Haunted by the past, chased by the present.
Arthur is now eighteen, and Merlin, tired of hiding and running from his enemies, wants nothing more than to spend his days with his family and train Arthur for his rightful place as king. But when Arthur goes missing, a desperate Merlin must abandon all other quests to find him before a shadowy pursuer catches Arthur first.
Having everything to fight for, and almost nothing to fight with, Merlin and Arthur must rally Britain’s warriors against three overwhelming enemies: Saxenow hordes in the south, Picti raiders in the north, and a chilling new enemy that has arisen in the west.
At the same time, Mórgana brings Merlin’s deepest fear to life and sets a horde of werewolves loose to destroy Britain. But when the secret purpose of this nightmare is finally revealed, will Merlin and Arthur find a way to survive—without unleashing an even greater evil?
About the Author
Robert Treskillard has been crafting stories from his early youth, and is a software developer, graphic artist, and sometime bladesmith. He and his wife have three children and are still homeschooling their youngest. They live in the country near St. Louis, Missouri.
Read an Excerpt
The Merlin Spiral
By Robert Treskillard
ZONDERVANCopyright © 2014 Robert Treskillard
All rights reserved.
En route to the village of Dinas Crag Rheged, in northern Britain Spring, in the year of our Lord 493
The wind whipped past Merlin's ears as his horse galloped down the barely lit forest path. Too late, he realized he should have heeded the wild cawing of the crows around him: his horse reared up before a dozen wolves, who looked up from their fallen prey. A massive buck, slain and gutted, lay in their midst, and all around the greedy, black-feathered sentinels looked on in anticipation.
His mission had gone from urgent to life or death.
Merlin wheeled his horse to the left and kicked her onward, off the path and between two trees. The mask that Merlin wore to cover his scars shifted upward on his face momentarily, obscuring his vision. He righted it just before a branch lashed him across the face, nearly cutting his lip through the black cloth.
The wolves howled behind him, but Merlin didn't look back—couldn't look back. Terror sought to master him, but he pushed it down. He had to direct his horse farther before he could cut back to the path. But the woods were too thick to ride fast, and he'd be caught. Fear, like a cloak of thistles, clung to his legs and back. A wolf could rip his flesh away at any moment.
The beasts snarled from behind as a massive branch loomed toward him from the front. Merlin hung low to the right, but it still banged him hard in the shoulder. The saddle began to slip. He grabbed the horse's sweat-dampened mane and pulled himself back up. The horse snorted as it jumped through the brush—and then screamed.
Merlin whipped his gaze around.
A wolf had torn into her left hindquarter. Blood poured from the wound, slick and red in the morning light.
The wolf lunged again, and Merlin kicked its black snout, yelling while he pulled the horse to the right. She quickened her pace, jumped a bush, and Merlin found himself on the path again.
Three wolves leapt just behind.
Faster now, Merlin kicked the horse's side. Having hardly seen a wolf in the sixteen years since leaving Bosventor, he'd become careless, and now he'd interrupted an entire pack at their meal. Panic sank into his stomach like rotten meat, churning his innards. He had to get away; he had to!
But the wolves were faster, and his horse began to wheeze from the effort. Merlin had been anxious to get back to Dinas Crag with the news he carried and had ridden the horse hard for hours. Its strength was almost gone.
Another wolf snapped at the horse's right side, ripping her leg open. The horse kicked, screaming in terror, and then staggered forward again.
Merlin panicked. He wouldn't get away. His horse was going to die. He was going to die. He could kill one wolf, maybe two, but never a whole pack. An image of his body, mangled and gutted like the buck, flashed before his eyes.
A wolf latched onto his boot, its teeth slicing into his foot like small daggers. He tried to draw his sword, but the horse reared up, forcing the wolf to drop off. The hackles of the wolf's neck twitched, and its yellow eyes lusted for Merlin's blood as it prepared to leap.
A wolf on his left gashed the horse's belly.
Merlin turned to face the beast, but a large branch blocked his view. He reached, clamped his hands onto the smooth bark, pulled free from his horse, and wrapped his legs around the branch. He didn't want to abandon his horse, whom he'd raised from a filly, but he also knew the only chance she had of getting away was without his weight.
The horse shot forward into the brush, with all three wolves slashing it with their bloody jaws. Unfortunately, the end came quickly, with the wolves pulling it down about fifty paces away.
