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The Lost Years of Merlin Hardcover – September 9, 1996


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Grade Level: 5 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 770L (What's this?)
  • Series: Lost Years Of Merlin (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Philomel; Later printing edition (September 9, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399230181
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399230189
  • Product Dimensions: 1.1 x 6.4 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (211 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,502,036 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

"Readers may find this attempt to create a biography for Merlin less of an organic novel than a showcase for the author's deft recycling of Welsh myth," said PW. Ages 9-12. (Oct.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Grade 5-8?This first installment in a planned trilogy about Merlin's shadowy youth takes some intriguing twists. Young Emrys washes up on a Welsh beach with a woman who claims to be his mother. For years, they share a hovel, but Branwen tells him nothing about his past. One day he discovers that he has some unusual powers; using them to kindle a fire in Branwen's defense, he is blinded by the flames. However, he learns to see without eyes?using his "second sight." Desperate to know about his past, Emrys, now 12, sets off on an ocean journey. He lands on Fincayra, where he plunges into a dangerous quest to rescue the island from the destructive blight caused by a pact between its king and an evil power. In the process, he befriends a young Fincayran girl and a dwarf who becomes a giant through a brave deed. Emrys also learns the truth about his origins. The Fincayran portion of the story is very much like Lloyd Alexander's "Prydain Chronicles": a young boy and girl team up with a cute non-human to save a kingdom from the force of evil, with Welsh-style names abounding. Also, while the characterization of the hero is excellent, the portrayal of some minor figures is fair at best. However, the fast-moving plot is sure to keep readers turning pages. The tale is compelling enough to ensure that they will anticipate the next book in the series to learn how the events ultimately tie in to the more familiar body of Arthurian legend.?Mary Jo Drungil, Niles Public Library District, IL
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More 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.

Customer Reviews

This book has proven to be a really good book.
S. Mckinnon
This book/series is one of the most original fantasy series I've ever read.
RebelYankee
My 9 year old son found this book for me to read.
LeeAnne Valentine

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Tessa Reisinger on August 3, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
When I scanned through the shelves of my public library about a year and a half ago and picked up an interesting looking story, I had no idea that I had just discovered what would become one of my favorite books and series of all time. I read The Lost Years of Merlin twice on my library rent, and soon bought the rest of the series as it came out. I am now awaiting the 5th and final novel in the excellent series. The book opened my eyes to the fascinating wizard whom I had never thought of as more as the wise and deft wizard with a long beard who tutored King Arthur. I had never thought of the childhood and growing up he must have experienced or struggles he may have overcome. T.A. Barron's epic has put a human face on the great wizard known by so many. Written in an excellent 1st person, it truly puts you in the shoes of the young and not yet formidable wizard. With him you experience barriers, both emotional and physical that he must overcome. The stories are never dull, and Barron weaves them expertly through the pages of his fascinating books. I highly recommend this series to people of all ages, as it will not only entertain, but spark an interest in the famous wizard, not only his accomplishments, but his struggles, and triumphs, great and small.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on October 30, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The book The Lost Years Of Merlin, by T.A. Barron, is the story of a seven year old boy who is thrown onto shore by a storm and, in the process, hits his head resulting in amnesia. A woman named Branwen, who claims to be his mother, takes him in and lives with the boy, Emerys, for six years. During this time, he discovers he has mystical powers. Since Branwen won't explain his past, Emerys finds he must travel to a world named Fincayra, a place Branwen claims to be from, to find out. Emerys sets out on a raft and reaches the coast of Fincayra. Emerys discovers that this land is in grave danger and he may be the only one who can save this world. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys adventure, fantasy, mystical powers, and the possiblility of other worlds. You also get the chance to watch a boy's life unfold and discover his past along with the character himsself. It's wonderfully suspenseful as you meet new characters and discover the effect each one has on Emerys, who risks his life every step of the way. It is a very well written book that creates a perfectly woven image of a mystical world.
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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 4, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Merlin is a character who has fascinated people for centuries -- a powerful wizard who shaped the legendary King Arthur. And T.A. Barron gives his densely, mythologically fantastical take on Merlin in "The Lost Years of Merlin," a colorful and lushly-detailed novel about the teenage wizard's formative years. The "Star Wars" twist is rather predictable, but otherwise it's a delightful story.

Years ago, the boy Emrys was washed up on the shores of Wales, along with an equally mysterious woman named Branwen. He can't remember her, or anything else from his prior life.

And for some years, he and Branwen live in a small Welsh village, where they are reviled because of their strangeness. When some village boys attack Branwen, Emrys' magical powers are unleashed -- and he ends up blind, but able to use his "second sight." Since Branwen refuses to tell him anything about his past, Emrys sets off on his own quest.

He ends up on the shores of the magical land of Fincayra, where he meets the quirky woodland girl Rhia. Unfortunately, Fincayra is slowly being withered by a magical blight. With the help of Rhia and a diminuative giant named Shim, Merlin must find use his heart, brain, powers, and the mysterious Galator pendant to defeat the evil Rhita Gawr, find the Seven Treasures, and save Fincayra.

T.A. Barron obviously loves two things -- myth'n'legends, and nature. "The Lost Years of Merlin" is soaked in both these things. He writes in a lush, intoxicatingly detailed prose, with the overhanging presence of living trees, cool leaves and wild magical places. It's a bit like wandering into an enchanted grove, and watching the epic story unfold outside.
Read more ›
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 18, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I extremely hope this review will get posted (a lot of mine haven't). Anyhow, I read this book when it was first released and have since then waited (impatiently I might add) for the next ones. I can't tell which of the 4 is better, as a matter of fact I've only read the 1st 2 (waiting for paperback editions). These are absolutley the BEST books ever written. They by-pass Harry Potter by a long shot. Barron was ingenious to put it in 1st person. But what really got me was the inward as well as outward struggle. When you see Merlin, you think of a powerful wizard which nothing can effect. These books tell that differently and explain a lot of things in his earlier life. THEY ARE THE BEST BOOKS FOR ANYONE OF ANY AGE.....BUY THEM NOW!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on December 11, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Lost Years of Merlin is a fantastic fantasy put together by combining adventure and magic. T.A. Barron has written it exceptionally well. It takes you into the story with Emrys, a boy hidden from his past, Rhea, a forest girl who can speak to trees, and all the other mystical magical characters. Emrys starts to have signs of magical powers. When he uses them for evil he must make a sacrifice. He sets off on a journey to find out who he really is and stumbles onto the magical island of Fincayra where he must save it from an evil king.
You should read this book for many reasons. One is that it flows well and is not confusing. Some books just skip from subject to subject, but this one, however, does not and continues through the story. Another reason is that even though it is a fantasy it is somehow believable. All the creatures could never actually exist but with the wonderful description used, the author has brought them to life. That would be enough to make me read a book.
Some people might not enjoy this book because of the amount of fantasy incorporated. But if you don't like fantasy you should still read this book because the fantasy isn't extreme and it might even make you like fantasy because it is so well written. Overall this is an excellent book that is both inspiring and imaginative. You should read it a.s.a.p.
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