Saturday, May 7, 2011

"The Lost Years of Merlin" Series by T.A. Barron

#1 The Lost Years of Merlin (1996) Good Reads review
#2 The Seven Songs of Merlin (1997) Good Reads review
#3 The Fires of Merlin (1998) Good Reads review
#4 The Mirror of Merlin (2001) Good Reads review
#5 The Wings of Merlin (2002) Good Reads review

Read: 2011
Genre: Fantasy fiction
Setting: Fincayra- mist shrouded island in between two worlds
Rating: 3
Author's web site

I read this series as the third step in my foray into the numerous books on Merlin and the Arthurian legend.  The first was the classic by T.H. White, The Once and Future King which I loved.  Second was the challenging Le Morte D'Arthur by Sir Thomas Malory.

These books focus on Merlin and his boyhood and were recommended by my daughter.  It is "coming-of-age" story whereby a young boy with no memory must piece together who he is, where he came from, how he has the powers of a young wizard and more importantly how can he control and use them.  He learns of his fate or destiny that is related to a King Arthur in a distant land called Britannia. Along his many adventures, he meets and makes unusual friends as well as encounters villainous enemies.  He also falls in love.  Doesn't this sound similar to the storyline of the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling?

In the author's note of the first book, Barron says, " In sum, how did he become the wizard and mentor to King Arthur whom we celebrate today?  Questions such as these are not answered by the traditional lore. Nor do the words attributed to Merlin himself shed much light....My own view is that, during Merlin's lost years, he not only disappeared from the world of story and song.  Rather, I believe that Merlin himself disappeared - from the world as we know it.  This tale, spinning a few volumes, will attempt to bridge the gap.  The story begins when a young boy, without any name and without any memory of his past, washes ashore on the coast of Wales.  It concludes, when that same boy, having gained and lost a great deal, is ready to step into a central role in Arthurian legend."

The books are YA fantasy fiction and are quick reads.  

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