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Posted April 4, 2010
Peter Joseph Swanson has created a new view of Merlin that is more real, more alive than any before this. The reader is drawn to create mental movies in glorious color and expertly rendered 3-D.
Merlin has taken on the responsibility of tutoring and mentoring a young Arthur until he is ready to be king. He doesn't savor the task. He doesn't even particularly like Arthur. He does, however, love the land, and we learn a secret that explains the connection logically, easily accepted as truth.
Merlin leads Arthur and his friends, a boastful Parsifal, a silly abbot and two witches, both of whom become Merlin's wives, on a quest for the Holy Grail, which will bring the land out of drought and famine. They encounter obstacles in evil, brutal knights, supernatural beings so outrageous that it's hard to realize they strike us as real, and the land itself, which provides threats along the way. Throughout their travails, Merlin is a curmudgeon at best, and cruel at worst, yet he builds his charge's knowledge and confidence without fail. It's a terror-filled quest, and not all of the little band survive. Merlin doesn't even remain with them throughout the whole quest. We realize after he has left, though, that he stayed long enough to be sure Arthur could manage on his own, and he pops back into Arthur's mind when he's most needed.
This enchanting tale is not to be missed. Disney's adorable little wizard will be forgotten, as will the romantic Merlin of the TV series, and even the manipulative magician of "Excalibur." This will, forever after, be the Merlin in the reader's mind.
Posted November 25, 2009
I ordered a copy of Peter Joseph Swanson's latest book, Merlin's Charge a few weeks ago.
As a genuine Gather celebrity, I found Peter's fantastic marketing blitzes, excerpts from the book, and his status lines encouraging everyone to pick up their copy, eventually grabbed my attention, and I was hooked into purchasing Merlin's Charge.
This book does not disappoint.
Lots of adventure and witty dialogue going on from start to finish as the cantankerous Merlin mentors his naive young charge Arthur toward adulthood so he can assume his role as King.
Merlin and 'trouble' go together like wine and cheese, and one finds oneself waiting for what's next.
I found myself smiling at the wit with which this author writes, and continued to smile throughout.
I read this book over many days, and I was able to put the book down, pick it up again, and be right back in the adventure without missing a beat.
Merlin's Charge was a pleasant escape into a delightful fantasy.
Smiles abound when you read this little 'gem'.
My copy of the book is winging its way to Alaska to another Gatherer anxious to read and enjoy.
Well done, Peter.