalon, and the demented Igraine. However, it does not stand alone, since parts of Morgan's story that have been foreshadowed throughout the book are not played out in its final pages. Some of Morgan's tale is also told in I Am Mordred (Philomel, 1998), and her story will seem more complete to readers who enjoy the two books together.-Beth Wright, Fletcher Free Library, Burlington, VT

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Mass Market Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Firebird; First Edition edition (September 16, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0698119746
  • ISBN-13: 978-0698119741
  • Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 0.7 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #999,597 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

"Conform, go crazy, or become an artist." I have a rubber stamp declaring those words, and they pretty much delineate my life. Conforming was the thing to do when I was raised, in the fifties. Even my mother, who spent her days painting animal portraits at an easel in the corner of the kitchen, tried to conform via housecleaning, bridge parties, and a new outfit every spring. My father, who was born into a British-mannered Protestant family in southern Ireland, emigrated to America as a young man and idolized the "melting pot" because at last he fit in. Once in a rare while he recited "The Ballad of Reading Gaol" or told a tale of a leprechaun, but most of the time he was an earnest naturalized American who expected exemplary behavior of his children. My mother was a charming Pollyanna who would not entertain negative sentiments in herself or anyone around her. As their only girl and the baby of the family, I was coddled, yet hardly ever got a chance to be other than excruciatingly good.

My "conform" phase lasted right into adulthood. When I was thirteen, my parents bought a small motel near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and I spent most of my teen years helping them make beds and clean rooms. I did not date until I went to college -- Gettysburg College, all of seven miles from home. it was the height of the sixties, and I grew my hair long, but eschewed pot, protests, and "happenings." Instead, I married a preacher's son who was himself conforming by studying for the ministry. Within a few years I was Rev. Springer's wife, complete with offspringers, living in a country parsonage in southern York County, PA.

Here beginneth the "go crazy" phase.

Because I had never been allowed any negative emotions, I began to hear "voices" in my head. First they whispered "divorce" (not permissible), and later they hissed "suicide". They scared me silly. I couldn't sleep; images of knives and torture floated in front of my eyes even during the daytime; something roared like an animal inside my ears; my wrists hurt; I saw blood seeping out of the walls; panic jolted me like a cattle goad out of nowhere. Is it necessary to add that I was clinically depressed? The doctor gave me Valium and sent me to a shrink. The shrink took me off the Valium and told me I had a problem with anger. (No duh.) The next doctor zombied me on the numbing antidepressants which were available at that time. The next shrink said I had an adjustment problem. And so on, for several years, during which I somehow managed to stay alive, take care of my kids, handle the vagaries of my husband, sew clothing and grow vegetables to get by financially, cook, can preserves, show up at church, do mounds of laundry and publish "The White Hart" and "The Silver Sun"--yet not one of the doctors of shrinks ever suggested that I might be a strong person, let alone a writer. All of them were intent on "helping" poor little me "adjust" to being a housewife, mother, and pastor's wife.

Eventually I became resigned to the fact (as I perceived it) that I was an evil, sinful person with horrible things going on inside my head, and I stopped trying to fix me. I stopped going to doctors or therapists. Somehow I found courage--or desperation--to stop trying to conform or adjust or live a role.

"I am going to start taking an hour or two first thing in the morning to do my writing," I said to my husband.

"Fine," he said. He had reached the point where he would agree with whatever to humor the neurotic wife; to him it was just another of my brain farts. But to me it was the most important sentence I ever spoke. With that statement I stopped being a housewife who sometimes stole time to write, and I started being a writer.

Conform, go crazy--or become an artist.

By becoming a writer--by becoming who I truly was--I became well.

It was so simple. Although it did take years, of course; it takes a long time for good things to grow. Trees. Books. Me. Odd thing about books; they not only nourish growth but show it happening. In "The Black Beast, The Golden Swan" and many other of my early novels, you can see me dealing with the yang/yin nature of good and evil, struggling to accept my own shadow. In "Chains of Gold" and "The Hex Witch of Seldom" I start writing as a woman, no longer identifying only with male main characters. In a number of children's books I come to terms with my own childhood. And in "Apocalypse"--whoa, what a fierce, dark fantasy novel, the first thing I wrote after my income from writing enabled my husband to leave the ministry. I hadn't thought of myself as repressed when I was a pastor's wife, but obviously something broke loose when I shed that role. "Larque on the Wing"--whoa again, another breakthrough book that spiraled straight out of my muddled middle-aged psyche and took me places I'd never dreamed were in me.

It's been a long time since those days when I thought I was an evil person. I know better now, and I love and trust me even to the extent of writing "Fair Peril"--a more perilous novel than I knew at the time, interfacing all too closely with my life. Written two years before the fact, it foresees my husband's infidelity and my divorce. The most painful irony I've ever faced is that once I gained my selfhood, I lost my lifelong partner. He had supported me through episodes that would have sent most men screaming and running, but once I became well and strong, he transferred his loyalty to a skinny, neurotic waif all to similar to the young woman I once was. After supporting him through twenty-seven years of stinky socks, automotive yearnings, miscellaneous foibles, and the career change that put him where she could cry on his shoulder, I found this a bit hard to take. But I wouldn't go back to being Ms. Pitiful. Not for anything.

