Merlin’s Blade


A few months ago, Zondervan Publishing contacted me to read and review some YA books for them.  One of those books was Merlin’s Blade by Robert Treskillard.  I was really excited about reading this book because…well, it’s Merlin and King Arthur and Excaliber and all that great Arthurian legend stuff.  It was the first book of six I picked up to read.

I have mixed emotions about this book.  First, let me say I thought it was very well written, especially for a first-time author.  Treskillard knows how to weave a tale and there was a great deal of research and old stories that went into the telling of this one.  Merlin, Merlin’s father, King Uther and all the other players in this book were well crafted.  They were ‘real’ people, people we can relate to.  People we want to see triumph and others we want to see vanquished.  There are all the elements of an epic fantasy tale created in the true Arthurian fashion.  What threw me in this novel, however, was how Merlin was so different from the other tales I’ve read, especially how the sword in the stone ended up in the stone.

This book is told for the most part from Merlin’s perspective.  Arthur is still a baby when Merlin pledges his allegiance to the once and future king.  What I found difficult to grasp was that Merlin is mostly blind in this story, a wound left over from being attacked by wolves at a young age.  I soon found, though, that the story took on dimension.  I ended up like Merlin, experiencing his world through my other senses of touch, smell, and hearing.  I think this gave me a better grasp on the settings as the trees and the towns took on new, vivid  appearances usually left unseen when we rely primarily on our sight.

There were multiple viewpoints in this story but they were well done and engaging, each person’s perspective adding to the one before.  Each one equally important.  So many authors shy away from writing in multiple perspectives but this book is a great testament to how it can be done successfully.

The world-building is very well done.  Unlike many fantasy stories, this one takes place in one town, the one Merlin grew up in.  Instead of Merlin going on an adventure, the adventure comes to him, including Uther and Arthur.  I thought this was a unique way to write this story and the ending is filled with the promise of greater adventures to come.

While this story of Merlin broke the mold of a young Merlin I’d read about before, this Merlin is courageous, likable,  kind and noble.  I also loved how he clung to his faith even in the darkest of moments when he could have so easily turned on so many occasions.

Zondervan is a Christian publisher so it is no wonder that religion plays a big role in Merlin’s Blade.  I would like to say, however, that religion played a big role in Merlin’s and King Arthur’s time, so if the story is to be told in its truest form, there has to be a religious element. This was not overdone for those who may stray from ‘religious’ books.  It doesn’t preach; it simply tells a wonderful story of a one of fantasy’s most beloved characters.

One of my only complaints is that the story starts off rather slow.  It takes some time to get into it, but hey, it’s fantasy.  The reader needs the time to know the characters and fall in love with them as their stories unfold.  There were some scenes where the pace kicked up, and I have to say, I wish more of the book moved a bit faster than it did.  That’s why I’m giving this book 4 stars and not 5.

If you’re looking for a great Merlin story for you or a young adult, I highly recommend this story.  I can’t wait to see where Treskillard takes this story next.  I know I’ll be right there, waiting to read the next installment in this Merlin series.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

***

From the cover:

A strange meteorite.
A deadly enchantment.
And only Merlin can destroy it.

A meteorite brings a mysterious black stone whose sinister power ensnares everyone except Merlin, the blind son of a swordsmith. Soon, all of Britain will be under its power, and he must destroy the stone—or die trying.

***

Where to find Robert Treskillard:

Twitter

Facebook

Blog

Advertisements

8 thoughts on “Merlin’s Blade

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Jennifer. I still need to read books 2 and 3. I know I’ll love them. Have you been following his progress on FB where he’s making his own Excalibur? Sooo cool.

      Like

    1. I am very lucky. I was also hand-picked by Simon & Schuster last week to review middle-grade book that’s coming out. I received the ARC copy yesterday. So much fun. I’ve heard if you reach out to their marketing departments (all the big 6) and tell them you want to review some books, a lot of times they’ll send them. Zondervan and Simon approached me because of previous reviews I’ve done of YA books they’ve published. Goes to show you never know who is reading your blogs. 🙂 Now if I could just get an editor/agent/publisher interested in my book. Maybe I’ll have to talk about it a bit more. 🙂

      Like

  1. Yes. I reviewed Heather’s first book and then Zondervan knocked at my door. I’m so glad they did. I’ve read some fantastic books by them. Your books would totally fit in their repertoire.

    Like

Please join in

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s