A Wizard's Wings (Merlin Saga Series #5)

( 43 )


Winter's longest night is rapidly approaching as Merlin faces the most difficult challenge of his life: to unite all the people of Fincayra against an invasion by the evil Rhita Gawr. But how can one man, in two weeks' time, gather them all—the dwarves, the canyon eagles, the walking trees, the living stones, and more—when none of them will listen? And now comes the mysterious Swordarms, who is hunting down Fincayra's children. Only if Merlin can unite the battling forces within himself, can he save the children,...
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A Wizard's Wings (Merlin Saga Series #5)

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Winter's longest night is rapidly approaching as Merlin faces the most difficult challenge of his life: to unite all the people of Fincayra against an invasion by the evil Rhita Gawr. But how can one man, in two weeks' time, gather them all—the dwarves, the canyon eagles, the walking trees, the living stones, and more—when none of them will listen? And now comes the mysterious Swordarms, who is hunting down Fincayra's children. Only if Merlin can unite the battling forces within himself, can he save the children, unify the Fincayrans, and regain the long lost wings that will enable him, and his people, to choose their true destiny.

Previously published as book 5 in The Lost Years of Merlin Series.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780142419236
  • Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
  • Publication date: 5/12/2011
  • Series: Merlin Saga Series , #5
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 84,111
  • Age range: 10 - 14 Years
  • Lexile: 770L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 7.70 (h) x 1.10 (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 5
( 43 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 43 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2013

    Sorta sad ending

    The whole book is great, but the end is dissapointing and rather sad. The best book in the series in my opinion is The Fires of Merlin, or The Seven Songs of Merlin.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 12, 2013

    Amazing series MORGAN B.

    An amazing series

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2013

    Merl Meriln

    Meriln is the best book i have ever read in the hole world....loovvveeee it!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 2, 2013

    Merlin ss Merlin saga

    Amazing series

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2012

    Awesome series.

    Just bought it and cant wait to read it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 24, 2012

    I havent read yet

    I love tis series and this is the next book. Yay

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 23, 2012

    Amazing series!

    I have read all of the books leading up to this one, and i have to say, its better than Harry Potter!! Great series. Great book! I highly reccomend this book to any fantasy/adventure fans, especially if you have read about the actual Merlin. This one particular book reveals many secrets about Merlin, and the others like Rhia and... oops! Spoilers! Mmm heartbread and larkon juice... you'll figure out what those are if you read the books! Tempting no? Read it.

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  • Posted March 6, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    The Fifth Installment in the Marvelous "Lost Years Of Merlin" Series By: T.A. Barron

    The Wings Of Merlin is the fifth installment in the Lost Years Of Merlin series, taking place in the ancient land of Wales and the mystical land of Fincayra in the late childhood years of Merlin. The series starts around the time when Merlin finds his powers, which he first believes to be cursed. As Merlin grows older, and more powerful, so do his challenges. All of his challenges are a part of defeating Rhita Gawr, the wicked spirit warlord wanting to connect the universes and then control them all. In this book, Stagmar, Merlin's father and corrupt former king, has broken free of his prison and is trying to find Merlin's mother who he believes has betrayed him and been a traitor. As well as this, as the great spirit and enemy of Rhita Gawr, Dagda, claims, the Earth and Fincayra's orbits are going to come so close that the two lands shall nearly touch and a doorway shall open and if anyone were to cross it, it would cause great peril. Young Merlin must gather all of the dismissive Fincayrans will not listen to him and band together.

    I consider this whole series, masterful, though sometimes repetitive. As the series progresses more characters possessing unique characteristics are introduced, adding wonderful spices to T.A. Barron's magical stew. The structure of each book and story is similar, but T.A. Barron knows exactly how to repeat a story but change it just enough to seem familiar but still capture and keep your interest.

    Reviewed By: Leon Bravely

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  • Posted February 27, 2009

    Wings of Merlin is a Wounderful Book

    I would recommend this book to people who love magic and witchcraft and want to learn more about Merlin's past. When I read it some things surprised me for I didn't know all about Merlin's past. It starts with him learning that the place he lives Fincayra is in trouble for the Otherworld wants to take over it and control it. So Merlin and his friends have to protect it and learn how to get their wings back. Merlin goes to the Forgotten Island and learns that because the humans and other creatures abused the wings the wings were taken away. So the only way to get them back is to gather all the creatures together and destroy the Otherworld and rejoice together. Then when everyone had gathered together the fight broke out. It was a long and difficult battle but Merlin and his friends won. They all started to rejoice and then they got their wings back but Merlin had a choice to make. He could stay and keep his wings or go follow a prophecy and go to Britannia to give his sword to the king and loose his wings. It was a difficult choice but he decide to give up his wings and go to Britannia to give his sword to the chosen king.( We know that king to be King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table)He didn't want to leave but he did.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 12, 2006

