After destroying the sinister Druid Stone and freeing his people from its dark control, Merlin finds himself a royal advisor without a king. Along with his friend Garth and Natalenya, his betrothed, Merlin treks north with the orphaned Arthur in hopes of keeping the young ruler safe from soldiers misled by their turncoat captain. Relentlessly pursued by his old nemesis Vortigern, Merlin and his band make for the fortress of Dintaga.
But dangers multiply when Merlin realizes that Vortigern is not his only enemy. Even his own sister appears bent on Merlin’s destruction. As the threat on all their lives increases, Merlin discovers their only hope is sailing to the lands of eternal darkness and once again cleansing the world from an ancient and powerful 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.
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The Merlin Spiral
By Robert Treskillard
ZONDERVANCopyright © 2013 Robert Treskillard
All rights reserved.
The Wilds of Kernow In the year of our Lord 477
The sun had long ago sunk below the granite-boned horizon, and Merlin crept up the mound hoping to catch the stranger asleep. Halfway to the top he drew his sword—gashing his arm on a blackthorn bush. He bit his tongue and continued to climb through the shadowed grass, once again thankful he could now see, and see clearly. Unfortunately, the miracle that had restored his sight had not made him a perfect scout.
Whoever this man was who had camped so close to them, Merlin and Garth had to find out. Hopefully Garth would quietly scale the other side of the hill and not disturb the man's horse they had heard. If the stranger was alerted to their presence, and if he was one of Vortigern's men, Merlin might need to capture—or kill him.
They had all been wary ever since yesterday, when three of Vortigern's warriors rode past their hasty hiding place. Natalenya had cried afterward, and the orphaned Arthur had studied her with his gray-blue eyes, his little fists holding tight to her long, brown hair.
So when Colvarth had spied some flitting smoke near their nighttime camp, he had thought it wise to make sure they weren't being tracked.
The beeches lining the hillside twitched their ovate leaves in the light wind as if sensing Merlin's presence. At the top of the hill, the trunks reflected a ghostly flicker from the man's fire as the mold-scented smoke curled upward.
Leaves crunched lightly in the distance, and Merlin sucked in his breath, praying Garth wouldn't make any more noise. Merlin found a foothold and lifted himself enough to see over the grass where the man sat stiffly near a fire. His back was turned and his green cloak covered his head to keep the chill off. In the distance, his horse stood silently tied to a tree.
Setting his sword on the ground in front of him, Merlin pulled himself up and crouched behind a towering oak. The man didn't stir and must have fallen asleep before the fire, which would make it easier for Merlin to sneak up and see if he was one of Vortigern's soldiers—as long as Garth could keep his big toes off the branches.
Merlin picked up his sword and stole quietly through the trees. At the outer ring of the campsite he paused, spotting Garth behind a pine on the opposite side.
The boy waved to him, eyes bulging.
Merlin signaled for him to be quiet, and began circling left toward the hunched man. If he could glimpse the man's cloak pin, he would know what type of man he faced. For all of the warriors—those who now served the traitor Vortigern—had their cloaks pinned with a golden boar, a symbol of the recently murdered High King Uther. If this man had such a pin, then Merlin and Garth could slip away. They would then break camp and travel through the night ... despite their aching weariness.
But if the man awoke ... Merlin tensed his sword arm for action.
Garth walked out, gesticulating and pointing at Merlin. His head shook wildly. The only thing he didn't do was ruin their ambush by throwing a rock at the man.
Merlin made a face back at Garth and stepped farther sideways to peek at the dozing man's cloak—only to have someone grab his hair tightly from behind and slide a blade across his shoulder very close to his neck.
"Toss your sword or you're dead," the man said.
The metal edge bit into Merlin's skin as he felt his blood pulsing through the nearest vein.
He stiffened and dropped his blade.
"Good. Now tell your foolish friend to toss his knife in that pile of brush."
Garth snarled at Merlin and tossed his dirk away. "Why didn't you listen to me signals? I tried to tell you he was sneakin' up behind."
"Why'd you just wave your arms then?" Merlin said, looking sideways at the blade on his shoulder. It was of good quality—sharp and lethal.
