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

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

by T. A. Barron

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780142419236
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date: 05/12/2011
Series: Merlin Saga Series , #5
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 107,969
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 7.70(h) x 1.10(d)
Lexile: 770L (what's this?)
Age Range: 10 - 14 Years

About the Author

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.

Interviews

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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The Wings of Merlin (Lost Years of Merlin Series #5) 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 43 reviews.
sedelia on LibraryThing 8 months ago
I can¿t help but feel that this book is lacking in complexity. For me, the characters are generally shallow and the conflicts are fairly simple. While I enjoy the classic ¿good versus evil¿ story, I would like more depth. The simplicity of the conflict and strong emotional reactions of the characters cause this book to be almost melodramatic, and sometimes the courses of action Merlin takes simply don¿t make sense.Despite the flaws, I still enjoyed this story. It has good lessons to teach, and a creative and somewhat entertaining story line. If you are a fan of Merlin, TA Barron, I would definitely recommend it. If not, it¿s a decent read, just not the best.
lilibrarian on LibraryThing 8 months ago
The conclusion to the Lost years of Merlin series brings together all the people and creatures from Merlin's youth in a final battle to save their home on Fincayra.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An amazing series
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Meriln is the best book i have ever read in the hole world....loovvveeee it!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Amazing series
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Just bought it and cant wait to read it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love tis series and this is the next book. Yay
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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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DallasFabulously More than 1 year ago
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
krissiescott More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a great series, I have only read the first two but I am going to read on. Great description and adventure.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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'