The Lost Years of Merlin (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition)

The Lost Years of Merlin (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition)

4.7 177
by T. A. Barron

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FOR USE IN SCHOOLS AND LIBRARIES ONLY. Barron transforms the early years of the mythical wizard Merlin's life into a vivid, action-filled fantasy, replete with deep forests, ruined castles, and evil spells.  See more details below


FOR USE IN SCHOOLS AND LIBRARIES ONLY. Barron transforms the early years of the mythical wizard Merlin's life into a vivid, action-filled fantasy, replete with deep forests, ruined castles, and evil spells.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In this coming-of-age fantasy, Barron (The Merlin Effect) investigates what he perceives as the mystery of the great enchanter's little-mentioned childhood and adolescence. Merlin himself narrates, at first in realistic mode as a child called Emrys in a grubby village in Wales, where he had washed ashore five years earlier; he is haunted by his inability to remember his earlier life. After some misadventures when his supernatural powers develop, he decides to set about "finding my past, my identity." Somehow he makes his way across the ocean to Fincayra, a strange place not quite of this world. There he gets drawn into a great conflict between good and evil, and the story mutates into a high fantasy quest populated by weird and mythic creatures. This part of the tale draws heavily on the Welsh Mabinogion; some of Merlin's adventures thus resemble Taran's in Lloyd Alexander's Prydain Chronicles, which also uses that body of legend. Merlin learns of his Fincayran birthright, but in the clumsily handled conclusion he looks off into the future (and to the planned sequel), having decided that although he has found his past and his identity he has not found his "true home." Some readersmostly teens or adultswill be looking eagerly with him. Others may find this attempt to create a biography for Merlin less of an organic novel than a showcase for the author's deft recycling of Welsh myth. Ages 8-up. (Sept.)
Children's Literature
T.A. Barron asked the question, "What was the great Merlin like as a child?" and from that sprang this first book of a five-book series that explores the answer. The author has created a world rich in characters and settings, which allows young Merlin to begin his journey to great power. As the novel opens, a boy without a name, without a home, and without a memory is determined to find all three. Emrys, as he calls himself, discovers that he possesses a magical power stronger than himself. When he uses this power for hate, he suffers by losing his eyesight. He soon discovers that he has a second sight that allows him to see in a different way. Because he is determined to continue his quest to find the three things he desires, Emrys goes to the land of Fincayra, an island thought to exist only in myth. There Emrys finds some answers and a purpose to his quest. This book is wonderful because the conflict facing Emrys is not only from outside forces but also from within. The plot line is convoluted, detailed, and gripping. This is a great read-aloud book for late elementary and middle school students. 2002 (orig. 1999), Philomel Books/Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers, Ages 10 to 14.
— Sarah Beasley
Children's Literature - Judy Silverman
This book traces the legendary wizard's life from the moment he finds himself washed up on a beach with no memory of his past. He's even lost his name. He's picked up by Branwen, who wants him to believe he's her child. He finds his way to the magical island of Fincayr, where his powers are tested. By hard work and great good fortune, he finds all that was lost. This is a good read for older children and adults who haven't given up the magic of Arthurian legends, and a great read-aloud for younger kids.
School Library Journal
Gr 5-8This first installment in a planned trilogy about Merlin's shadowy youth takes some intriguing twists. Young Emrys washes up on a Welsh beach with a woman who claims to be his mother. For years, they share a hovel, but Branwen tells him nothing about his past. One day he discovers that he has some unusual powers; using them to kindle a fire in Branwen's defense, he is blinded by the flames. However, he learns to see without eyesusing his "second sight." Desperate to know about his past, Emrys, now 12, sets off on an ocean journey. He lands on Fincayra, where he plunges into a dangerous quest to rescue the island from the destructive blight caused by a pact between its king and an evil power. In the process, he befriends a young Fincayran girl and a dwarf who becomes a giant through a brave deed. Emrys also learns the truth about his origins. The Fincayran portion of the story is very much like Lloyd Alexander's "Prydain Chronicles": a young boy and girl team up with a cute non-human to save a kingdom from the force of evil, with Welsh-style names abounding. Also, while the characterization of the hero is excellent, the portrayal of some minor figures is fair at best. However, the fast-moving plot is sure to keep readers turning pages. The tale is compelling enough to ensure that they will anticipate the next book in the series to learn how the events ultimately tie in to the more familiar body of Arthurian legend.Mary Jo Drungil, Niles Public Library District, IL
T.A. Barron's The Lost Years Of Merlin is the story of a strange young boy who washed up on the shores of ancient Wales, determined to find his real home and his true name. One day he will become the greatest wizard of all time -- but he knows nothing of this in the beginning. Wonderfully narrated by Michael Cumpsty for listeners of all ages, this Listening Library edition is totally engaging, entertaining, unabridged addition to the Merlin legend is flawless produced, and has a running time of 8 hours.
Kirkus Reviews
Barron (The Merlin Effect, 1994, etc.) transforms the early years of the mythical wizard's life into a vivid, action-filled fantasy, replete with deep forests, ruined castles, and evil spells: a promising first installment of a projected trilogy.

Although Emrys, 12-year-old son of Branwen, has fantastic powers, he is also a charismatic and sympathetic character; many readers will no doubt empathize with his self-pity, awkwardness, and the tense relationship he shares with his mother, a witch. But Barron never forgets his hero's destiny, and so when Emrys defends his mother from the flames of an angry mob by telekinetically burning the town bully, he leaps into the fire to save the boy and loses his own eyesight. Recovering in an abbey from his burns, Emrys develops second sight, vows to never again use his powers in anger, and sets out to learn his destiny. Along the way, he meets Rhia, who is brave, intelligent, and resourceful, and who enlists his aid in the war that forms the final steps toward adulthood that Emrys—now Merlin—takes. While Barron is careful to show that Merlin is still physically a boy, readers are left with a vision of a more confident, compassionate hero, prepared to confront the joys and sorrows that await him in future volumes.

