Monday, January 23, 2012

I Am Morgan le Fay

So, I've fallen into an obsession with Arthurian legend because I've also fallen into straight up fangirling over BBC's Merlin. Actually, I'm pretty obsessed with most BBC shows and have more or less forgotten about American TV, but that's another story.

When I was a little kid I would watch any mini-series that involved Merlin or Arthur and I always found myself fascinated by Morgan le Fay/Morgana/Morgaine. She was that character that was "bad." You weren't supposed to like her, you were supposed to be weary of her and hold back your trust. Depending on what mini-series you were watching she would have reason for her less than positive morals but the fact remained that I liked the character.

As a child I had a very black and white world: a character was good or bad. There wasn't an in-between because I didn't think that deeply into what "character" truly was. But Morgan le Fay was really one of the first characters that I realized could be both good and bad. She was a person and people had more depth than just being completely good or completely bad and most times they became good or bad through life events.

It was an earth shattering moment, a very grown up realization that opened my eyes to so many more characters in my books and shows. Since then I have always been one to like the character Morgan (or her varying names) and upon watching the BBC show I was reminded of that and decided to dive into some of the Arthurian books that are on the market, many of which I've had on my 'to read' list on goodreads since I joined the site.

That brought me to I Am Morgan le Fay, a book that I've wanted to read for years but never had the opportunity to until recently. It's a short book and not very hard to get into. Immediately I feel for Morgan and am cheering her on. Nancy Springer writes in a simplistic way but uses that simplicity to dig right into your core and cause you to quickly take sides. I felt disgusted by Igraine's attitude towards her daughter and love for so many of the characters, even Annie, the Gypsy pony.

I loved the story of Morgan and Thomas and all the little people who lived within her home. The magic felt real and was not overdone and the scenery was easy to imagine. Although Morgan is resentful of much and does seem to close herself off from much in the world by the end of the novel, accepting her place as the future "villain," it's still hard to not feel for this character.

Years ago while getting a certification in writing I had a lesson where I was to write scenes from the villains perspective. It was eye opening to see this character from their point of view and to put words to the character's thoughts when I was so used to writing about the good characters. That's what Springer did with I Am Morgan le Fay. She also has I Am Mordred, another Arthurian villain and another book I own and have to read. It was refreshing to see this character and enter her mind. There are so many versions of the Arthurian legend and the role Morgan and I certainly know very little about what is held at a higher point than others but I enjoyed this nonetheless. It's certainly a book to read if you want something quick, entertaining and magical.

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