Merlin climbed up and listened painfully to her last screams.
When the poor creature's silence came, and only the wolves' gory feast could be heard, he took in some deep breaths and tried to discern his position on the path. He'd been traveling south from Luguvalium, the capital of Rheged, and was on his way back home to Dinas Crag. There awaited his wife, Natalenya, and their two children: Tingada, their little daughter, and Taliesin, their growing boy. And their adopted Arthur, now eighteen winters old.
Surely Merlin had passed the long lake already ... or had he?
Ahead of him he could hear a stream burbling in the dark, so the path must have swung closer to it again. But was this the stream—the Derwent—as he had thought? If so, then he was close to home with the crossroad just beyond.
A faint splash. Maybe a fish. Then another. Full splashing, now. Then clopping. A rider, coming his way, heading toward the wolves.
Merlin had to warn him. "Who's there?" he called. "Take care! Wolves just killed my horse, and more are just beyond."
The rider cantered forward, slowing just below Merlin. A man with a broad face and a gray beard looked up at him.
"And what am I to do about such a dilemma? I must get through."
"They'll scatter if you give them enough time—"
"No. I've an urgent and vital message that must get through."
Howling sounded far down the path, and soon the three who had just killed the horse answered. "Maybe it would be best to turn back for now. Is there a village nearby?"
"Dinas Crag. I'll take you there."
"Not on my horse. You'll walk, you will."
A wolf howled. The man wheeled his horse around.
Merlin swung down and dropped onto its back, just behind the man.
"Go!" Merlin drove his heels into the horse's flanks, sending it flying down the path and splashing through the stream thinned by the long spring drought.
When they were a good distance away and no pursuit could be heard, the man pulled his horse to a stop. He turned and growled. "Get off."
"I saved your life."
The man shoved Merlin off the back of the horse.
But Merlin landed on his feet, dashed to the left, lifted the man's boot, and threw him from the horse.
The man scrambled to his feet, spitting dry grass, and glared at Merlin from the other side of the saddle. His face was red. "Take off your mask!"
"Who are you?"
The man stared at Merlin, as if expecting more. "What is your parentage, dishonorable knucklebone, and your purpose in these woods?"
Merlin grabbed the reins of the horse, lest the man get away. "What's your name, your parentage, and your mission?"
The man wrinkled up his nose and scowled back.
A distant howl split the air, and Merlin jerked.
Both men leapt onto the horse, and Merlin clutched the back of the ornate saddle as they raced away.
"Which way?" the man asked.
There was only one place that promised safety, though it was clear this stranger would not consent to being blindfolded to reach it. "Can I trust you?"
"On my honor."
"Before God, you fool. What, do I look like a druid?"
The wolves howled once more, cementing the decision. Merlin pointed. "Go straight when you come to the crossroads and follow the path along the stream."
"Hardly wide enough for a one-legged deer."
They raced along the path until they encountered the northern shore of a large lake, from which the overflow of the stream ran. The path curved to follow its western shore for half a league, where the lake ended and the stream, which now fed the lake, began again.
Mountains rose on each side, and their tops could be seen through the trees. The sky brightened with the rising sun, and the thick woods changed from oak to pine as the path climbed slowly. The mountains squeezed closer and closer, their sides ever steeper.
When the valley finally tightened to the jaws of a narrow gorge, the stream drew closer to the path, which strangely ended before a twelve-foot-tall, vertical pile of rocks, with dry grasses covering the center of the pile. The stream itself poured from a spring on the left side.
The man pulled his horse to a stop. "What's this? If you intend to rob—"
Merlin cupped his hands. "Porter! Open the door, Ambrosius has come."
Nothing stirred except a rustle of brush behind them. The horse trembled.
Merlin called again. "Porter! Open—"
A jaw clamped on his arm. The front gate spun away and something hard hit his shoulder. Merlin's legs slammed downward. Neighing. Cursing. Where was his sword? Growling in his ear. Pungent, bloody fur against his face. Ragged claws on his chest. It was going for his throat.CHAPTER 2
A Rumor of War
With one hand shoving the wolf away, Merlin unsheathed his dirk. He tried to get the blade between his neck and its snapping teeth, but only jabbed it in the shoulder.
