Reviews

I, Morgana

I, MORGANA

My latest novel I, Morgana tells the story of one of the most maligned but charismatic characters as written in the traditional telling of Arthurian legend. Written from Morgana's point of view, readers gain new insight into a powerful, passionate woman whose heart rules her head, with devastating consequences both for the future of Camelot and for her own happiness. I've recently been award the Di Yerbury writer's residency which means I'll be able to spend 3 months in the UK in 2015 researching and writing the sequel to I, Morgana, with the working title Return to Camelot. I, Morgana is published by Momentum Books Australia.

Reviews

'A bold and unusual novel' ... 'Morgana struggles ... with reconciling the brighter and the darker aspects of her character. She is driven by revenge – against Arthur, against Guinevere, against Merlin, against the world – and revenge, as it so often does, creates a wasteland around her. But at the heart of all revenge is the inconsolable grief of a child. The pain of loss and betrayal burns at the heart of Morgana's story ...' Sophie Masson

'I, Morgana is a new interpretation of the King Arthur story, and a rich new addition to the much loved (and hotly debated) canon ... Felicity Pulman has succeeded in creating a character and a book that remain true to the myth, while bringing new energy and new perspective to it'... Great Historicals, Goodreads.

'This book is my first foray back to the land of Camelot, and it did not disappoint. It took some of the most interesting stories about Arthur and Morgana and wove them into a wonderfully complex and intricate story.' Jo, Goodreads

'The writing is excellent in both description and action so that I was lost in her world or perhaps worlds would be more accurate. The characters have depth and texture beyond the common stories that I read of the legend.' Susan, Goodreads

A Ring Through Time

A RING THROUGH TIME

A Ring Through Time was voted 'my teen pick of the year' by Maria Channells at Berkelouws Bookshop, Balgowlah. Rod Bennett of The Manly Daily gave it five stars and 'Pick of the Week'. Reviews include: 'In the first few chapters, Pulman cleverly grabs the reader, drawing them into her story, giving hints of the themes to follow, furnishing them with enough history to whet their appetites. The setting on Norfolk Island is enticing, and particularly so with its connection with Australia, both in the past and present, as the residents call for autonomy. Pulman's stories are always engrossing. Easy to read, they rattle along at a fast pace, easily giving the reader a solid base of historical details against which her most convincing characters, both real and imagined, are placed. The themes thus developed will make all readers think deeply about the issues involved and easily imbibe a little known part of Australia's penal history along the way.' Fran Knight, Magpies, Vol. 28.

MH in Reading Time Vol 57 No.3 commented: 'This is quite a complex novel using a number of different narrative techniques especially third-person narration and the diary from the past but with an important part of the story carried by a letter. It is partly historical fiction, with links between past and present. It covers a number of rites-of-passage and explores themes such as the importance of friends and family, the nature of truth, and how history can be interpreted differently by different people and asks the question how do we actually know someone.'
Tien on Goodreads: 'One of my best reads in 2012 proven by the fact that I stayed up reading despite being so very tired and was kept up even after I've finished reading it. A rare story which haunted me for the night and the next few days at least.'

THE JANNA MYSTERIES

Book 1, Rosemary for Remembrance is on the CBC Notable Book List, 2006

Articles: Writing Medieval England from Australia, Viewpoint 12, Spring 2004; Herbal Magic, Good Reading, May 2006. See also 'Felicity Pulman and The Janna Mysteries' by Lisa Feim, Viewpoint 14, Winter 2006

Book 1: Rosemary for Remembrance: 'Felicity Pulman combines history, romance and crime into an engaging story which, while not quite a bodice ripper, has plenty of melting moments... The medieval atmosphere is sustained well, with rich details and judicious use of contemporary language... The first in a new series, this novel lays down interesting trails for Janna to follow in the future.' Fiction Focus

'The era and setting are depicted convincingly, and explained even further in the author's note at the end. Beautiful descriptions are intertwined skillfully with personal emotions and the politics of everyday life, and the characters are varied and believable, leaving the reader wanting more ...' Reading Time

'I read this in one sitting. A strong start to what looks likely to be another good series.' Sue Page, AB & P

'If you're a fan of medieval mysteries, you'll enjoy this debut and wait impatiently for the next novel to discover Janna's true identity and her further adventures.' Sue Gammon, ABC

'... this is an interesting beginning for a new series from Felicity Pulman, with an intriguing medieval setting and secrets of herbal lore. I look forward to more of Janna's adventures and insights into the period as she sets out at the end of this book, to solve the mystery of her own origins.' Chloe Mauger, Magpies

'Pulman has passed up fantasy this time to delve into crime fiction. The medieval world with its recondite rituals, political intrigue, and the power and obeisance of feudal society is a fertile place for crime to flourish ... There is no doubt about the appeal of medieval crime and mystery: witness the phenomenal success of Umberto Eco's The Name of the Rose and Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code. Pulman's new series takes teenagers on a journey through that world, at one with Janna, the feisty sixteen-year-old heroine.' Viewpoint, Winter 2005

Book 2 - Rue for Repentance: 'The second one of a brilliant medieval mystery series which started with Rosemary for Remembrance. Janna is a feisty heroine and I thoroughly enjoyed both these books.' Adelaide Bookshelf

'A worthy sequel to Rosemary for Remembrance, this novel introduces some new characters while maintaining momentum and atmosphere, especially in the descriptions of medieval village life: the hard work, the pungent smells, fear of disease and joyous festivals ... The ending is thrilling, simultaneously solving the mystery and starting Janna on a new path, this time to refuge with the nuns at Wiltune Abbey.' Fiction Focus

'This is engaging reading. The well-researched past is presented as attractive, with resonant dilemmas for Janna, such as being a woman in a patriarchal society, class oppression and suspicion of those who are different.' Pam Macintyre, Australian Book Review

Teen readers' reviews: 'I commend Felicity Pulman. She has written an absolutely brilliant book, Rosemary for Remembrance. It was fantastic! ... I would recommend this book to all eager readers from 10 years of age and up.'