Garth pointed at the hunched man. "I didn't want to wake this guy up."
"Lot of good that did us."
"Enough," the second stranger said. "Why were you sneaking up on me?"
"You mean you and your sleeping friend."
The stranger, pushing Merlin forward, approached the hooded man hunched near the fire and kicked him. He cracked and fell over, exposing a rotten, mushroom-spattered stump. A balled-up saddle blanket had sufficed for the head.
Garth snorted. "How'n did you know we were comin'?"
"Those that are quietest ask the questions. Tell me your names."
Merlin felt suddenly cold with the blade at his neck. "I'm called Merlin ... mab Owain ... sworn servant of Uther." If the warrior was loyal to the High King—and he wasn't purely Vortigern's man—maybe that would save their lives. Possibly even allow them to clear their names and tell the truth about Vortigern, who had slain Arthur's father two days ago to usurp the High Kingship. Merlin, Garth, and Natalenya had been living as vagabonds, along with Uther's ancient bard, Colvarth, in an attempt to save their lives and that of Uther's young son and the future king, Arthur.
"Either you're lying or you're a fool. The High King is dead."
The fire flared up for a moment, and Garth dropped his hood back and peered closer at the man standing in the dark behind Merlin. "Caygek ... is that you?"
The blade shuddered as it pulled away from Merlin's neck. The man let go of his hair. "By Crom's mound," the stranger said, "Garth ... Garthwys? What are you—?"
Merlin spun, the blade now pointing straight at his chest. The man wore a blue tunic over brown breeches, and stood a little shorter than Merlin. His arms and face bore the spidery blue scars of a druid—meaning this was likely the same man who had helped Merlin save his father and the monks at the Druid Stone. Though not much older than Merlin's eighteen winters, Caygek had a blond, curly beard that hung thick to the middle of his chest, and a head of long hair to match. But his eyes were what caught Merlin's interest. They were red and the skin around was puffy—almost as if he'd been sick. Perhaps weeping.
Merlin backed up, almost stumbling over the rotten log and into the crackling fire. "If you mean us no harm ... then you have nothing to fear from Garth or me. We thought you were following us—that you were one of Vortigern's men."
Caygek squinted his eyes. "I don't follow anyone. Not anymore."
Distant sounds of crashing, cracking, and rustling from the woods to the east made the three freeze. Soon they heard the clopping of hoofs. Merlin lunged to grab his and Garth's blades. "The fire," he realized. "Vortigern's seen the smoke!"
Caygek scanned the eastern darkness, alarmed.
Merlin yanked Garth by the cloak. "Let's go."
Garth refused to budge. "What about Caygek?"
"He's a druid."
"Take him with us ... He'll be caught, an' he knows about us."
Caygek ran to his horse and cut the reins knotted to the tree. He hastily tried to mount the horse, but it bucked, reared, and sent him sprawling to the ground.
"There's no time." Merlin pulled Garth toward the hillside.
The approaching horses pounded closer.
Caygek held on to the reins as his horse wheeled around him, nearly trampling his face. He finally let go, and the horse ran off toward the south.
The shouts of approaching warriors were close.
Caygek scuttled down the hill and caught up to them, clutching his saddlebag and cloak. "I'm coming."
Merlin called back, "Go away."
"You've no choice," Caygek said, running with them.
* * *
Merlin ran, leading the way back, and hoping they'd have time before Vortigern found their trail. Breaking through the pines to their hidden camp, Merlin stopped in time to avoid the point of Natalenya's dirk finding its way through his tunic.
"Who are you?" she said, peering into the darkness.
"Natalenya! It's me, Merlin ... Merlin."
She dropped the blade and wrapped her arms around him. Garth crashed through the branches and into Merlin's back. The three of them fell.
"Very careful woodsmen the lot of you are," Caygek said, breathing hard. "Now why's Vortigern chasing you?"
Merlin was about to explain that Vortigern wanted to kill Arthur, who was just a child, when Colvarth stepped from the dark trees holding the very boy and a small dagger. "Who is this you have brought, Merlin? This is unex—" But his words stopped short as he and Caygek faced each other.