The wolf pulled back as Merlin struggled up. It lunged again, and he stabbed it in the chest. The beast dripped saliva and blood from its jaws onto Merlin's nose before rolling to the side, yelping.
Merlin rose, drew his sword, and chopped at its neck.
When the beast was dead, Merlin wiped his face on his sleeve and looked to see how his fellow traveler had fared. The horseman stood over his own slain wolf, his hat pushed back and sweat on his brow.
What had gotten into the wolves? There was something strange going on ...
With a banging of wooden bars, two massive doors opened in what had appeared to be a wall of rocks and brush blocking the entrance to the valley. Merlin smirked as he saw the amazement on the face of the horseman. The doors were made of timber, with rocks piled near the sides and dead brush nailed on.
Three warriors rushed out, swords drawn. Two archers appeared at the top of the wall.
"A little late you are," the horseman yelled, "and I shall be sure to take up this ineptness with your chieftain."
The porter on duty, old Brice, shuffled out and helped Merlin up, dusting him off. "We was all sleepin', an' did'na expect nobody so early, certainly not one as esteemed so you, Ambrosius. Please forgive us not helpin' kill them wolves."
The horseman cinched his saddle to retighten it. "Who is the chieftain here, anyway?"
"Lord Ector," Brice answered, bowing to the man. "And who may you be?"
"You'll not ask, you won't. My ancestry is my own and my business is with Lord Ector."
Merlin nodded to give Brice his approval, and the porter led them through the gate. Just inside, to the right of the steepening path, stood a large crennig for the guards, and on the left the stream rushed down the gorge in a glorious waterfall. All ahead was shaded in darkness, the sun having not yet risen high enough over the mountains. Part way up the path they came to a stair climbing to a stone-walled fortress on a steep hill, high above the gorge.
The horseman pointed up to the fortress. "That way? Mighty difficult for an honored guest to bring his horse up and stable it, I'd say."
Merlin just laughed and kept walking through the gorge, ignoring the stairs. "You've guessed correctly where the fortress of Dinas Crag is located, but we only go there in times of danger. This is where we live ..." He stepped forward and pointed. "Welcome to the Nancedefed of Dinas Crag."
The man followed, leading his horse, and when he passed over a stony ridge he opened his mouth and did not shut it until he had feasted his eyes on everything.
The golden light of morning was just rising over the eastern foothills, illuminating a secret valley high in the mountains: flat, broad, and divided in two by the stream. More than a thousand horses, many of them foals, grazed within the enclosed valley in rock-walled pastures dotted with stables, crennigs, and tilled gardens ready for spring planting. The scene would have been idyllic except for the lingering drought, which had made the new grass begin to brown and had reduced the stream to half its regular flow.
"Valley of sheep?" the horseman said with a hint of confusion. "I see a few sheep ... but you're raising horses like I've never seen."
"The name is intentionally misleading. If the Picti knew what we were doing, then ..."
The horseman nodded, still looking on the beautiful valley with amazement.
Merlin sighed. Home and safety. Every fiber of him wanted to see Natalenya immediately, but duty called him to his uncle Ector first.
Because in addition to transporting this mysterious guest, Merlin recalled the true reason he needed to appear before the chieftain: spies had discovered a mass of Picti north of Hadrian's wall. An invasion was imminent. Every horse that could be spared would be needed for the battle.
* * *
Passing the guards at the door with a nod, Merlin entered Ector's empty feasting hall and left the horseman who had helped him to wait outside.
Stepping to the middle of the room, he threw his black cloak on a bench and sat before the hearth, where a fire of pine logs sent sweet, pitch-scented smoke upward. In the corner on a fleece lay Ector's long-eared hound, Goffrew, with her two sleeping puppies. When he went over, she sniffed inquisitively at the wolf blood on his hands while he scratched her behind the ears.
A servant came and, finding him hungry, gave him a bowl of cold, roasted-onion broth, a barley cake, and a wet rag to refresh himself with.
He gratefully peeled off his mask—what a sweaty nuisance of a thing! But a necessary one. Sixteen years had passed since Vortigern, the current High King, had slain Arthur's father, but his hatred had not lessened. If Vortigern knew Arthur was alive, he would do anything to kill the heir to the throne—along with Merlin and all those who harbored him. After wiping the blood away, he took a clean part of the rag and rubbed his face, feeling once more the familiar scars that covered his cheeks, nose, forehead, and eyelids. With no distractions to keep them at bay, the old memories of the wolf attack when he was nine forced themselves upon him—
His little sister surrounded by wolves. He'd run to protect her, but the wolves had attacked him, and not her. They'd scratched his eyes, mostly blinding him. And he'd endured that blindness for eight years, until he'd thrust Uther's blade into the Druid Stone in an attempt to destroy it. God had healed his vision then, miraculously.