    Great Book

    Lats year I picked up the series about two months before school ended. During that period I finished books 1-4 and loved them but I never got to The Wings of merlin until late october this year. The Merlin Series is a great series for anyone who likes magic, mythical creatures and fantasy in general.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2004

    great series

    This is a great series, I have only read the first two but I am going to read on. Great description and adventure.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2003

    written by AMD, a 17yr old bookworm

    I couldn't think of anything cool and catchy to put into the headline because for me it is too hard to put into words how awesome this book is. I picked up the first installment when it first came out and I'm still reading it today. The school library is getting mad at me because im constantly checking it out and no one else is getting a chance to read it. but i finally saved up enough money thanks to christmas to do some major bn.com shopping. The final installment of the series is just timeless. The forever struggle of good vs. evil, light vs dark, life vs death thing still grabs me and drags my soul right into the book until i feel like im right in the middle of the action. Elen is the very figure of Celtic druidic knowledge, a healer historian and mother figure not only to her own children but to all children such as young and resorcefull Lleu. Rhia(nnon) is literally forest personified. Her very actions are similar to trees and her ability to use the Orb of Fire ( though limited ) is almost equal to the way that the forest uses sunlight (though limited). Hallia is lovelier than ever and her own love for merlin pulls you in even farther into the world of fincayra. Cairpre is (well) just like elen which is why i feel that their love for eachother blossomed so quickly. Trouble, through a miniscule part, shows that even those that have passed on are still with us in spirit. Dagda's troubles show that nothing in this world is perfect, everything must give way to something else or else the balance is gone forever and everything is destroyed. Finally, I get to Merlin, or should i say...wait no I wont give out merlins secret name just yet. for you who havent read it must learn it through the book. get ready for an amazing read that will drag you into the world of Fincayra and show that as always seeing isnt believing, believing is seeing for you have to believe in magic before the magic of this book (and all the other books) can pull you into a world, as Elen said, 'isnt wholly of earth nor wholly of heaven, but an in between place'

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2003

    Great Book

    I started reading this book when I had just finished Rainbow Six, and I was in the library looking for a new book. I found this book. I got sucked into it right away and finished it in just 2 days.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2003

    Brilliant Barron

    I don't know what this world was like with out this book! All the threads of the saga are woven together in a magnificent cloth inside this wonderful read. When I shut the book for the final time i was dissapointed because it was over and there were no more books. T.A Barron is brilliant! I loved how many of the aspects of this story turned out to be things that would later appear in the King Aurthur story. His descriptions of nature were great. If I didn't know better I would have thought I was out side. This author has talent beyond recconing and I can only hope that he continues to writing.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2003


    When I started reading this series, It was just because, it caught my eye. I was just finishing the Harry Potter series (for the second time)and I was in the library looking for a book. I love almost anything fiction, especially things that have to do with magic, so, I decided to read this. As I read through the series, I began to really enjoy the characters, the plot, and I was driven to tears by the choice Merlin made at the end of the 5th book. I would reccomend this book to anyone who hasn't read it, and so far, I can truthfully say that it is one of the best books I have ever read. Now I am starting to try to combine aspects from many of the books I've read to write a book myself called, Skysong and River's Tears, a book about a young girl in a magical world, who searches for a way to become accepted into her family.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 2002

    Very Deep Magic

    I just finished reading these books, and I'm very glad that I did. Merlin is known to us as a great wizard, but everyone who becomes that much has to get there first. Merlin has many problems as a child; problems around him and inside him which aren't always visible on the surface. The detirmination that starts everything is Merlin's longing to find his true identity. What his name is, who his family is, where he is from; but most of all, where he truly belongs. Sometimes Merlin even finds out that the problem he is faced with is only the cover and he hasn't even glanced at the inside of the book. Though these books may prove tiring at times, then end always makes you think how glad you are that you read it, and how many hidden messages and meanings there are. Also is the true show of love, loyalty, bravery, determination and most of all the proof that not all bad is totally evil and not all good can be seen from a distance, or even up close. And that sometimes, you have to be on the verge of loosing everything, to know what is right and what you stand for. Each problem Merlin faces, each new thing he understands has made me understand a little more and wonder a lot more. These books have made me realize many things about life and how to deal with those problems that lie so deep in your heart that you want to ignore them and not have to dig them out. I could go on forever writing pages and pages, but most of it can not be written, not described in words because they are such deep feelings, so to fully get the splendor out of these books you must read them.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 29, 2002


    As a reader of countless books, The Wings of Merlin truly shone beyond any other work of literature I've ever encountered. Blending craftiness, complexity, sorrow, and happiness, T.A. Barron brought forth a well written conclusion to The Lost Years of Merlin series. Never the less, he also introduced Merlin's future in further tales.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 14, 2002

