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The Mirror of Merlin Hardcover – September 13, 1999

4.7 out of 5 stars 46 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 6-9-In this fourth volume in the series, the teenaged wizard Merlin, his beloved friend Hallia, and various companions find themselves deep in the Haunted Marshes of the enchanted Fincayra Island. A mysterious force has been stirring the marsh ghouls to greater evil than ever before, and Merlin is determined to find out why. The narrative wanders as Merlin and his friends wander through the marsh; the first portion of the story is full of perilous but strangely anticlimactic moments that contribute little to the characterization of the young hero or his companions. However, the story strengthens and deepens when he walks through a mirror of mist, encountering people from his possible futures-including his own future self. Barron's depiction of the aged Merlin is strongly reminiscent of T. H. White's in The Once and Future King (Putnam, 1958): brilliant, comically absentminded, and sorrowful for things known and lost over his long life. Hints from this future life, including a glimpse of the young King Arthur and a suggestion of Hallia's fate, will draw fans of the series deeper into the saga, despite the novel's less compelling opening chapters.
Beth Wright, Dorothy Alling Memorial Library, Williston, VT
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Book four of the Lost Years of Merlin continues the saga of the young Merlin as he gains more understanding of his powers and a greater sense of self. This time, Merlin, accompanied by the young deer woman he's come to love, enters the evil-plagued Haunted Marsh in search of his stolen sword. There, he discovers the long-lost seventh Wise Tool and meets the Boy Ector, who's searching the marsh for something wanted by his unnamed master. The danger level is high in this episode; the theft of the sword is a trap intended to lure Merlin into the hands of a witch, Nimue, who is intent on destroying him. She does manage to infect him with a deadly condition, for which there is no cure. However, Ector believes his master can cure Merlin and leads him through the Mists of Time to the future, where Merlin comes face to face with his much older self trapped in the Crystal Cave by Nimue. Barron handles the contact between the two with a finesse that's believable and enhances the Arthurian ambience that has been so carefully crafted throughout the series. With lots of surprises and some laugh-out-loud humor to leaven the palpable feeling of doom, this should be eagerly devoured by the saga's fans. Sally Estes

Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Grade Level: 5 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 750L (What's this?)
  • Series: Merlin (Book 4)
  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Philomel (September 13, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399234551
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399234552
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.9 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,411,206 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