He shuddered, pushing the memory of the Stone's enchantment away as best he could. His father had died that day, and Merlin had been swept into a treacherous world to protect and raise Arthur. After many trials, including slavery to the Picti and rescuing Arthur from a pagan sacrifice, he and Natalenya had married and fled to Dinas Crag. This was the village where his father had grown up, and where Merlin's uncle, Ector, was now chieftain.
Sudden noise from the back rooms pulled Merlin to the present, and Ector himself stepped into the hall. He strode across the room with his thick arms spread wide in greeting, barefoot and wearing his usual dusty, matted fox-fur cloak over a long brown tunic and green breeches.
"Welcome, Merlin!" Ector roared, giving him such a hug that Merlin felt like he'd been squeezed between two massive oxen.
"Shah, don't say that. I'm Ambrosius to you," Merlin reminded him.
"Vortigern's rats have no ears here. Your secret's safe, nephew."
"Not if the man standing outside heard you. I met him in the wood, and he wants to speak with you."
"Who?" Ector said, cutting off a cold chunk of meat from the remains of a boar that had been roasted the night before.
"He won't tell."
Popping some of the boar into his mouth, Ector mumbled, "Send the warty toad away."
"He says it's urgent, but first I have a message from Urien for you."
"Ah, yes, your talk with Urien. What does he want now? Send the wart in—I'd rather hear him than words from that bully."
"Bully or no, I rode all night to tell you he wants warriors and horses immediately. The Picti have gathered east of Luguvalium, and Urien means to destroy them."
"Hah!" Ector said, spitting out a bone onto Merlin's boot. "He'll just tickle their ribs and make them run away."
"It's a large force, uncle, ready to invade. And Urien—"
"He can find his own bullied horses. Honestly, I'd rather help King Cradelmass in Powys."
"That cruel, careless scoundrel?"
"Indeed. At least he's an excellent hunter, and he dined me well last I visited."
"And he makes his own citizens slaves."
"But I won't be Urien's slave. No, no."
"My lord, you've sworn Urien your allegiance. He asks for men and horses, of which we have plenty. It would seem—"
"Let Urien's beard rot in his mead, I say."
Merlin gulped. "The king won't invite you to the next boar roast if you don't—"
"He said that, did he? Well, pig's feet. Let him throw the beast's knucklebones at my effigy, I say."
"And, you'll be excluded from the spring fox hunt."
Excerpted from Merlin's Nightmare by Robert Treskillard. Copyright © 2014 Robert Treskillard. Excerpted by permission of ZONDERVAN.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Stupendous! I've never had such a case of review-writer's-block before, because I couldn't figure out how to express how much I enjoyed this book. The Story: Merlin's Nightmare, book 3 of the Merlin Spiral, takes place about 16 years after the first two books. It follows an older, 30-something year old Merlin, and a now-grown Arthur, who at 18 is full of liveliness and is ready to take on the whole world, seemingly. Together with various other characters, both new ones and re-imagined figures of legend, they must face overwhelming odds and perils from all sides in a desperate fight to save Britain from destruction. Here is the Arthurian legend reborn. I'm not sure how Treskillard managed to make it so original and fresh while simultaneously drawing so many parts of the old King Arthur stories into it so well, but he did. General Review: I enjoyed this book SO MUCH. From the very beginning I was completely spellbound – I couldn't stop reading and finished it in a few days. It was basically everything a book should be: gripping, epic, and just a lot of fun. I kept coming across bits of hilarity and general awesomeness that I would excitedly quote aloud to whatever family member happened to be around. I found myself laughing several times, and the action, adventure, journeying and battles were all awesome. A lot of things near the end had me nearly squealing with excitement, and it's killing me I can't talk about them due to spoilers. Let's just say it does NOT disappoint in the realm of epic Arthurian-ness. *SQUEAL* I feel like Merlin's Nightmare forms the core of Treskillard's retelling of the Arthurian story. Everything comes together and explodes into this sweeping epic tale, with the first two books providing excellent background so that everything makes sense and you know where it all came from, while also anticipating the continuation of the saga. It was the perfect third book to a trilogy. Anything that bothered me about the first two was swept away because it all makes sense now. I can see the whole. The story arc of Merlin is complete in a way, while at the same time beginning a new one that will focus on Arthur himself. Merlin: I loved Merlin in this book, seeing his journey through the first two books, into this one, and with a hint toward