The Mirror of Fate (Merlin Saga Series #4)

( 28 )

Overview

What is the nature of fate? Is young Merlin destined to be a powerful wizard, or does he have a choice? These are the questions Merlin must answer as he travels with the deer woman Hallia to the Haunted Marsh where the marsh ghouls have begun a campaign of destruction. Or are the ghouls being manipulated by an even greater source of evil? An evil that seeks to destroy not the marsh, but Merlin himself?

Here, in the fourth installment of the The Merlin Saga, epic master ...

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The Mirror of Fate (Merlin Saga Series #4)

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Overview

What is the nature of fate? Is young Merlin destined to be a powerful wizard, or does he have a choice? These are the questions Merlin must answer as he travels with the deer woman Hallia to the Haunted Marsh where the marsh ghouls have begun a campaign of destruction. Or are the ghouls being manipulated by an even greater source of evil? An evil that seeks to destroy not the marsh, but Merlin himself?

Here, in the fourth installment of the The Merlin Saga, epic master storyteller T. A. Barron weaves a tale of humor, adventure, and surprise as Merlin unravels the mystery of the Haunted Marsh, meets a boy named Arthur, and travels through a mirror of mist that brings him face to face with his destiny.

Previously published as The Mirror of Merlin in The Lost Years of Merlin Series.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780142419229
  • Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
  • Publication date: 5/12/2011
  • Series: Merlin Saga Series , #4
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 63,472
  • Age range: 10 - 14 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.12 (w) x 7.77 (h) x 0.72 (d)

Meet the Author

T. A. Barron

T.A. Barron is the award-winning author of fantasy novels such as The Lost Years of Merlin epic—soon to be a major motion picture. He serves on a variety of environmental and educational boards including The Nature Conservancy and The Land and Water Fund of the Rockies, and is the founder of a national award for heroic children. Following a life-changing decision to leave a successful business career to write full-time in 1990, Barron has written seventeen books, but is happiest when on the mountain trails with his wife, Currie, and their five children.