Merlin rolled Garth off his legs, and stood. "This is Caygek—"
The druid bowed. "Colvarth ... or should I say Bledri mab Cadfan? We have not met, but I have heard much of you."
"Are you mad to bring a follower of Mórganthu into our midst?"
"He came without my permission, and I—"
Garth stepped into the center. "I can explain ..."
In the distance, the sounds of horses could still be heard.
Merlin took hold of Colvarth's shoulders. "Vortigern! We have to leave now."
Natalenya had already mounted, and thankfully the horses they'd taken from Vortigern two days before had been equipped with four-horn military saddles, which allowed her to ride fairly safe in a sidesaddle position. She rode up with Colvarth's black horse.
After glancing quickly at Caygek, Colvarth shook his aged head at Merlin. He handed Arthur up to Natalenya, braced his staff, and clambered onto his horse. Within five breaths the rest of them were mounted, Caygek riding with Garth. They followed Colvarth into the darkness and away from Vortigern's men.
Rain began to fall, and the already sodden paths became slippery. Merlin had hoped this would slow their foes as well—but they could still hear the crashing of Vortigern's reckless men.
Merlin stirred his mount next to Colvarth, who was hunched over, scrutinizing the path ahead. While wise, Colvarth was advanced in years, and they didn't have time to wait for him to weigh out a decision.
"May I lead?" Merlin asked.
Colvarth sat up, and his leather-wrapped harp jangled on his back. "We must find the main road eastward ... or we will be lost."
"That's what they expect us to do, and that's where most of Vortigern's men are. They're trying to flush us out."
"Where then do we go? Northward and westward is only trackless woods ... and then the coast ... we cannot swim away."
"King Gorlas," Merlin whispered. "Dintaga, his fortress, is on the coast."
Colvarth's eyes were dark slits in the gloom. "Gorlas is no friend. Uther was going to him out of necessity ... to raise more warriors for battle, but there ... was no love between them. Only after Uther had scoured Kembry, and there were still not enough warriors to fully repel the Saxenow ... did he consider going to Gorlas."
"Then we use that to our advantage. We remind him that Vortigern is Uther's man."
Colvarth coughed. "Do not speak such of that ... traitor. I am Uther's man—his bard."
Merlin trotted his mount in front of Colvarth. "Then persuade Gorlas to protect us."
"That is madness, I cannot—"
Arthur began crying, and the sound echoed through the woods. Natalenya desperately tried to comfort the boy, but he would not quiet.
The sound of the pursuing horses grew louder and clearer.
* * *
Ganieda ran to Mórganthu, who knelt to catch her. "Grandpa, oh Tasgwyn." Her tears fell freely upon his cheek, and she squeezed him tightly—all the while holding the two strange objects she had fetched from beneath the Stone in her father's forge.
"My daughter's daughter," he said. His voice was like a warm bath driving off the chill that blew through the burned-out smithy. And its lilt was like her mother's, with that wonderful Eirish accent that she loved to imitate. Grandpa held her close, though after kissing her cheek he pushed her to arm's length with his one hand. "What have you discovered? What are these?"
Ganieda looked into his face and saw not just curiosity, but hunger. His eyes, dark and shrunken, searched desperately at the oddities hidden in her hands.
What were these things? she wondered. In her left she felt the curved smoothness of the long fang. As she thought about its sharpness, a spark of warmth filled her arm.
In the other hand she held the cold, somewhat firm ball, through which she'd seen an image of her brother. Curse him. Stringy tendrils hung out through her fingers.
Grandfather tried to pry open those fingers.
She lashed out at him without even thinking. The fang scratched his hand. No—she had fully gashed it, and a thrill climbed up her arm. She suddenly felt taller, stronger.
Grandpa yelled and flailed his only hand backward.
She slid the orb into her bag and hid the fang under her shift. "No, Grandpa, don't touch them again." She had flung the language of Kernow aside and now she spoke in the druidow tongue her mother had taught her. Ah, but he would understand. He spoke it too. He was the leader of all the druidow. The most respected o' men in all the world, ya hear?, her mother had told her during the past many years. And her grandpa had come to them but two weeks ago, bringing his Stone, now ruined, and all his druidow.