becoming the Merlin of legend. I can see his faith from the first one, his fighting spirit from the second, and a measure of caution and wisdom brought on by both and the years since, as he continues to struggle toward who he needs to be, before his earthly lord, and his King on high. Merlin is in his 30s and has a family of his own by the start of the book (can I just say how much I love his whole adorable family?). I was worried about this, because I normally don't like stories where the young hero grows up, but Treskillard pulled it off impressively. If anything, I liked the grown up Merlin even better, and could only think "Here indeed is the great Bard of Britain." Arthur: Arthur is without a doubt the number one thing I loved about the book. He was perfect – both original, and also measuring up to the Arthur of traditional Arthurian legend. All King Arthur figures have a lot to be compared to, and I wasn't sure if he would be able to compete. I need not have worried. Treskillard's Arthur was absolutely AWESOME. I loved his boundless energy, his dashing recklessness, his courage and natural leadership qualities, and all-around epicness. He was strong and kingly and downright fun, and overall just stupendous and KING ARTHUR. <3 I really REALLY liked him and can't wait to see more of him in later books! Cons: In the interests of being balanced, I'm trying to think of any downsides to the book, which is actually difficult. I will say that some of it is a bit scary and/or violent for younger readers, though it didn't bother me for the most part. It also ended more suddenly than I would have liked, but that's mainly because I wanted to savor it all and didn't want it to end. Overview: Book 1, Merlin's Blade, was great. Book 2, Merlin's Shadow, threw me for a loop because it was so unexpected and different, so I was startled into not enjoying it quite as much, though it was still good. Book 3, Merlin's Nightmare, simply knocked me over with its awesomeness – as a re-imagining of the Arthurian legend, as its own story, and drawing all the threads from the first two into it to complete the epic tapestry of this story. I say complete, but there are some threads left over to lead into the next three books, the Pendragon Spiral, which I'm absolutely dying to read. Treskillard had better get those books out pronto before I expire of anticipation. ;) Bottom Line: Read this book, people! If you like Arthurian stories, action/adventure, fantasy, YA, Christian fiction, or just a really good, well-crafted story, or all of that rolled in one. Just read it! Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher (Blink YA Books, Zondervan) in return for an honest review. It was in no way required to be positive. These opinions are entirely my own.
Merlin’s Nightmare concludes the Merlin’s Spiral Trilogy, but we know it is not the end of the story. This is King Arthur we are talking about here. It’s been several months or so since I’ve visited the previous books in the series, so I loved the opening recap where books one and two were summarized by the characters and their contributions to the story thus far. Especially since there are a lot of characters. To get a proper feel for Merlin’s Nightmare, it would be beneficial to review my previous thoughts on Merlin’s Blade and Merlin’s Shadow. Both books, I was blown away. Book three? Not so much. It was a great read, enjoyed it immensely, but it didn’t deliver like the first two books. At least for me. And I think it had something to do with the characters. In the first two books, we are anchored to Merlin’s point of view. Yes, we cut in and out from all the other characters, but the book began and ended with Merlin. Book three ended with King Arthur. Makes sense as the ending leads to the next series, The Pendragon Spiral. But I didn’t connect like I did with Merlin. I was apprehensive about the characters, being that it’s been about sixteen years since book two. That’s a lot of growing up to do apart from us, so we didn’t grow with the characters. That said, I didn’t feel a disconnect from Merlin, just more distant since the focus now shifted from Merlin to King Arthur as it should. This novel’s pace is fast and the story switched back and forth between Merlin’s and Arthur’s thread, Natalenya, the kids, and the hidden village’s thread, and Morgana’s. Lots of stuff happening, decisions being made and their consequences being unleashed upon them all. I loved the supernatural aspects such as the Natalenya’s cut skirt connection, the mysterious visions, and the twist involving the sword and stone. And the creepy werewolves. And…yeah…don’t want to give too much away. :-) I highly recommend this series, but start with book one! I’m picky and eclectic when it comes to what I read, but I think it is safe to say that I would read anything by Robert Treskillard. *In conjunction with the CSFF Blog Tour, I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.