'With twists and turns on almost every page this book and this series is a must have, and a must read. Not the least of the reasons being the fact that it is very historically correct and contains things to interest many boys and girls. This book must be one of the best books I've read in my life for it is a mystery book yet it contains interesting facts and it shows a snap shot of history. If I were rating this book I would say that it would be an instant ten out of ten, possibly even an eleven.

Themes in The Janna Mysteries: medieval life in town, country and abbey and an exploration of what life was like for peasants and nobles, nuns, pilgrims and jongleurs; faith and belief; identity and understanding; independence and responsibility; empowerment through knowledge; morality; love, trust and friendship; courage in the face of adversity; war and peace; ambition and treachery.

Book 3 - Lillies for Love:

Book 4 - Willows for Weekping:

GHOST BOY

Article: Disease and quarantine, NSW School magazine, July 2006
NB: Ghost Boy made the 1996 Clayton's Awards shortlist.

Reviews: 'Felicity Pulman's Ghost Boy is a well-paced, thoroughly researched and utterly absorbing adventure. This is a spiritual journey into the past, with a ghost and time travel credibly intertwined ... a serious, well written, thought-provoking novel.' Magpies Magazine.

'This is a fascinating novel of life in Australia in the late 1800's. The description of the health conditions during this time is evocative and poignant. Froggy's desperation to solve the mystery of the missing inheritance and his fledgling friendship with Cassie is fascinating. Ghost Boy is an excellent adventure novel for students from Grade 6 to Year 8.' Viewpoint, Summer 2004.

'An excellent yarn ... Felicity Pulman has utilized the horrific history of the Quarantine Station at North Head to weave a compelling story ... Written with a firm grip on reality, it holds your interest until the last page.' Northern Herald.

'Ghost Boy is a cleverly-written text that entwines the present with the past ... It is an engaging read which will be a popular choice, particularly for boys. It is also exceptionally well researched and would be an excellent companion text for use in studies of a historical nature.' Fiction Focus

'This is a fast moving tale which children will be drawn into, wanting to solve the mystery. The historical accuracy of the novel is also appealing, with events set in and around the Quarantine Station in Sydney. Young readers will be fascinated by this piece of history, and those in the Sydney area will be excited to know they can visit and tour the Quarantine Station.
Ghost Boy is a finely crafted adventure tale with suitability for classroom use, but plenty of appeal for private reading for readers aged 10-15.' Sally Murphy, Aussiereviews

Themes in Ghost Boy: Australian history, ghosts, quarantine and the treatment of disease, bullying, courage, friendship, identity.

SHALOTT TRILOGYPhoto of Felicity Pulman

In 2001, Shalott won the Society of Women Writers biannual book award in the Young Adult category. Shalott: The Final Journey was Highly Commended in the same category in 2003.

For articles on researching and writing the Shalott trilogy, see: 'The landscape of King Arthur', Viewpoint 9, Autumn 2001; 'Turning history and legend into fiction', Viewpoint 11, Summer 2003. Also Shalott by Felicity Pulman - article by Robyn Sheahan-Bright, Viewpoint 9, Spring 2001. Articles are listed on the Teachers' page.

Reviews: 'History and fantasy are carefully blended to make a fascinating journey through the legend and the poem.' Julie Long, Reading Time

'Shalott is an intriguing time-travel story. Combining the ultra-modern concept of virtual reality with the medieval world of King Arthur and his court provides a setting and a storyline which teen readers will be drawn into. There is much here to appeal to fans of fantasy, lovers of history, and gaming devotees - in fact any teen who loves a good story. Shalott is an outstanding read, and readers will look forward to its two sequels eagerly.' Aussiereviews

'Pulman's knowledge of the era is obvious throughout, and she exudes a passion for her subject which is infectiously readable and admirably comprehensive. She also humorously expands on the story ... Arthurian tales are irresistible, and in this inventive novel many of the incidents and set pieces based on details of the legend are highly original and entertaining ... Felicity Pulman has created an original young adult fiction in a pleasing and approachable style. Her love of history promises that future works will introduce young readers to other worlds in an imaginative and vibrant fashion.' Robyn Sheahan-Bright, Viewpoint

Return to Shalott:

'Pulman shows an ability to entwine a well-researched tale with the problems and dilemmas faced by many teens, to make the characters both real and easy to relate to. Return to Shalott is another gripping read from an outstanding author.' Aussiereviews

'Return to Shalott is a captivating read. It raises some excellent issues - time travel and its consequences and paganism vs Christianity being the primary ones. I would recommend this novel for young adult collections in both school and public libraries.' Tina Cavanough, Magpies

'A romantic novel, with an exceptionallty beautiful cover illustration, that gains depth from the reinterpretation of several ancient tales and beliefs.

Shalott: The final journey:

'Felicity Pulman has created an altered reality, with ramifications that echo into the future ... This last story completes the whole ... in a very intriguing, clever and satisfying manner. Recommended.' Chloe Mauger, Magpies

'Shalott: The Final Journey - the third and final book in this series. A fascinating mix of history, poetry, legend and fantasy. I keep this to escape into late at night.' CBC Book Beat

Themes in the Shalott trilogy: time travel, virtual reality, legends (King Arthur & Camelot, Celtic legends), medieval history, magic and shape-shifting, knights and chivalry, courage, faith and religion, self-knowledge and identity.