Sucking his wound, Grandpa nodded. The blood covered his teeth and dripped down onto his beard.
"Where, then," he rasped, "is your mother? Where is my daughter?"
Ganieda's tongue caught in her throat. She turned away and shook her head.
"What? What are you saying? Did her little infection from that armband get so bad that—?" He clucked his tongue, and took two deep, deep breaths. "Oh, to think that my lineage has come down to this," he cried, "and in such a little time."
Ganieda looked at him, and he was crying.
"And all because of that Merlin, that scourge upon my house, has this happened. And so you, little vengeful girl, you are all that I have left in the world. Come, then," he said. "Come ... come back to my tent in the woods. Remember the dried strawberries and smoked meat? You—you are hungry, yes?"
Her stomach was burning. The strength she felt from the fang didn't fill that emptiness. She would go with him. Tellyk padded over to her, and she stroked his fur, climbing onto his broad back.
Grandfather's smoldering gaze flitted to her bag—which hung from her belt over the side of the wolf—but he said nothing.
He led the way, first picking his way through the smoking debris of the smithy and then out onto the clouded and thundering moor.
Excerpted from Merlin's Shadow by Robert Treskillard. Copyright © 2013 Robert Treskillard. Excerpted by permission of ZONDERVAN.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
. Forged in the fires of Britain, with the sword crafted by his dying father, Merlin impales the Druid Stone thwarting Morganthau's devious scheme to usurp King Uther and redistribute power to the Druidow. Destruction of the Stone forces the evil within to beckon another mortal vessel to its bidding. Feeding on hate, weaknesses, and selfish desires, the alluring power calls to the darkness of the soul. Sorrow-laden by her parent's death, plus the loss of the only home she has ever known, rage-driven Ganieda fights the pull of the darkness, but inevitably succumbs to the enchanting "Voice." Yet, as warned by his mother, Merlin's quest was far from complete. Actually, it had just begun. Seeking a safe refuge from their pursuers, Merlin and his faithful companions constantly dodge dangers while eluding capture. From the forests of Kernow to the coast of Dintaga and through the valleys of Kembry, Vortigern hunts the ragtag group. However, at some point, the chase must end. Seized during a Pictish raid, Merlin and company head north escaping Vortigern, but march to an unknown fate. Merlin's Shadow is a continuation of Treskillard's engaging story-telling and well-developed characters. It opens with a concise summary of Merlin's Blade allowing readers to immediately jump into book two with a good grasp of the previous novel; thereby, negating the lost feeling many readers experience upon starting a book in the middle of a series. Told from multiple points of view--that of Merlin, Ganieda, Morganthu, and King Uther's traitorous Army Captain, Vortigern--readers delve deeper into these characters enabling notice of personality changes from the earlier novel. Throughout the book, readers experience Ganieda's incessant torment and conflicting emotions torn between wanting love, acceptance, and a place to call home or choosing a heart of malice. Merlin, on the other hand, regains his visual abilities, but looses sight of his unwavering faith. Though wallowing in self-doubt with each new hardship, Merlin refuses to give in to circumstance. Merlin's Shadow is a well-crafted tale wrapped in prophecy, adventure, faith, vengeance, perseverance, and tenacity. On a side note: I thought Muscravel died in Merlin's Blade. If anyone else thought the same thing, please let know that I wasn't alone. I received a complimentary copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Surrounded by evil men who wish to kill them Merlin and his companions flee north to protect Briton's future king! But to Merlin's horror he quickly finds out that that the traitor Vorigern is not his only enemy,now he realizes that even his little sister,Ganieda wishes him and the young Arthur dead! They flee from one perilous journey to the next trying to find safety but it is not there! As his world begins to crash down around him Merlin starts losing his faith,but his faith in Jesus is the only thing that can save them! WOW!This is one of those books you just can't put down! I love to read books about medieval times and legends of medieval times and as you can tell by my blog that I've read quite a few medieval stories but the Merlin's Spiral trilogy is probably my favorite medieval books I've ever read! They are Awesome!