    i recomend this book to everyone

    i absoutly loved this book. i've always enjomed fantacy, so when i stumbled into the first book of this series (the lost years of merlin) in my school library i decided to give it a try. after reading the first book i was hooked. well anyway i worked my way through the series and when i came to this book i couldn't wait to read it. this book was very emotional, the characters were well devloped, and answers a few unanswered questions. it also brings back a few un-expected characters. i however would have prefered it if barron had taken into consideration the early childhood he had given merlin. i also feel this book was written backwards with a happy begining and a sad ending. the book starts out with merlin and hillia meeting up with rhia and having a happy reunion. next dagda apears to merlin in a dream and merlin's whole quest for this book is layed out for him. after a while merlin and rhia set out to find their mother and capree. when they arrive they find they're mother bent over a young child who's ear was severed by a new soward armed foe. as the story progresses the characters each go in seperate ways in order to defeat rhita gawr once and for all. they each play an important role in his defeat and with stagmar on the loose they have to be extra careful. not to mention the new foe who only wants to see merlin die. merlin travels to the forgotten island and in doing so regains the lost wings hince the title of the book. then they all (merlin, capree, elen, rhia, arbassa, scully, hillia, gwennia, and eaven they're giant friend,lets not forget trouble, dagda, and more)meet to fiht rhita gwar. he is defeated and nearly all of fincyra is lost; well becomes part of the spirit world. the end is extreemly sad with capree's death and rhia & elen traveling to the world made from fincyra, hillia staying in fincyra and becoming part of the spirit world, and merlin traveling to merlin's island makes the ending truly sad. to be completely honest after having read the first four i wept openly in spypathy for merlin because he had to sacrafice all that he loved to fufill his destany.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2002

    Good, but Could be Better

    The Wings of Merlin was great, but compared to the other books of the series, it definitely wasn't the best Barron could do. It was too abrupt of an end, and the plot wasn't as good as the first few books. Perhaps if Barron had made this the last book in a seven book series it would have flowed a little better, but even so, the ending was very abrupt. First of all, the gap between Merlin of The Mirror of Merlin, the previous book, is very large--almost too large. The growth of character from the first few books was very gradual, and it seems odd that Merlin has mautred so much between Mirror and Wings. And there also is very little character development. I think what has made Merlin such a good character in this epic is that he has so many faults, and is so believable. He's selfish, he's arrogant, but you still like him very much. Now granted, after all these adventures Merlin should have learned a lot, but Merlin seems almost fake now--like I said before, he's changed so much since the previous book, and his new heroism is almost unreasonable because it seems so sudden. And then there is also the issue of Merlin and Hallia's relationship. It was too overdone--Barron should have made it more subtle, but it was almost 'mushy.' Hallia lacks character. In the Fires of Merlin, where she originally appeared, she was a deer girl who hated humans. This gradually transitioned into someone who trusted humans in the Fires, then someone who loved Merlin in the Mirror, but in Wings there is no character development. There is nothing unique about her. She seems unsuited for her role, because Barron wants her to have importance, yet does not give her much characterization like he gives Rhia and Elen. She just seems uninteresting. Furthermore, she is eclipsed by Rhia, who is so well-developed and more likeable. Now one of the major pluses of Wings is that it does such a good job of bringing all the characters back into the novel, so Rhia is back. In Fires and Mirror, she, Elen, and Caipre had pretty much disappeared, but they are back in Wings. I know I really missed those three, because while Hallia was all right, she never seemed enough to replace them. Another thing I didn't really like that begun in Fires and is most developed in Wings--Elen falling in love with Caipre. While Stangmar did make a terrible mistake in turning to Rhita Gawr and agreeing to kill Merlin, it was all for Elen. Very reasonably she would be angry at Stangmar, but my opinion of her went down a bit because she fell in love with Caipre. She had previously described Stangmar's love for as true, and it seemed her love for him was true--if she did not forgive him, she could of at least loved no other man for the rest of her life. That would have made me like her character more because of her loyalty. But instead she fell in love with Caipre, and when she said to Caipre, 'You, my poet, have given me something Stangmar never gave me,' it just felt wrong. Stangmar had not wronged her--he had always loved her. She should have at least felt she could never love another man again because while she couldn't forgive him, she had loved him too much. Compared to the others, this book had too much 'forced emotion.' In the previous novels, Barron had been very good about not overdoing emotions, and letting his events create the emotions. Here, however, he seems to have made things happen to create emotion, when he should have made them happen contribute to the story. When both Caipre and Stangmar died, it was terribly overdoing things, and Barron's description in these scenes seem as if he wanted the reader to feel sorry. But he doesn't realize the readers are supposed to naturally feel sad. What made it seem overdone was Caipre did not need to die. Having Stangmar die to save Elen is understandable, because it adds a tragic flair to him. Yet Caipre's death was completely unnecessary, especially considering Merlin could have saved him, but the reason he didn't was Caipre to

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2002

    The ending of the lost years of Merlin Series

    This book brings an end to the merlin series with the adventre merlin is in love with Hallia and it shows. In this book the spirit world opens to Fincayra, and evil forces ty to take over. All of Fincayra came to help even the trees! Also a man with blades as arms is murdering children all over and Merlin comes to help. it turns out to be a rival of the past. He defeats his rival, and goes to the battle, but before that he plants the seed his older self gave him in the Mirror of Melin. he plants it on the forgotten isle, and leaves I dont want to ruin it so i will tell you no more accept that Merlin will have to make a decision to follow his destiny, which seperates him from his true love. And that the secret of the wings are revealed, an fincayra is changed forever!

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