Morgan is My Name
by Sophie Keetch
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Pub Date 15 Jun 2023 | Archive Date 15 Jun 2023
Oneworld Publications, Magpie Books
An atmospheric, feminist retelling of the early life of famed villainess Morgan le Fay, set against the colourful chivalric backdrop of Arthurian legend.
'We are half of this living world, and no one has ever seen fit to write us down...'
When King Uther Pendragon murders her father and tricks her mother into marriage, Morgan refuses to be crushed. Trapped amid the machinations of men in a world of isolated castles and gossiping courts, she discovers secret powers. Vengeful and brilliant, it's not long before Morgan becomes a worthy adversary to Merlin, influential sorcerer to the king. But fighting for her freedom, she risks losing everything – her reputation, her loved ones and her life.
'Top marks all round for an enthralling new take on the Arthurian legend, beautifully written… The start of what will be a classic trilogy.' The Times
'This is the Arthurian legend as you rarely see it: told not by Uther, Arthur or Merlin, or indeed their male champions, but by the complicated woman they condemned. Keetch's Morgan is vulnerable, courageous and defiant. She makes the legend hers, and I can't wait to accompany her on the next part of the journey. For lovers of the untold story, Morgan Is My Name is a convincing and compelling read.' Lucy Holland, author of Sistersong
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 22 members
This is the story of Morgan, half sister to the famous Arthur. History has portrayed her as a malevolent villain, but here she is claiming her own power and voice. This is the first book in a trilogy, although it does work well as a standalone.
Women are treated as pawns in a chess game, moved around by the will of the men, in accordance to whatever suits the patriarchy best at the time. For example Uther Pendragon rages at Morgan, physically assaulting her and demanding obedience. He treats his wife in a similarly abhorrent way. But whilst the patriarchy may control these women’s bodies, they do not control their minds. The strength of the women remains a central theme of the novel. Men are weak and kings are greedy. As one character says, “it’s not about you Morgan…it’s about them-men, their power, their battles, their pride.” Yet through this novel, we see the women find their power.
I adored the mythology woven into the plot, and surprisingly found the magic, and sorcery parts really believable. In fact, I could have done with more magic, but as this is a trilogy, and only covers her early years, I imagine there is much more sorcery to come.
A thoroughly enjoyable read, with a new take on a woman’s place in history. I will definitely look out for the other books in the series.
A fabulous feminist retelling of this Arthurian legend. Morgan is a sorceress just learning how much power she holds. I thought it was a really well told story, the characters were full of life and relatable whilst still being very true to the time period. Would love to read more from this author!
Morgan is my Name by Sophie Keetch
Publication date 15 June 2023
I was absolutely blown away by this book and found myself bereft when it ended. Morgan is my Name is such a beautiful, lyrical retelling of the early life of Morgan le Fay, sister to King Authur.
Sophie Keetch really brings Morgan to life in this feminist retelling - the fire in her will not be diminished. Admittedly, I did not know too much about the legend surrounding King Arthur other than the very basic tale and I was intrigued to learn Morgan is traditionally portrayed as a villaness as I absolutely adored her character in this book and I when i grow up I want to be her! She is a force to be reckoned with - shrewd, loyal, strong willed, fierce, stubborn and determined.
I don't want to spoil the plot for anyone but we follow Morgan from her early childhood on the island of Tintagel to her teens in St Brigids nunnery where she was later sent to live, and then to her early years as a young woman, wife and new mother. We witness how the death of her father, the forced remarriage of her mother to the conniving High King of Britain, finding out what it is to love, self discovery, and later an increasingly violent marriage shape Morgan into the woman she becomes, and perhaps always was meant to be.
"I was dark and made of shards, formed under pressure in places light did not reach. I was flint, and always had been."
Magic, love, friendship, brutality, betrayal, hatred, cruelty, longing and womanhood are exquisitely written about. An absolute joy to read and wonderfully evocative.
"We were water then, fluent, indivisible; a lake in a rainstorm, rippling with life; a waterfall colliding with itself in tumult and thrill; a river in spring thaw, wild and unceasing, rushing to meet the salt embrace of the sea."
I made so many notes of things I wanted to say about Morgan is my Name while I was reading, but my words can do no justice to just how good this book is - all I can say is you simply just have to read it!
I was overjoyed to learn that there will be a follow on from the first book - I cannot wait to read the rest of Morgans story! For now though, this one gets all the stars and more if I could give them. Highly recommended indeed.
Thank you to Netgalley and Oneworld publications for the ARC in exchange for a honest review.
I do love historical novels, but have never read any set around this time period of Arthurian legend. This book was an absolute joy to read, and I felt bereft when it ended. The characters were well drawn, the pace was excellent, and it was a great story. I sincerely hope there are more books to follow. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an ARC in return for an honest review of the book.
An excellent first novel in what I hope will be a series of books about Morgan le Fay. The traditionally evil sorceress of the Arthurian romances has been reimagined here as a woman whose family was torn away from her by Uther Pendragon, who found her calling as a healer in a convent but was forced to marry Urien of Gore and suffered through an increasingly abusive marriage. It is a story of lost and found family, of a woman who looks for love and fulfilment despite the limitations placed on her by her society and through it all the threads of otherworldly power and sorcery that she discovers in herself. I do hope there is more to come.
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