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Merlin's Harp (Merlin's Harp #1)

3.0 of 5 stars 3.00  ·  rating details  ·  401 ratings  ·  63 reviews

When I was yet a very young woman I threw my heart away. Ever since then I have lived heartless, or almost heartless, the way Humans think all Fey live.

Among the towering trees of magical Avalon, where humans dare not tread, lives Niviene, daughter of the Lady of the Lake. Her people, the Fey, are folk of the wood and avoid the violence and greed of man. But the strife o

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ebook, 167 pages
Published March 1st 2010 by Sourcebooks Fire (first published December 1st 1995)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,375)
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Althea Ann
Wow. I can't believe all the haters in the review section here.
After some contemplation, I'm guessing that it's because the book was repackaged for the newer edition with a wholly inappropriate cover. The original ROC edition has a pretty lovely, Pre-Raphaelite-inspired cover by Don Maitz. The new edition has this cheesy, pink-glittery cover that makes it look like a cheap romance for 13-year-old girls.

You can't judge a book by its cover, but you can surely make certain that the wrong people re
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Steph Su
I don’t get offended by books often. Premarital sex, abstinence until marriage, drinking, backstabbing, pranking, people killing people, etc.—everything is good in my opinion as long as it’s written well and doesn’t sound like an agenda that is out of place within the fictional world. MERLIN’S HARP, however, is a mess of a novel, poorly organized and weakly characterized—unfortunate, because the writing is beautiful and the story held such promise.

For a generation that’s being bombarded with a m
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Nancy
As a librarian I tell my kids that if they don't like what they're reading in the first 100 pages to give it up. I had to invoke that rule with this book. Although Library Journal calls it a "lyrical retelling" of the Arthurian chronicles, the plot deviates so far from the myth as to be a completely different story. Some characters are familiar yet within the context of the story, flat and incongruous. The plot lacks a cohesive center and rambles (perhaps the lyrical retelling) aimlessly towards ...more
Donna
Well this was, um . . . not good. Really, at all. I don't think it's ever taken me so long to read a book so short. Like wading through snow up to my hips. It's so overwrought and drowning in such flowery language that it's hard to connect to anything that's going on in the story. I often found myself having read a page without really reading it and only skimming it when I went back over it.

To Crompton's credit, she stuck very closely to faerie lore which is to her benefit but even greater to he
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Samantha
I tried really hard to like Merlin's Harp. I was lured into buying it by its exquisite cover but readers be warned: the cover is a lot better than the writing within. Merlin's Harp does have good figurative language -sometimes bordering more on poetry than prose- and a potentially interesting concept going for it, but ultimately the book falls flat.

The story is narrated by Nivienne, daughter of the Lady of the Lake. Nivienne is a Fey mage, apprentice to the wizard Merlin. She is a powerful pract
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Amanda Kespohl
This book is one of the best retellings of an Arthurian legend that I've ever read. It is beautifully written and satisfies the part of me that yearns for faithfulness while still giving the story a clever twist. The book tells the story of Niviene, the daughter of the Lady of the Lake, as she grows up among the wild Fey in the forest, and how the events of King Arthur's tale wreak havoc on her life. It puts an inventive spin on the story that still feels true to its essence, all the while creat ...more
Sabrina
This is the Arthurian legend as you'd never seen it before. Nivienne, daughter of the Lady of the Lake, tells her story about her fey childhood on Apple Island (a place you'll recognize as Avalon) and how she becomes entangled with Arthur, the Once and Future King. If you want to read a challenging, original retelling of the story of King Arthur, by all means, read this book. But be warned that the author expects you to think and make connections on your own. If you're game, you'll be rewarded w ...more
McKenzie
Nivienne is Fey, living just outside the Human realm. She lives a fairly normal life with her mother and brother. She has the added power of reading auras. All is well until a young woman stumbles into their forest. She is King Arthur's wife, the one of legends. Nivienne's brother sets off to the Human kingdom to return her to where she belongs. The whole family community, though, soon becomes involved in this Arthurian legend.

