The Eternal Flame (Merlin Saga Series #11)

( 22 )

Overview

Avalon, the great tree world connecting the earth and the heavens, is about to be destroyed. The warlord Rhita Gawr is bent on conquest?and using an army of deathless warriors, a corrupted crystal, and a plague of arrogance and greed to succeed.

Three unlikely heroes are Avalon's only hope. Tamwyn, the wilderness guide, must travel the secret pathway to the stars. Elli, the brave young priestess, must defeat a terrible sorcerer in a realm of ...

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The Eternal Flame (Merlin Saga Series #11)

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Overview

Avalon, the great tree world connecting the earth and the heavens, is about to be destroyed. The warlord Rhita Gawr is bent on conquest—and using an army of deathless warriors, a corrupted crystal, and a plague of arrogance and greed to succeed.

Three unlikely heroes are Avalon's only hope. Tamwyn, the wilderness guide, must travel the secret pathway to the stars. Elli, the brave young priestess, must defeat a terrible sorcerer in a realm of utter darkness. And Scree, the eagleman, must lead his winged people to do what seems impossible . . .

This spectacular final volume of T. A. Barron's bestselling trilogy combines gripping adventure with profound ideas about the powerful connections between humanity and the world.

Previously published as book 3 in The Great Tree of Avalon trilogy.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
As the evil spirit warlord Rhita Gawr plots his final conquest, Avalon, the precious great tree world that connects all worlds wavers on the verge of destruction. The final volume of T. A. Barron's Great Tree of Avalon series throttles towards its exciting climax.
Children's Literature - Judy Silverman
This may have been a best-seller, but it doesn't really stand alone. It needs its previous volumes to give it some kind of continuity. When Barron talks about what has happened before, he needs to give us a lot of background, and that interferes with the flow of the story. At least it would interfere with the flow the story if he did it, but he doesn't summarize, so the story keeps going and it's very exciting, though I would have liked like to know exactly who these characters are. What is an Elven Princess doing in the darkness of the Tree's roots? And what is the little creature that she carries with her? Why does it (he? she?) seem to know so much about her? Three stories are going on at once—one underground, one on land, and one (eventually) in outer space. The latter plotline involves a flying horse that will take the hero to the stars. There he will enter the River of Time and will either light or extinguish the stars that form a pathway to other worlds—one of which happens to be our Earth. The magician Merlin has played an important role here, but apparently he can no longer leave Earth. Does it matter? If you've read the first two books, I think it might matter a lot. Without that background, these are terrific adventures with no meaning.
VOYA - Rebecca Hogue Wojahn
Barron completes his epic The Great Tree of Avalon trilogy in which Merlin's Avalon is depicted as a great tree with seven realms. This final volume, following Child of the Dark Prophecy (Philomel, 2004/VOYA December 2004) and Shadows on the Stars (2005/VOYA October 2005), concerns priestess Elli making a quest to a realm of darkness in the roots of the tree; Scree, an eagleman, convincing his people to follow him into battle; and Tamwyn, the simple wilderness guide who also happens to be at once the heir to Merlin and the Lady of the Lake's child of the Dark Prophecy, finding his way to the uppermost realms and branches to the stars. The future of Avalon resides in the outcomes of these three battles. Although it is possible to catch up with the story in this book alone-there are maps, a history of Avalon, and detailed descriptions of characters and places-because of the complex world and huge cast of characters, this book will be most enjoyed by readers and fans of the previous volumes, including the related Lost Years of Merlin series. Nevertheless Barron's world is fully realized and sophisticated, and fans of high fantasy will undoubtedly enjoy starting at the beginning and be rewarded with this well-written, suspenseful story with strong characters and environmental themes.
KLIATT
This final book in The Great Tree of Avalon series finds the friends in all kinds of difficulties. Tamwyn, Merlin's grandson and True Heir, has set off on a mission to climb the Tree of Avalon to the stars and try to relight the Wizard's Staff constellation, though he still doesn't have a clue how to do it. Priestess Elli heads for the underworld to try and destroy the Vengelano crystal, controlled by the evil sorcerer Kulwych. The rest of Tamwyn's friends try to gather allies on the Plains of Isenwy for the last battle with Rhita Gawr, who wants to control Avalon and then the rest of the universe. Friends and allies come from unexpected places, magic abounds and Good triumphs in an ending that has its bittersweet side as well. A timeline and glossary help new readers, but this book will be most appreciated by fans of the series and the Lost Years of Merlin tales. (The Great Tree of Avalon, Book III.). KLIATT Codes: JS--Recommended for junior and senior high school students. 2006, Penguin, Philomel, 377p., $19.99.. Ages 12 to 18.
—Deirdre Root
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up-Barron reaches for some Tolkienesque grandeur in this final installment in this series. He has several plotlines going at once as he picks up the story of Tamwyn, Elli, and Scree. The story moves back and forth among the quests of these three heroes and among the realms of the great tree that is the world of Avalon. Rhita Gawr, the evil sorcerer, is trying to destroy Avalon by finding doors through which his warriors can enter. Tamwyn seeks a path to the very heights of the great tree to understand magic and his own destiny. Elli has to go in the opposite direction, down into the darkness of Shadowroot. Scree must learn how to be a leader in battle. These three plotlines lead to a conclusion that features three cataclysmic battles raging simultaneously. The finale features a brief cameo from Merlin. The writing is sometimes poetic, but sometimes too dense, and the story doesn't stand on its own. It will be best appreciated by those who have been following the trilogy from the beginning, and will have even more meaning for fans of Barron's "Merlin" saga (Philomel). A substantial appendix includes an Avalon time line and descriptions of all of the characters.-Tim Wadham, Maricopa County Library District, Phoenix, AZ Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780142419298
  • Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
  • Publication date: 7/7/2011
  • Series: Merlin Saga Series , #11
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 109,611
  • Age range: 10 - 14 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.70 (h) x 1.20 (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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Table of Contents