At last able to see, Merlin must flee to protect his future king. But what he sees leaves him with little faith or hope. Every turn seems to bring about the victory of his enemies, of murder and thieves. And he fails to see where God is in it all. Something that many people feel in their own trials. Along with the spiritual message, Merlin's Shadow contains adventures that will keep you turning the pages. Merlin must over come many challenges to fulfill his vow and protect those he cares for. Perhaps my favorite part of this story was the villains. Each had a depth that brought the story to life and made their deeds believable. I especially loved Ganieda's story, when I at last found out who she was to be. My one complaint was that some of the scenes did not flow well together. At times the grandfather spied on Merlin, which for the hero was a weeks time, but it seemed like only a few hours for the grandfather. I found this a bit confusing, though it did not hinder my understanding of the story. I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.
I was really looking forward to reading this second book in the Merlin Spiral--I believe there was some squealing and dancing about when I first held the book in my hands (have to give it points for the gorgeous cover). I fully expected another five-star adventure after "Merlin's Blade," but this one let me down a little. I have several complaints about it, but it was still very engaging and kept hooking me so I couldn't put it down. The writing was stupendous for the most part, with the one exception that the dialog seemed less authentically old-fashioned than in book one, at least to me. But the narrative was very well done, and everything was extremely vivid--I could see everything and I really loved the mental image of the scenery. That was something this book improved on over the first, since "Merlin's Blade" took place mostly in and around a village. I enjoyed how in this second one they're on the move, journeying through sweeping green hills and mysterious forests, in the elusive mists of Britain. However, in contrast to the setting, it seemed like in this version of the Arthurian legend, practically all the characters inhabiting that beautiful land were either (a) bad, (b) insane--lots of those for some reason, or (c) really stupid at one time or another. It was like there was only a small handful of good people, and even those were so filled with flaws it was hard for me to like them (that's probably only me, though). It got me down a little and I kept wondering where all the good-ish, normal everyday people were. Colvarth the old bard is the main exception--he was a very good wise person. I also really liked Bedwir the warrior, and Caygek the druid. They were both pretty epic. Little Arthur is of course above reproach, and though we didn't see very much of him he was adorable when mentioned. Merlin himself was my biggest disappointment. His transition from the gentle Godly young man in the first book, to a tempestuous, headstrong, brooding person who seems suddenly to have forgotten his faith, I found to be jarring. What happened to the Merlin I liked so much in the first one? Has his loss of blindness made him rely so much less on God? I admit that he was a much more active, “cool” character in this one, but at the expense of all the things I found so wonderful about him in the first--his quiet thoughtfulness and strong belief in God and his noble tendencies. All of that is thrown to the wind and he has to try to learn his faith all over again. Other readers might enjoy following him on his spiritual journey through his struggles, but I just thought it was uncharacteristic of him. (The same with the love-story, with both parties being stupid and thinking the other didn't love them because of their ugliness or some such, which I had no patience for. On the other hand, the parts where they weren't being idiots I thought were really sweet.) One final thing is the whole part of the book about Ganeida, which I found disturbing and rather pointless other than a drawn out way of setting up a possible villainess for later. But a lot of it felt unrealistic and just didn't work for me (like, she's supposed to be nine years old but seemed more like five most of the time). It seemed to be messing with a question about what's the line between a child's naughtiness and being evil, and is it her fault or is she just being used and therefore doesn't have to take responsibility for doing bad things, and just... what? Anyway, that whole subplot bothered me. I didn't get anything out of it and I couldn't figure out what the author's point was in doing it that way. It felt like a murky moral dilemma with no right answer. Maybe it will be resolved in the third book. Conclusion? Though I had some complaints, it is nonetheless an exciting and extremely suspenseful adventure story that keeps the pages turning and the reader breathless to find out what's going to happen next. I'm looking forward to seeing how things turn out in the final volume of the Merlin Spiral series, "Merlin's Nightmare." (I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for an honest review. These opinions are my own.)