T. A. Barron is the highly acclaimed, internationally bestselling author of more than 30 books--including the Merlin Saga, currently being developed for film by Disney. Recently he was awarded the de Grummond Medallion for "lifetime contribution to the field of children's and young adult literature." He serves on a variety of environmental and educational NGO boards, and founded the Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes, a national award for outstanding young people. Barron left a successful business career to follow his longstanding dream of writing. He's often found on Colorado mountain trails with his wife and children.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
The Mirror of Merlin is simply a work of art. Fans of the previous Lost Years of Merlin books, will not be disappointed with the latest installment. As always, T.A. Barron's book is filled with wonderful people and places, with warmth and humor and adventure. Once again, Merlin and his home, the mystical island of Fincayra, are faced with very real danger, from someone almost as evil as Rhita Gawr himself. In an effort to stop this evil, Merlin must return to The Haunted Marsh, where he has ventured once before. This is terrible enough, but Merlin is then confronted with his own destiny, a most painful and frighting vision. Can Merlin stop this evil, and save his homeland? Is there anyway he can change his destiny and save himself from the terrible fate in store for him? I encourage everyone who likes books about Merlin to read this book and find out. (Read the rest of the series too while you're at it!) Once again, T.A. Barron has created a masterpiece that readers everywhere, whether young or old, male or female, will treasure.
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Format: Hardcover
I received this book as a gift, (because my parents know what afan of T. A. Barron I am) and I would have finished it that day if Ihadn't paced myself and savored every chapter. The Mirror of Merlin, as well as the other Merlin books, pull you into the story (whether you like it or not!) and don't let go, especially when you come to a cliffhanger, which most chapters end in. I'm not sure if this book was better than the other Merlin Epic books (They're all good, but I particuarly like The Seven Songs of Merlin...) I liked the relationship between Hallia and Merlin, which has grown stronger since The Fires of Merlin. The characters are very well-developed, especially Merlin. This book is also filled to the brink with excitement and action.
If you are looking for a great fantasy epic, may I STRONGLY recommend the Lost Years of Merlin Epic! I recommend you read them in order, though. :)
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By A Customer on June 1, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I am a 13-year-old boy and have recently read The Mirror of Merlin by T.A. Barron. I was pleased with his work. I couldn't put this exciting book down. In this book you follow Merlin, the young wizard, about on his journey to find his sword and to save the old forest from the expanding swamp. He encounters on his quest a cowardly ballymag; Shim, his giant friend; Nimue, the sorceress out for the Seventh Wonder; his imprisoned older self; and Arthur later to be King Arthur. This book was really exciting. The best part for me was when Merlin got the bloodnoose put into him. He then had to travel through The Mirror of Time to find his older self so he could get treated for his bloodnoose. Overall this was a very enjoyable book. It was a masterful work by T.A. Barron. Anyone that chooses to read The Mirror of Merlin, no doubt, will be pleased.
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A Kid's Review on October 29, 2001
Format: Hardcover
T.A. Barron's fourth book in the Lost Years of Merlin Epic, THE MIRROR OF MERLIN is one of my favorites in the series. Merlin loses his sword and he, Hallia, and the Ballymag leave into the Haunted Marsh to find it. The marsh ghouls, who are normally friendly, are now being controlled by an unknown force. They soon find a boy named Ector. The four find something that has been missing for a long time, and find the mirror. Ector tells Merlin that his master is on the other side to cure him from the bloodnoose. Who is his master? What will he do?
This exciting part of Merlin's lost years is adventurous and suspenseful. When reading this book, you can't read it a chapter at a time beacause it is very exciting. I really enjoyed THE MIRROR OF MERLIN because the end of each chapter leaves you wondering, what will happen next?
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Format: Hardcover
In book 4, the young Merlin finds even more troubles and obsticals to overcome. Feeling overshadowed by his amazing destiny, Merlin has difficulty due to the feeling that his choices are not his own, because he is destined to do so many great things. Meanwhile, the young wizard and his companion Hallia, accompanied by a very nervous ballymag, must venture into the Haunted Marsh to recover his stolen sword. There he meets many fierosme obsticals, including the sorceress Nimue. During his stay in the marsh, in a fascinating way, Merlin discovers more about himself than he ever felt possible and learns to accept his destiny and know his choices as his own. A wonderful and exciting tale, The Mirror of Merlin leaves us breathless for the 5th book in the wonderful epic.
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Format: Hardcover
Mark Rodriguez 2/26/06

The Mirror of Merlin, Author: T.A. Barron, ISBN: 0-441-00846-1

The Mirror of Merlin book review

As Merlin realizes that his home, Fincayra, is in grave danger of the ever growing haunted marsh, he steps up and decides he is going to find who made that happen and why. This story takes place at the legendary island called Fincayra, just before the medieval times. The characters in this epic story are Merlin, his friend Hallia, the evil witch Nimue, and a friend he meets on his way, Ector, (otherwise known as Arthur). As Merlin and Hallia find a ballymag (a water creature who lives in the marsh) in a stream instead of a marsh, he tells them that the haunted marsh is growing rapidly. They also discover that the marsh ghouls are attacking innocent people, which they only do when someone invades their territory. But they don't know that the evil witch Nimue is behind it all. The reason why the haunted marsh is growing so rapidly is because Nimue traveled through the magical mirror. This can take people into the past or future. Since she traveled through the mirror she has the power to control the marshes because someone unexpected taught her about the magical way. So she uses her magic for evil and controls the marsh ghouls and the marsh itself so she can take over the legendary island Fincayra. This book is one of the better fantasy books I've read.

The reason this book tops my list is because I really like fantasy books and that this book seemed really good to me. This book was also a real page turner. It kept up with the story and it sometimes got really suspenseful at times which caused me to read it even more. There are also really good descriptions throughout the book.
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