Let me first start off by saying, Merlin's Harp fits into a very spec
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Books and Literature for Teens
Told from a female perspective, the legend of King Arthur, Merlin, and the infamous Morgan le Faye has never looked more magical. Brimming with fairy [Fey:] lore and myths of how Arthur’s misty history unfolds, Merlin’s Harp will satisfy any Arthurian fan or reader--teen or adult--alike.
What I liked most about Merlin’s Harp was the very detailed descriptions of the mythical Fey folk. The author wrote as if a real Fey girl witnessed the story of Avalon [Apple Island:]. Nivienne (pronounced simila
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Briana
Review
Niviene is fey and since Crompton stuck to the true nature and lore of fey, which I appreciated, she is mostly heartless and doesn't carry the same feelings and emotions as humans. This caused problems in not only her, but also some of the other fey characters, development. You see I believe it is our emotions and feelings as humans that allow for good character development in stories. However, I still liked the characters in Merlin's Harp fairly well, despite the fact that I couldn't rela
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Mayra
Oh. My. Gosh. This book was AMAZING. I love legends, mythology, and folktales, but before reading this, I really knew nothing about the Arthurian legend. And when I began Merlin's Harp, I found it boring and strange, and thought maybe I wouldn't like it. But soon I understood it, and I read it over several times. I never get tired of it. I really love the detail and the poetic, spiritual sense, and I love Niviene's point of view. I found it interesting and beautiful when it described her being w ...more
Lauren
Have you ever had a book that no matter how many times you started it you just couldn't for the life of you get into it? Well, that's what happened with me and Merlin's Harp, and because of that, I'm sorry to say that I don't have a review to share with you today of this book. Maybe someday I'll try to start it again, but for now it's just not the book for me.
Courteney Pepper
I loved this re-imagining of the legend of King Arthur; It seems I'm one of few to enjoy it though I can't for the life of me understand why. I was very happy with how to the point it was, completely unlike The Mists Of Avalon which I finished reading only a few months ago. Telling this story from the point of view of one of the Fey from Avalon was a nice twist and really lightened the burden of detail the author had to work with as opposed to telling it from one of the main characters points of ...more
Brenda
Didn't care for the writing style of this one, and I've got too many other books to read, so I gave up on it about 50 or so pages in.
Arthurian Lucre
I didn't really like this book but I didn't dislike it either. It is written well and there are a lot of innovative elements but it felt to me a bit confusing in its retelling of arthuriana. The plot was seen from outside and the time seemed to flow differently from what I expected and the book, which is quite short, doesn't take the time to analyze better some of its characters.
(view spoiler)
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Kate

From the opening paragraph of Merlin's Harp, I was lost. Crompton's writing is beautiful to the point that it may be too overcomplicated for many readers, teens or otherwise. To be honest, I had to pull out a dictionary after only the second sentence to figure out what in the world a "coracle" is. (It is a small boat, by the way.) As the novel continued, Crompton's writing style did grow on me a little bit. However, I am sure that while it suits the plot well (seeing that this a novel about the
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Michelle ♣ Ndayeni
A different take on the Arthurian legend, this book tells the story from the viewpoint of Niviene, a fey mage whose mother is a friend to Merlin. Through Merlin, Niviene eventually becomes caught up in human affairs, particularly those of King Arthur. Familiar events play out through the course of the story, but with a different twist to them, the true identities of some of the players, or the relationships between them, having been changed. Through it all, the writing mangages to conjur up the ...more
Cindy Hudson
Merlin’s Harp by Anne Eliot Crompton is a retelling of the legend of King Arthur and his times from the perspective of Niviene, daughter of the Lady of the Lake, known to Niviene as Nimway. They live on Apple Island, also known as Avalon, with Niviene’s brother, Lugh. Niviene is happy in her Fey world, living apart from most of her kind except when she and Lugh and their friend Elana slip into the villages and pretend to be Human.

The basic elements of the Arthur legend are here—Gwen’s relationsh
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Michelle
Touted as a new and different interpretation of Arthurian legend I thought perhaps this book would be a good bridge into fantasy for a reader somewhat interested in exploring the genre. Unfortunately it fell short in that regard. It was such a tough read that it did more to turn me off the genre than on.

The flowery and excessive prose made it, at times, difficult to follow. I never really got a clear picture of what either land looked like. Apple Valley (ie: Avalon) was slightly more vivid than
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Kelly
Reading Merlin's Harp, I realized something about novels that portray the interaction between the human world and Faerie. They usually don't tell the stories of fae folk in their own homeland. There are exceptions, of course, but authors tend to focus on faeries stuck in the human world, or humans encountering Faerie. I think I may know why that is. When writing about faeries living in Faerie, it's all too easy to have nothing happen.

Anne Eliot Crompton uses beautiful, if occasionally stilted, l
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Randy
I bought this book because I am a huge fan of Arthurian literature. One of my students started this book and returned it without completing it as she was having difficulty following the storyline. I wanted to read it to see if the storyline was indeed difficult to follow.

I think that reading this book with no knowledge of the King Arthur legends would be confusing to some readers. The reason is that this book alludes to facets of the story, but it is really a story only related to the whole Arth
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Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Jennifer Rummel for TeensReadToo.com

Nivienne never imagined she'd live in the human world. When Merlin comes to Avalon bringing word of a Saxon invasion and threat of peace to their land, she agrees to journey into the human world. After all, with her child gone missing and her heart torn away from her body, she has nothing left in either world.