Now married to a rather remarkable second husband, after living 46 years in Pennsylvania I moved in 2007 to the Florida panhandle, where I spent a year living in a small apartment above the aforementioned husband's hangar in an exceedingly rural (swamps, egrets, snakes and alligators) airport. Now we have a real house about a mile from the airport on higher ground featuring tremendously tall longleaf pine trees with rattlesnakes and scorpions underneath them. Life is an adventure and I mean that sincerely.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca Herman HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on February 27, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Although his many duties as the Duke of Cornwall often kept him away from home, young Morgan loved her father. And when the six-year-old witnessed a man leaving her mother's chamber, a man that looked just like her father but was nothing like him, she knew something was wrong. For her father was dead - killed by the king Uther Pendragon, who then steals Morgan's mother away. Bitter with anger and resentment, the little girl awakens something magical within her - a power that can be used for good or evil. For five years Morgan and her sister Morgause are cared for by their childhood nurse, Ongwynn, and during that time, Morgan's hatred for the king and for her half-brother Arthur steadily grows. When the king dies, Morgan dares to hope that her life will go back to the way it used to be - but instead, she and her sister are forced to flee to Ongwynn's isolated home. There, Morgan's power steadily grows - but so does her hatred. Morgan knows she has a dark fate she is doomed to fulfill - and although she fights it, her struggles are in vain. This was a powerful retelling of a legend, as seen through the eyes of a young woman who fights to control her future, even though she knows deep inside she is doomed to failure.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Mr.Francesco Raphael Galardo of the Catskills on October 24, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I am Morgan le Fay
By: Nancy Springer
Ms. Olivet Eng. per.2
I am Morgan le Fay is a spellbinding tale of the enchanted place, Avalon, from long ago. It has an incredibly facinating plot, with impecable details. Together these two characteristics create a captivating novel that reaches into the mind of the reader.
Nancy Springer's use of imagery brings the reader into the mystical Arthurian world of the sorceress, herself, Morgan le Fay. The castles, forests, events, and never-ending emotions are portrayed so well in the story that the reader can clearly picture them in his/her mind. The author also brings you, the reader, into the mind of the spoiled, stubborn Morgan, as she grows both older and wiser. As you read through the book, you feel everything that Morgan feels, and begin to think the way
she does, often forgetting about reality and falling into the words of the novel.
As Morgan grows by learning and gaining powers from the milprieve stone, she begins to understand more about herself, and how her past has formed the person she is now.
Overall, I felt the novel, I am Morgan le Fay, was a fantastic book filled with dazzling events, people, and places that tease the mind for more reading. I would most definitely recommend this book to readers with creative minds, good imaginations, and those who enjoy fantasy.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Timothy Capehart VINE VOICE on May 23, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Brilliant re-imagining of the story of Morgan le Fay (though it should be Fey). This prequel/companion to I Am Mordred again deals with Briton's première dysfunctional family. Morgan resents her half brother Arthur from his birth. He is the offspring of King Uther who murdered her father to sleep with their mother. Arthur is the reason she and her flighty older sister Morgause must flee their castle Tintagel with their nurse who is more than just a nurse. Arthur is the object of their mother's obsession when she goes slightly mad after Uther's death. Morgan tries to fight fate and live a happy life away from the world with her true love Sir Thomas, but she loses the fight, her lover, and for a time her mind. The characterizations, especially Morgan's, are excellent as is the imagery and writing in general. Morgan's complex relationship with Thomas not to mention what is intimated at the tale's end to occur between ½ siblings Morgause and Arthur push this title firmly on to YA ground unlike it's companion volume. The infusion of figures from mythology is nicely handled too. The author has created a wholely believable world! Worth a look see whether you are an Arthurian tale fan or not. There are draggy bits, but the last thirty-forty pages are wonderful!
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 30, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This has to be the best book I have EVER read in my entire life. It not only contains magic, suspense, betrayle, and hatered, but it also containes passion,undieing love,and loss.
This story is about a little girl who doesn't really know her destiny, and as she grows up she starts to find it step by step. She finds a magical druid stone one day, and then, before she knows it, starts to start on a never ending adventure- literally. For Morgan le Fay means Morgan the fate, and this fated girl will have to live with the scars of her youth for the rest of her life, and be burdend with the infamous power that brought her those scars. For she is Morgan le Fay...
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By danielle on September 2, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I am Morgan le Fay is about Morgan, the bewitching daughter of Igraine, who will be the one who brings about King Arthur of Camelot's downfall. Morgan le Fay means Morgan the Fate, and she learns about how one cannot change fate, except bring the ultimate result about in a different manner. The impetuous Morgan is bewitching with one purple eye and one green eye and raven dark hair. Morgan finds a mystical stone called a milpreve, and from that day, her life is never the same. Her father, the Duke of Cornwall, is killed in order for Uther Pendgraon to wed the beautiful Igraine. Igraine bears a son, the future King Arthur, by Uther. When Uther is killed, the throne for succession is empty, and wars erupt. For the safety of Morgan and her sister Morgause, they flee with their mysterious Nurse, actually a white witch named Ongwynn, to "Caer Ongwynn" far from their home of Caer Tintagel. There, they live with her for some time, and it is there that Morgan first "awakens" her innate fay powers. When Morgan is fifteen, she is summoned by mysterious forces to go to the enchanted place known as Avalon. There at Avalon, there are many fays, or beings who were once gods, and her mother, Igraine, sitting day in and day out calling for her son, Arthur. In the rest of the book, Morgan grows stronger in her fay/"sorcery" powers while she also falls deeply in love. She also tries to deny fate, but she learns painfully and tragically that it cannot be done. "If I had my way, fate be damned."

This story is quite lyrical. Powerful imagery is prominent throughout the book. Morgan, telling the story in first person, reveals all of her deepest thoughts, her temper, and her vain attempts to control her own fate and others' fates.
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