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Interviews & Essays

Write Well, Live Fully

An essay for aspiring writers

by T. A. Barron

The wise and wonderful writer, Madeleine L'Engle, once told me: "There are three essential rules for writing a novel." She paused, then added, "Unfortunately, no one knows what they are." That sums up the situation! But after more than twenty years of writing books, I can also add these thoughts: Writing is the most joyous — and also the most agonizing — labor that I know. And it is by far the best way to travel — in our world or any other. Every author has an individual approach to the creative process, and every author's experience is different — except for the essential elements of hard work, inspiration...and magic. Whenever people (of whatever age) ask me about the writing process, I start by telling them how much I still have to learn. This is, after all, a craft — and no matter how much someone knows, there is always more to learn and explore. That's one of my favorite qualities of the writer's craft: The horizon of excellence is ever receding. We can always improve, which means we can always grow as people. Before I give you my best advice on writing ... here is a bit of wisdom from that well-known sage, Snoopy: My own advice to new writers boils down to three words: Observe. Practice. Believe. From: The T. A. Barron Official Website www.tabarron.com Let's look at them one at a time: Observe. Notice the world around you, in deep detail. How do different people speak, with their voices, faces, hands, and posture? How do different types of trees' leaves fall to the ground, each with a singular sort of flight? How do different ideas stir your passions, fears, hopes, and dreams? And don't just notice the surface of things, the sights and sounds that first strike your senses. Go deeper. Ask yourself how something would feel; wonder what is that person's deepest, darkest secret. If you truly observe the world ... it becomes a fruitful source of writing ideas and elements. Then just add a little drop of your imagination, bend the rules of reality, and anything is possible! On top of helping your writing, observing the world closely has one more advantage. And it's a big one. This is a good way to live, to be more wholly alive. Being a writer encourages you to live more fully. Practice. Write every chance you can. Keep a journal. Write poems, whether you prefer haiku poetry, sonnets, or enormous epics. Write letters, plays, short stories, blogs, novels — whatever gets you excited. Writing is hard, full of struggle, and greatly demanding ... but it is also deeply rewarding. And practice makes you better, just as practice makes you more skillful at everything from baking a pie to piloting a spacecraft. A lot of this comes down to discipline. Sometimes the last thing I want to do on a particular day is sit at my desk at home in Colorado and write. I'd rather be playing with my kids, baking bread, or hiking on a mountain trail. But I stay with my writing because I know that's the only way it will ever happen. So … if you can find the discipline to practice, the magic of language will become more present and familiar over time. And your powers as a writer will surely grow. Believe. This is, perhaps, the most challenging part about writing. To succeed, you must truly believe in your story — in each of its characters, in its place, and in its underlying ideas. And then, even more difficult, you must believe in yourself. What can I say to encourage you? Just this: Know that you have valuable things to say, and the skills to say them. Know that your song is unique, that your voice matters. Think of writing as growing a tree. In the soil of your writer's heart, you have an idea—a seed. But it will need plenty of sunlight, air, and nourishing soil to grow. How does this happen? I can only tell you how it works for me, but for every writer the process is different. When I sit down to start a novel, a process that will take between one and three years, I begin with that seed. It helps me to sketch it out, in longhand, just to get to know it better. In time, I will write an outline of its growth, though I'm always aware that outlines are only a beginning, a rough concept. As the seed sprouts into a sapling during the first draft of the manuscript (which, old fashioned that I am, I also write longhand), the outline is abandoned. For by now the tree itself is guiding my work. I believe in it, and listen closely to its inner voice — to its soul. Several more rewrites help me shape the growing tree. I try to develop characters, places (which are much more than merely backdrops to the story, deserving all the depth and subtlety of characters), plot lines, and the story's underlying ideas. When at last I feel satisfied that it is truly formed, I show a manuscript to my editor. Her comments and questions are sometimes not what I'd hoped to hear, but they are always valuable. After all, she is my ally, my fellow gardener. From: The T. A. Barron Official Website www.tabarron.com Now come more rewrites. People often ask me how much rewriting I do. The answer is, quite simply, as much as it takes to get it right. You see, there is no substitute for the integrating and deepening that happens in a thorough rewrite. Quite often, I am also doing research at this stage, to make the story's characters and places feel true. That, indeed, is the ultimate test. Paradoxical as it may sound, good fiction is true on many levels. That's right! Fiction must feel true. On the levels of the senses, the emotions, the intellect, and the soul, a story ought to win the reader's belief. Characters, if well developed, become so real that they can walk right off the page — for both writer and reader. That is true regardless of whether the character is a man, woman, child, tree, mountain, or magical snow crystal. Sometimes I stop writing the story I am crafting and write a brief biographical sketch of one character — just to get to know that character better. How do I know when a character is fully formed? When I can, at last, hear his or her voice. No aspect of a character's description is as revealing as the voice. And then, if that voice is true, the newly-created character will lean over to me and whisper his or her deepest secret. Now, at last, the book is a thriving young tree, though it has yet to bear fruit. I still need to do more revising — but at this point the work is quite delicate, just trimming a few branches. Neuroscience is just beginning to illuminate how our brains work. But we do know this about writing: Connecting with both the left and right halves of the brain is crucial, for the creative process is both rational and metaphorical, logical and mysterious. Finally, the tree stands fully grown. It reaches high and has surprisingly deep roots. Maybe it also holds a wondrous crop of fruit. And perhaps, when the wind whistles through its branches, it brings to mind some secret, half-remembered song. Best wishes from your fellow writer, T.A. Barron

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 28 )
Rating Distribution

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 28 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 31, 2010

    Thrilling, Excitng!