Wow! Merlin's Nightmare was exceptional! For some reason I usually don't like the last book in a series or trilogy the best but in this case I think Merlin's Nightmare was the best of the Merlin Spiral books. Don't get me wrong I loved Merlin's Blade and Merlin's Shadow, they both rate high on my favorites list but Merlin's Nightmare is even a rank higher on my favorites list.
Robert Treskillard in his new book “Merlin’s Nightmare” Book Three in The Merlin Spiral series published by Blink gives us another adventure with Merlin. From the back cover: Haunted by the past, chased by the present. Arthur is now eighteen, and Merlin, tired of hiding and running from his enemies, wants nothing more than to spend his days with his family and train Arthur for his rightful place as king. But when Arthur goes missing, a desperate Merlin must abandon all other quests to find him before a shadowy pursuer catches Arthur first. Having everything to fight for, and almost nothing to fight with, Merlin and Arthur must rally Britain’s warriors against three overwhelming enemies: Saxenow hordes in the south, Picti raiders in the north, and a chilling new enemy that has arisen in the west. At the same time, Mórgana brings Merlin’s deepest fear to life and sets a horde of werewolves loose to destroy Britain. But when the secret purpose of this nightmare is finally revealed, will Merlin and Arthur find a way to survive—without unleashing an even greater evil? Just say the two words, Merlin and Arthur and, immediately, you know you are in for a good time reading the story. Mr. Treskillard continues the story of Merlin and Arthur and brings them an adventure they are unprepared for. The enemy is gathering on three sides and Britain is severely challenged. It has been eighteen years and Merlin and Arthur are leading somewhat normal lives, almost like a normal family. However this is not to be. Arthur runs away hoping to join in the fight without telling Merlin leaving Merlin to drop everything to find him before the bad guys do. This is exciting stuff. There are multiple epic battles not only on the battlefield but in Merlin’s mind. The duo are pushed to the brink of doom more than once and just barely escape to continue the fight. “Merlin’s Nightmare” is an epic battle between good and evil. Mr. Treskillard has done an incredible job of bringing his characters to life and we root for them to win against overwhelming forces. “Merlin’s Nightmare” is a wonderful, interesting story with power and depth that will keep you flipping pages. While The Merlin Spiral series ends now it will pick up again in Mr. Treskillard’s next series, The Pendragon Spiral of which I am so looking forward to. Disclosure of Material Connection: In conjunction with the CSFF Blog Tour, I received a free copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
************************I received this Advanced Reading Copy from Blink************************** The third installment in the Merlin Spiral series was awesome. Set in medieval Britain, the story tells the Legend of King Arthur in a totally different way. Arthur is now 18 years old and has become a reckless young man. He likes adventure and the thrill of danger. It’s not long before trouble arises, and Arthur and a few of his friends go missing. Merlin must go quickly and find them before his sister, Morgana, gets to the High King. Merlin is torn as he does this because he must leave his family behind. Through enemies, both human and mythical, Merlin and Arthur battle, until all is finally said and done. And at the end, Merlin must face his worst nightmare. This story was intriguing and action packed. I loved having a view into each of the main characters’ minds. Treskillard did a wonderful job of ending the point of view right when the story was the most suspenseful. It made me want to read faster to find out what was happening to that character. The descriptive language Treskillard used was very well done. I loved how vividly I could picture things he described. However, this story does leave you hanging. But it is to be continued in the Pendragon Spiral. If you like the Legend of King Arthur, or even anything medieval, you’ll love this book.