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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
( 22 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 22 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2013

    Love the series

    It is awesome i love the books

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2013

    Cant wait to read

    I have read all the other books and this one looks awesome.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 3, 2012

    Highly Recommended

    Kept me at the edge of my seat, did not disappoint. I read it when i was much younger, but would read again even now!

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  • Posted March 20, 2010

    It is more than I expected!!!

    I read the first edition to this trio a few years ago. Back then, however, Barron did not have the second or third in the series so I was out of luck. When I saw that they were available, I HAD to read them all. I was more than pleased when I finally finished the series. I would recommend this book to anyone and everyone. It was well worth the money to buy it. The only bad thing was that I am now done reading it. I hope that T.A. Barron comes out with more books in the series,... Especially what happens to Elli and Tamwyn and Scree and fiona!!!!!

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  • Posted December 23, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Great Ending in the Series of three books

    To understand book 3 first read the first two books of this tale of friends and the world they are trying to save from a evil spirit.

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  • Posted August 23, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    very exciting...

    wish there was a fourth book

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 11, 2008

    AMAZING!

    I absolutely loved the way that T. A. Barron concluded The Great Tree of Avalon series. It is a bittersweet ending but all in all quite satisfying. I love the way he describes things so magically and you can understand the internal conflicts of the characters. He builds off of his Lost Years of Merlin series with these fantastic books. He leaves you wanting more. My favorite book by a mile!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2007

    A reviewer

    I LOVE IT. It is such an awesome awesome book. I was drawn into the book from the moment I set my eyes on it. T.A. Barron is one of my favorite authors and I think he should be every bit as famous as J.K. Rowling or Harry Potter

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 19, 2006

    Phenomenal Fantasy Adventure!

    Right up there with the very best of J.R.R. Tolkien, this book (and this trilogy) has everything any fantasy reader could want. I gulped this book down instantly, and now I've started a second read. There's just so much adventure, humor, and rich meaning in this book! This is T.A. Barron's best ever -- and I can't wait to see what he comes up with next. (My vote would be a return to Avalon!)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2006

    What a magnificent creation Mr. Barron has brought forth through his own powerful flames!

    `You know, Tamwyn, you have your own inner flames, though they cannot be seen. And the most powerful fires reside in the soul.¿ And what a magnificent creation Mr. Barron has brought forth through his own powerful flames! This book¿the third in The Great Tree of Avalon trilogy¿is incredible. The sense of place, the sensory experience, the images, the lovable characters, the quest for goodness and the reverence for nature are all superb. And I love how he gives female characters such strength and resourcefulness. As for his imagination...I don't know how to convey the awe I feel for his imagination. It seems beyond humanly possible. He makes the reader want to stretch her own imagination. Finally, I fell in love with Avalon¿s amazing characters¿they were so courageous and genuine. I sobbed when Batty Lad revealed his true identity and cried when the stars sent their sparks to the new point of radiance. `Stars all across the sky joined in each sending a tiny bit of their light.¿ That's how all of us who read and imagine want our world to be!

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    Posted December 31, 2009

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