^ So quoth Princess Aurora on last night’s episode of Once, after which I, and the rest of the fandom, nearly died laughing. It was a good episode all in all. I enjoyed Lancelot. This week’s Merlin was good too (and next week’s preview promises the return of a deceased character and lots of drama!) It looks like Mordred isn’t going to be the new Agravaine after all (or is he?!) I also caught the pilot episode of Arrow and I think it shows promise. I’ll definitely be sticking around for more of that! Added bonus: Katie Cassidy is in it and she’s pretty badass, so I’ve got hopes.
Before doing this week’s playlist I have one book review for you:
Shards of Excalibur: Song of the Sword by Edward Willet
Genre: YA fantasy/adventure/Arthurian
Being the massive Merlin fan that I am, I like looking at other takes on the legend. For me the best YA take on the Arthurian legend that I’ve read so far is Meg Cabot’s Avalon High and that still stands – though Song of the Sword is a well-crafted effort. My biggest issues with this book stem from my own biases: I’m so used to seeing Merlin as a young man on the TV show that I have to readjust my brain to thinking that he’s an old guy again. This time around Merlin was the villain – an intriguing re-interpretation, though I’m not sure if he was the most convicing villain. I’m hoping future books in the series explore his backstory a little more because I think there’s more than can be done. I get what the author was going for though: I’m just so attached to seeing Merlin in a certain way that I couldn’t get past it. The problem is with me, not the text.
But the novel’s main protagonist is Ariane Forsythe, a teenager who discovers that she is descended from the Lady of the Lake and is the only one who can stop Merlin in his quest for power by finding the scattered shards of Arthur’s legendary sword before he does. Where I didn’t so much care for Merlin as the villain, I quite liked Ariane as the Lady of the Lake. Again I was reminded of Avalon High, but this interpretation is different from what Cabot did. So if you’re a fan of Arthurian legends and are looking for a new re-envisioning, be sure to check this series out.
Final grade: B
And now for that weekly playlist I promised:
Weekly Playlist #4: Visions are seldom all they seem
1. “Once Upon a Dream” – Sleeping Beauty soundtrack
In honour of Aurora, obviously.
2. “Shalott” – Emilie Autumn
Literary geek alert: Lancelot quoted Tennyson’s “The Lady of Shalott” when they were at the dried-up lake.
3. “Reflection” – Mulan soundtrack
I’m still a fan of Mulan on Once, but I’m going to run out of songs from the Mulan soundtrack if I keep this up…
4. “Defying Gravity” – Wicked soundtrack
But I haven’t run out of songs from Wicked yet!
5. “Abraham’s Daughter” – Arcade Fire
I was trying to think of a song to represent Arrow and this one from The Hunger Games soundtrack popped into my head because… archery, etc.
6. “Angels” – Within Temptation
Thinking about how Regina and Cora rip out people’s hearts on Once I thought this song was appropriate: “You took my heart, deceived me right from the start.”
7. “Slay Your Dragons” – The Dreamside
Morgana’s pet dragon is looking a little worse for wear, isn’t she? I wonder what’s going on there…
8. “Humanity in Motion” – Nathan Lanier
Weaver/Poje’s new freedance music.
9. “Shot in the Dark” – Within Temptation
I keep listening to this lately and it seems appropriate after Emma had that little mishap with her gun.