    It's a great book, and is very interesting. The Mirror of Merlin is the fourth book in its series, and is an awesome read. I could read this over and over again! This book has a large amount of adventure and fantasy. It's a must-read to all fantasy-genre fans!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 22, 2005

    Awsome

    i LOVED THIS BOOK SO THAT I HAD TO READ IT TWICE. T.A.BARRON WEAVES A TALE FULL OF LOVE, ADVENTURE, AND MAGIC

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 1999

    EXCELLENT FOR ALL READERS

    The book Mirror of Merlin shows how a young but powerful mage tires to save his birthplace from the clutches of evil. In this book, Merlin, along with his new friends, Halia and the ballymag, go into the marshes and try to fight a new evil that spreads a blight thoughout the land of Finacyra. This book is a fantastic addition to T.A. Barron's series of Merlin,

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2005

    Lord of the Rings watch out this book is on fire!!!!!!!!!!

    This book is da bomb!! If you haven't read this book, then read it because you haven't enjoyed a real action book with out this.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2004

    Great

    This is a really cool book. If you like magic, action, and conflict, this is your book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 9, 2003

    Looking in the Mirror

    The Mirror of Merlin is not another Harry Potter copy. Every idea in this book is novelty. In this part of Merlin's lost years, he falls in love with Hallia, the Deer Woman. They travel Fincayra's beautiful landscape to find out that the marsh ghouls have become quite unruly. What has caused the marsh ghouls to become so furious and what will Merlin find out about the marsh ghouls and more important, himself.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2013

    This the best merlin book yet

    I love this book very much

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2003

    The Lost Years of Merlin - Book IV

    The series of the Lost Years of Merlin by T.A. Barron is another magical and fantasy series - Merlin leaps toward the Haunted Marsh where he will find the magical key - the last and seemingly lost of the Seven Wise tools- and also Nimue, a girl of the future who in the past had tried to decieve Merlin of his own staff, and a magical mirror to travel to places in the past and future, but you may get lost forever with the wrong turn, going in he finds out information of one of his destinies, one that won't rehappen... - a great book, though I had read it out of order, the only flaw was the ending of the book, the fact it seems so short but then again, most good books are like that... -

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2001

    A five star edition to a great series, T.A. Barron does it again.

    I appreciated the originality and style that T.A. Barron always puts into his work. But I would have liked this book even if the the writing wasn't any good because it has my 2 favorite things, Merlin and mirrors. I read all Merlin books the story hooks me and every author adds their own detail and style. I also love mirrors. I have a room in my house made completely out of mirrors so no mattter what I do I can always see myself. I really like myself. It was a great addition to an outstanding series.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2001

    The Best Book Ever

    I love this book! The 4th book of a 5 book series, and what i think is one of the best! I started reading it in 7th grade (and I'm still in 7th grade) And i think it rocks! I love the adventure Merlin takes into the future and how he meets his elder self, I think that would be so much fun. I have read the other books such as The Lost Years Of Merlin, The Seven Songs of Merlin, The Fires of Merlin, and The Wings Of Merlin (I know i read them out of order, but i still can catch up to stuff) and i think they are all great books! T.A. Barron is now one of my favorite authors.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2001

    Harry Potter Step Aside

    This book on Merlin is a must read. Unlike the Harry Potter books (not that I don't like Harry Potter) the Merlin books are full of action and not just some action, then a break, then some more action. Also the merlin books are more realistic. I just got done reading this book. I thought it was great. My friend started reading the Merlin books and he thinks they're great. I haven't read the last book yet but I here it's great. I can't wait to read it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 6, 2001

    The legend has returned.

    T.A. Barron has done it yet again with a story of a young boy full of magic and wizdom struggleing to findout a way to save himself, Hallia and the haunted marsh from the evil sourcess Nimue.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 7, 2000

    The Legacy Continues!

    T.A. Barron has done it again! He adds to his already impressive Merlin series with this wonderful new addition. If you have kept up with the series, this is up to the same standards as the previous books. A must read!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2000

    Great Merlin book!!!!!!

    This book was great and an awesome story for kids. I couldnt put it down! This is one of the best, if not the best, merlin books on the market. BUY IT!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 29, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

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    Posted August 7, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2008

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