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Product Details

San Val, Incorporated
Publication date:
Merlin Saga Series, #1
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
4.50(w) x 7.25(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range:
10 - 14 Years

Meet the Author

T.A. Barron grew up in the mountains of Colorado.  He wrote his first novel at Oxford University between trips to the Highlands of Scotland.  Now he writes in the attic of his Colorado home, assisted by his wife, Currie, and their five young children.

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The Lost Years of Merlin (Lost Years of Merlin Series #1) 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 177 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is astonishing! At first, when my mom brought it home from the library, I was sceptical. I did not think it would be any good. 'O boy,' I thought, 'another dumb fantasy book.' But one day when I was bored, I cracked it open and started reading. The beginnig confused me and I wanted to put it down. But I was really bored so I kept reading. It got so good, I didnt look up for almost 2 hours. The end mad me cry. It's not really sad, but it is meaningful. Read it!!!!!!! i would give it 10 stars if I could!
wordforteens More than 1 year ago
It's no secret that I absolutely adore T.A. Barron and his Lost Years of Merlin series. It is, without a doubt, one of the most original and entertaining interpretations of the Arthurian legend that I have ever read. All of the characters in this story are absolutely brilliant. Emrys (or Merlin, to those who want to know - it's not much of a secret) is a bit of a downer at the beginning of the story, but let's be honest - he has every right to be. (Think Harry Potter when his emotions are being corrupted by Lord Voldemort. Slightly and annoyingly angsty, but understandably and in a way that doesn't affect your love of the story.) And as for the other characters! Rhia is one of my favorite female characters of all time; she's absolutely charming and amazing and funny and lovely. I want to be the female version of Cairpre. Shim needs to be my best friend. I have nightmares about Rhita Gawr. And as for the plot! It's so intricately created that it has no problem stretching through all five books (though this review does focus on the first book) and is simply enthralling. I love all the little things that go on as Emrys goes to becoming the Merlin we all know and love. The subplots - especially anything involving the Druma Wood - are some of my favorites. And the main reason to read this series is simply for the setting. Fincayara is one of the first fictional places I would ever want to visit.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was a great read. Full of mystery and suspence young Merlin goes to discover his mysterious past. On the way he stumbles upon the Isle of Fincayra, and there the story takes off!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Lost Years of Merlin by T. A. Barron is a wonderful adventure story about Merlin. I am a personal fan of King Arthur and all its ¿glory¿ so I had to pick this book up. T. A. Barron does a wonderful job of depicting a young Merlin who is struggling to find his identity, with strange magical powers, and of coarse the town bully. As Merlin learns to master his power, disaster strikes. T. A. Barron wrote a truly wonderful nail biter that will keep you reading for hours. That¿s incredible coming from me, because I am not the biggest fan of reading. When I first picked this book up, it was a slow reader, as are most books in the beginning. But once it started going, it didn¿t stop. Every chapter you learn something new about him, the setting, the plot, or even some one else.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It wasn't bad. As for this book, it was very good. However, sometimes the setting was quite unclear so I often found myself looking back through the book and asking myself, gWhere is Emrys again? h It was not as good as any Redwall book (my favorite series), but still very adventurous and had all the elements that a fantasy book should have. Good work!
Guest More than 1 year ago
T.A. Barron has moved me with his writing and I enjoyed the Lost Years of Merlin. A great tale of Merlin's years as a youth. A must read for Arthurian readers. T.A. Barron inspired something in my that I can not comprehend. A book for all ages!
Guest More than 1 year ago
FINALLY! Someone gives this poor, millenia-old wizard some mortality! Everyone pictures Merlin as an old man with a pointy hat, long billowy robes, and a magic staff. True, he may grow into that, but its fascinating to watch him grow into that mysterious, mystical wizard. In "Lost Years," we find Merlin (Emrys) going through normal emotions-joy, shame, pain, and anger. Sounds familiar, doesn't it? We all need a hero, but we even more, we need a hero we can relate to! Bravo, Mr. Barron! You've brought Merlin to light!
Guest More than 1 year ago
T.A. Barron's The Lost Years of Merlin is outstanding. Slow and sloppy at first, the story picks itself up and the story flies faster than Trouble. I recommend this to all you Faerie, Fantasy, and Arthurian Readers. I am a reader and writer of Faerie, a land of which Middle Earth is just a small portion, who barely grasps at the edges of this wonderful but perilous land.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Start off with this book otherwise the series makes no sense. REALLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book to read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Barron is a wonderful author with so much discriptive details its impossible to look away!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Okay let me tell you this: this was the best book I have read in 4 months. This book was good but it needed work to keep me occupied at certain moments. THE OVERALL RATING IS......9.5
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The best book I have ever read. Read in 2 days and couldn't put it down. The end is kind of sad, though.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very good perfect book.I was reading Merlin Book 1:lost years And was hooked on it. Over all reviw:100%
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Its just awsome!!¿!!!¿!¿¿!¿
Anonymous 9 months ago
Yes this book is wroth reading i have read it s so good for people who ate in a realationship
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I always liked books about Merlin, but this one beats all. It is a fantastic story about Merlin as a child, and how he got his name and powers. A recommended book with a great story.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Certainly, definately, absolutely amazing!
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"R u feeling ok?"