In Merlin’s Blade, Merlin finished strong, victorious, and in love, even if he was fleeing for his life, but in book two, his faith and plight quickly declined. And who wouldn’t? Faced with such obstacles as he did. Hunted, betrayal, slavery, and the powers of the druidow working against him. The odds were so stacked against him, I had to keep reminding myself, I know the ending, I know the ending! Arthur will be king, but how would he? That’s the beauty of this story. In Merlin’s Shadow, we dive right into the story with Merlin and his band of people committed to baby Arthur fleeing for their lives. With several major point of views, we switch between Merlin, Merlin’s sister and her grandfather, and the newly proclaimed High King, Vortigern, all who are bent on destroying them. Then there are other significant threads running through the story such as Uther’s two girls and what might become of them and another subplot involving a certain king that you aren’t sure where they will interconnect with the main story, but you know they will. But what has happened to Merlin? Once strong in faith and confidence, yet limited by his blindness, but now that his sight had been restored, he sees the scars on his face and his strength fails. Who could love him? Thus we find our hero turning in upon himself rather than trusting his God who has brought him thus far. The story grew darker, wilder, deeper. The visions were awesome, adding mystery and dripping with creativity! I’m left thinking, how does one come up with something like this? Ha! And how the author wove the story together: all the different threads, the visions, the subtle provisions of God that protected them on their journey, although, it might appear to be a curse, but proved otherwise. One of my favorite aspects of reading is gathering clues along the journey to figure out what might happen, and I just dance with delight when I get them right. And I did!! But I can’t say what it is without giving away too much of the story. Will definitely be reading book three. Highly recommended! *In conjunction with the CSFF Blog Tour, I received an advanced reader copy from the publisher.*
Compared to the first book, Merlin's Shadow was even more of an intricately woven cord. It took unexpected twists and turns, showing loss of hope...and hope regained. Over and over again. No one was immune to this relentless struggle against faith and confidence. My son and I began to think of Bedwir as a forgotten and well abused rag doll. Merlin's struggles in this book were mirrored with his sister, Ganieda. Each character grappled against seen (or unseen) demons which battled for their favor...or their death. Both brother and sister are hunted, enslaved, and given choices which will determine the course of each life, as well as the fate of all Briton. Both my son and I are huge fans of this series now, and impatiently await the next installment!
Robert Treskillard in his new book “Merlin’s Shadow” Book Two in the Merlin Spiral Series published by Zondervan gives us another adventure with Merlin. From the back cover: Betrayal. After destroying the sinister Druid Stone and freeing his people from its dark control, Merlin finds himself to be a royal advisor without a king. Along with his friend Garth and Natalenya, his betrothed, Merlin treks north with the orphaned Arthur in hopes of keeping the young ruler safe from soldiers misled by their turncoat captain. Relentlessly pursued by his nemesis Vortigern, Merlin and his band make for the fortress of Dintaga. But dangers multiply when Merlin realizes that Vortigern is not his only enemy. Even his own sister appears bent on Merlin’s destruction. As the threat on all their lives increases, Merlin discovers their only hope is sailing to the lands of eternal darkness and once again cleansing the world from an ancient and powerful 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. In a three-act play act two is always dark and “Merlin’s Shadow” is no exception. What Merlin and Arthur and the rest of the team face is a little darker and a lot more dangerous. Not only is Merlin challenged on what he is willing to risk in the protection of Arthur he is also challenged on what he is willing to risk for the Almighty One. ”Merlin’s Shadow” 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 Shadow” is a wonderful, interesting story with power and depth that will keep you flipping pages. I am most definitely looking forward to the next book in the series. Disclosure of Material Connection: In conjunction with the CSFF Blog Tour, I received a free copy of this book from the publisher for this review. 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.”