Once at King Arthur's court, she recognizes the Queen as the woman who became lost and wondered into Avalon one day. Her brother, Lugh, led t
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Twinkle John
Merlin's Harp is a fantasy/young adult fiction by Anne Eliot Crompton.The main character in this novel is a Fey named Niviene. This entire novel was written in first person narrative of Niviene. She is the daughter of Nimway (the Lady of the Lake). She lives in the woods of Avalon with her mother and brother Lugh. Niviene is special because she possesses the magic of seeing the future through the flames of a fire. A prodigy of Merlin, Niviene travels with him between Avalon and to the land of Ca ...more
Robin
I should preface this by saying I don't read a lot of fantasy. But I like the Arthurian Legend and this was a Kindle freebie so I grabbed it.

I liked that the book pulled you into this strange other world of the Fey. It was weird but interesting the way it was written from a Fey point of view, as though their world was normal and the human world was the strange one. But I suppose that happens a lot in fantasy.

The thing I struggled with was the concept that Fey were heartless creatures. Though Niv
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Sonia
This was a very different book from my usual fare, but I did enjoy it. I'll admit it took me a while to get into the story and even longer for me to become attached to the characters enough to care what actually happened to them, but once I did, I really did enjoy the story and found myself engrossed and not wanting to put the book down.

This is the story of King Arthur, his Knight Lancelot and his Queen Gwenevere...as well as Merlin the magician and the world of the fae/fairy kingdom...quite a d
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Dava Stewart
Have you ever read a book that makes you feel like you just don't know enough to really appreciate it? That's how I felt reading this one. It merges the legend of Arthur/Lancelot/Guinevere and the Fey, and that's interesting. Some of the writing is absolutely gorgeous. But.

There are times when it feels like the onus is on the reader to know what happened. In one or two places, I went back to make sure I hadn't missed some pages, because big chunks of information were missing and it felt like I s
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Amy
I don't know whether to rate this 2 or 3 stars. Goodreads classifies 2 stars as something that was okay and 3 stars as something that I liked. MERLIN'S HARP falls distinctly into the middle, so I suppose 2.5 would be adequate, even though I think it a bit harsh based on several factors. I didn't hate it but I didn't love it either. The narrator Niviene was apathetic and held the reader at an arm's length so I wasn't able to associate too closely with her nor feel it within myself to care for her ...more
Dialma
This book was a quick read, but it didn't impressed me as much as I thought it would. It was an interesting take on the Arthurian tale, but I felt the characters could had been develop more and the writing could had been more inviting to the reader. I did enjoy the read, since I always had found Arthur, Merlin and their world fascinating. But I must say, never truly fell in love with any of the characters, not even the Fey. I think I just never felt truly connected to the story, and therefore my ...more
Ravana McPherson
The story was a very interesting take on the story of King Arthur. I found myself a bit bored at times within the book, and a couple of times I guessed what was coming way before it did.
William Bentrim
Nivienne is Fey. She is different than a human. Unbeknown to her, she spends the story trying to recover her heart. A touching story of King Arthur’s court and the intrigue that surrounded it

Ms. Crompton did a nice job fleshing out the legend of King Arthur. Nivienne is a strong female protagonist. The characterizations are a touch shallow, more detail would have been nice. I felt it started slow but once involved it became more enjoyable. I’ve read a ton of King Arthur books and this turned ou
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Same as the other? 1 11 Jan 24, 2010 03:00AM  
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ANNE ELIOT CROMPTON is an award-winning author of children's books. She has raised ponies and goats and painted wildlife. Born to Ethel Cook Eliot (a writer) and Samuel Eliot (a professor) she attended the Academy of the Sacred Heart (now Doane Stuart School) in Albany, New York. She worked briefly in Providence, Florida; then married Willard Crompton and moved to the small hill town of Chesterfie ...more
More about Anne Eliot Crompton...

Other Books in the Series

Merlin's Harp (3 books)
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  • Percival's Angel (Merlin's Harp, #3)
Gawain and Lady Green (Merlin's Harp, #2) Percival's Angel (Merlin's Harp, #3) The Rainbow Pony (Alice Brown's Pony, #1) The Snow Pony The Winter Wife: An Abenaki Folktale

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“Water rising under rock
Breaks earth's lock,
Floods thirst roots,
Nurtures sap and trunk and shoots,
Greens and plumps each greedy leaf
Till dappled sunlight like a thief
Sucks leaf-water as I breathe,
Makes of mist an airy wreath
To drift and float and wander high
To the sky,
And fall again,
Sweet, rich rain,
Run under rock and
Rise again.”
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“The Lady smiled, close-mouthed. "You magicked for Arthur himself, Merlin. The Human part of you has always loved Arthur.” 0 likes
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