If there was ever a journey that forcibly hurtled you toward the fragile edges of the breaking point of the human spirit while coming up just shy of the fringes of madness then look no further than the dangerous and reckless pages of this book. You will find yourself facing your worst fears and yet discovering a courage and hope that you never thought possible. The unimaginable and impossible await you, but are you ready to answer the call of this terrifying and magnificent adventure? By the grace of God, Merlin has finally found some peace in his life. He has been granted sixteen years of happiness and bliss with his loving wife Natalenya and their two children, and he has thanked God for every moment of this heaven on earth. They have raised Arthur as their own, and he knows nothing of his heritage or of his future. He has lived the life of a carefree, happy boy who has only known unconditional love and endless joy. However, the evil that controls Morgana has not been idle during this time. Intricate plans have been set in motion that only the Creator can foil. Merlin will face his greatest nightmare, and Arthur will find out what kind of man he will become. More sacrifices will have to be made and the greatest evil of that time will once again try to overtake and destroy them. Will Merlin find the strength he needs to follow the deadly and painful path that is set before him, and will Arthur prove to be the kind of King that Britain is in desperate need of? This is not an easy story, and it is not a happy one. Nevertheless, it is a battle that has to be fought and won in order to defeat those that would enslave them all. Victory was not promised, but help would be given if asked for it. These beautifully flawed characters of Merlin and Arthur show us that the human spirit cannot be defeated so easily as long as the source of our hope and strength come from the Creator of the Universe. In and of ourselves, we are fearful by nature and our hearts are fickle, but if we lean on the One who controls all, we can overcome even the most fearsome and malevolent foe. My curiosity and fascination in the Arthurian legends have been broadened and challenged by the twists and turns presented in this series. I have been immensely entertained and enthralled by the level of imagination and creativity laid out before me. The meticulous level of detail is captivating and wonderful and made the story so genuine that I felt like I was back in that time watching as all of these events unfolded. I have felt and experienced the pain, horror, and joy of each of the characters, and because of that they really came alive in my mind and in my heart. Robert Treskillard has laid down the gauntlet for authors of pure and true epic fantasy. No stone was left unturned and no emotion was hidden from the reader as they walked alongside Merlin and endured the dangerous and fearful path that has been set before him. The only other fantasy author in my mind that rivals Treskillard is Patrick W. Carr with his the Staff and the Sword trilogy. Both of these outstanding authors have set such a high standard for fantasy that few can stand up to. I anxiously await the next book in The Merlin Spiral series as I know there are even bigger and better things to come. May the fortunate readers who come across this series open their heart and their mind to the endless possibilities that our loving Creator can do for and through them. We are merely the instruments of His Glory, and He loves each and every one of us with an incomprehensible and boundless love.
Merlin's Nightmare is the final book in The Merlin Spiral trilogy. I was expecting a wrap up to the series, but instead, it has a cliffhanger that leads you into the next series, The Pendragon Spiral. Merlin's Nightmare begins with a nice recap of the prior two books to refresh your memory on what had taken place previously in the story. I appreciated this as I had forgotten a few of the key details due to it having been some time since I read the other books. Although this review is wonderful, you really need to have read the other books in this series to get the full picture, so I do not recommend just jumping right into this book. The Merlin Spiral is not your traditional Arthurian book series. It has all kinds of new twists that keep readers on their toes. Merlin's Nightmare continues the engaging story of Merlin and his family, Arthur, and Morgana. Once again, we find the story of Christ's sacrifice, faith, good vs evil woven into every facet of the story creating a suspense-filled tale of hope and betrayal, love and heartache. The characters and story are engaging which is why it was hard not to see this story wrap up with the end of the Merlin Spiral. I look forward to seeing what new adventures unfold in the upcoming Pendragon Spiral. Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher to help facilitate the writing of a frank and honest review. A positive review is not expected nor guaranteed. All opinions are my own.
I received a copy of MERLIN’S NIGHTMARE by Robert Treskillard from Blink via BookSneeze. When I first saw the novel, I was a little wary. I love Arthurian legends, but sometimes they become repetitive, and you start to feel that it is just the same story over and over again. Then, I decided to give it a go, especially because it is for young adults. In my opinion, you can never introduce people to King Arthur young enough. This is the third installment in the Merlin’s Spiral series. In it, Arthur is eighteen and Merlin is keeping a secret. Chaos breaks loose. Arthur steps up into a leadership role. There is plenty of adventure and fantasy to keep the reader’s interest. I will keep watch for the other installments. I loved how this novel brought the Christian religion into the mix, which other Arthurian tales I’ve read did not. Oh yeah, and there were werewolves. That was another new quality. You don’t have to be a teenager to enjoy MERLIN’S NIGHTMARE; it will appeal to anyone intrigued by a fast-paced story. It also comes with a pronunciation guide, for anyone unfamiliar with Arthurian tales. For those who haven’t read the other books, there is a guide for a recap as well.