Merlin’s Shadow is the brilliant continuation of the story of Merlin’s rise from quiet obscurity in a small village to world renown at King Arthur’s side. We eagerly follow this epic adventure as it continues on its dark and dangerous path that tightly binds Merlin and the young Arthur into a life full of uncertainty and great feats of faith. This is one fantasy/adventure that even traditional fans of the legend of King Arthur would find enjoyable and entertaining. Merlin is faced with the question of how much he is willing to risk in order to keep Arthur, the son of the High King, alive and safe. Without hesitation, the answer is one of complete and utter devotion. He is willing to risk his life and his love in order to protect the rightful heir of the kingdom. However, along this perilous journey, we find that Merlin is also being asked a second question. That question is if Merlin is willing to risk placing all of himself into the hands of the Almighty One. It’s easy to fight for people and ideas when we can see, hear, and touch them, but it is much harder when we are asked to believe in something that we can’t see, hear, or touch. Merlin’s struggle with this second question is nothing less then what each of us has to deal with each day. His response is human, his sacrifice is all encompassing, and his faith is tested. My favorite part of any story is getting to know the characters. I want to peer inside their heart and mind to see who they really are and what motivates them. The need to cheer on the hidden and mistreated hero is something that is ingrained me due to personal struggles over the years. Seeing the underdog actually survive and at times exceed in his goal brings a hope and joy that some would see as silly, but in my world, the written word has more power to encourage and strengthen then the spoken word. This story gives me the best hero ever in Merlin. He is humble and down-trodden, but he has a quiet strength and gentle spirit that make him a powerful source of inspiration and faith. It is the quiet yet compelling characters like Merlin that sear their simple faith and deep love in your heart as an example of how we should live our lives. This story is huge, complex, and wonderfully unpredictable. There is nothing simple or easy about the legend of King Arthur and that is carried through with this part of the story as well. Life is not easy, so the events in this book felt right and natural in their sequence. The trials and struggles that each character faced helped them to deal with what was coming down the road and helped them to become the person that they were being molded into. We can’t become a person of inner strength and humility if we are never put through hard times or made to suffer in order to truly appreciate what and who we have in our life. Our faith cannot be refined if it is never put to the test. We cannot live this life without being touched by evil, but thankfully our God uses that evil to His glory to shape us into the person that He created us to become. Robert Treskillard has me hooked on this story. I love being immersed in this world, and I look forward to the next installment of this spellbinding journey. I am a huge fan of the legend of King Arthur, and Treskillard has breathed new life and imagination into this everlasting favorite of mine. His skillful writing is a touch of genius as it tries to reach a balance between poetic beauty and storytelling mastery. Fans of fantasy and adventure are sure to love this new telling of the intriguing and mysterious Merlin.
I can imagine this would be a fantasy readers’ dream, especially those interested in King Arthur and the Round Table legends. This series is sort of re-imagined prequel that sets up the well-known stories. These books are excellently written, with vivid imagery and well-developed characters and plot points. Although I am not typically a reader of the Arthurian legend books, and I occasionally found the reading to be tedious at times, I attribute that wholly to my personal interest level, and not to the quality of writing or story development. Merlin shows a wealth of character evolution from the beginning of the first novel to this point in the series. Although he has some issues with self-image and self-worth early on in this story, he works this out in his own time by the end. His betrothed Natalenya, is a wonderful supporting character to Merlin, and I did enjoy reading about their relationship. The interwoven aspects of faith and Christianity help bolster the story throughout, and give great illustrations of the never-ending battle between Good and Evil. Overall, though I would not read again, the quality of this story deserves a 4. Rating: 4 HEAT Rating: None Reviewed By: Daysie W. Review Courtesy of: My Book Addictions and More
This is the second book in a trilogy by Robert Treskillard. The setting takes place during the time of King Arthur. Robert brings the story to life and makes the reader feel like they are really back in mid-evil times. His writing is brilliant, descriptive, and exciting. This a great book to read. I give it 5 stars.
Pursued relentlessly by enemies who wish to destroy them and take control of the kingdom, Merlin and his rag-tag band of friends and allies are still on the run, trying desperately to protect orphaned prince Aurthur. But the forces of evil are strong, seemingly insurmountable. When only God can save them, will Merlin trust Him or will all be lost? This book was just as fascinating and irresistible as the first book in the series, "Merlin's Blade". The author weaves an intriguing tale blending Arthurian legend and history, making these books quite unique. The story is absolutely gripping, I could not put it down. It is a lot darker than the first book as the conflict and plot deepen; and by the end, I can hardly wait for book three because I can't see how the story can come out well. This is an excellent read, and I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys King Arthur stories, fantasy, and even pictic and druidic history. I recieved a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.