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Merlin's Blade (The Merlin Spiral) Paperback – April 20, 2013

4.5 out of 5 stars 102 customer reviews
Book 1 of 3 in the Merlin Spiral Series

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 8 Up-In fifth-century Britain, during King Uther's reign, the druids attempt to rise once again and overpower their Christian monarch. A strange and deadly meteorite, able to bewitch anyone who gazes upon it, becomes central to the druid leader's plots. Only the mostly blind swordsmith's son, Merlin, is able to gaze upon the stone and hold off its dangerous powers. Only he can see with a clear head the deception and plotting surrounding the High King's visit to his small village. It is through Merlin's actions that perhaps Uther's family, including the young future King Arthur, can survive the pagan usurpers' designs on the crown. Treskillard crafts a new and unique prequel to the King Arthur legend, one that is rich in atmosphere and detail. Fantasy readers will find themselves beguiled by the young Merlin's story. Other readers, however, might find themselves somewhat overwhelmed, and the slow pace (the full tale will be told in three volumes) may leave reluctant readers unwilling to continue to the end. Though somewhat lengthy, the blending of history and religious mythologies makes this the start of an interesting perspective on Arthurian legends.-Jessica Miller, West Springfield Public Library, MAα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journal. LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review

"A sweeping, deeply detailed fantasy that re-imagines the adventures of Arthurian legend ... The author skillfully crafts intense action scenes and vivid settings."
- Publishers Weekly

"Treskillard crafts a new and unique prequel to the King Arthur legend, one that is rich in atmosphere and detail. Fantasy readers will find themselves beguiled by the young Merlin's story."
- School Library Journal


"A fresh approach to an ancient genre ... an absolute must-read."
- Award winning author Douglas Bond

"Trekillard has achieved one of the most difficult feats to master in high fantasy epics like this - weaving together a handful of storylines into a cohesive, expertly-paced narrative."
- Crosswalk.com

"A fabulous re-imagining of the legends."
- Fantasy author Scott Appleton

"Merlin's Blade is a masterful story, well told ... a must read for fans of the Arthurian legend and for fantasy fans of all stripes ... the book easily spans the gap between twelve and adult."
- Fantasy & sci-fi reviewer Rebecca Luella Miller

"Turn the pages, and you can almost feel the fog rolling in off the moors, smell the low heather, and catch a glint off a blade."
- Best selling author Wayne Thomas Batson

"I love the setting of this book!  Robert Treskillard has done an excellent job bringing early Britain to life.  The adventure is exciting, the characters are interesting, and the suspense, which remains until the end, is very well done."

- RedeemedReader.com


"Treskillard builds a real person in Merlin ... whose belief in honor and family make him a figure to cheer for."

- Award winning author Jill Williamson

Robert Treskillard breathes new life into the often-told tale of King Arthur and his faithful mentor, Merlin. Treskillard has managed to put a new spin on the story in this three-volume series called Merlin’s Spiral by focusing on Merlin’s story. In Merlin’s Blade, fifth century druids in Britain attempt to regain power, defeat King Uther, and destroy the Christian faith embraced by the people. A blind boy (Merlin) is the only one not bewitched by the meteorite’s blue flames used by the druids to entrap the people. How can a blind boy who is bullied, ridiculed, and criticized be the one to save Arthur, and overthrow the evil that controls the people of Britain? It is hard to believe that Merlin’s Blade was Treskillard’s first novel. It is a well-written epic fantasy, with an enormous amount of detail and character development. This series–a prequel to the King Arthur legend–will be of interest to epic fantasy readers and fans of Arthurian legends. There is a lot of action but almost too much detail about the violence (although it was a bloodthirsty time period). Recommended for public libraries and school libraries. Carol R. Gehringer, worthy2read.wordpress.com (Christian Library Journal)
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Product Details

  • Series: The Merlin Spiral (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Blink (April 20, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310735076
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310735076
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (102 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #361,603 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Songs of lament from a harp, visions, danger, flashbacks, prophecies, parables that rhyme.....this is what you'll come across within these pages. I did not understand it all, but I was determined to keep up with Merlin's story. Merlin is such a courageous young man and easy to like from the beginning. He is responsible, honorable, loyal, and constantly risking his life to save or intervene for the ones he loves. He is constantly judged, bullied, criticized, questioned, and doubted because of his blindness, but that doesn't discourage him or sway him in the least. The hand of God is upon him throughout the story and he witnesses some crazy things, but never runs away or tries to take short cuts. Once or twice when challenged, he responds with arrogance but this doesn't diminish his character.

What I really struggled with in this book was the enchanted/demonic stone and the druids who control its power. This stone can cause lightning to explode on its victims, turns coins into gold, demands to be worshipped, promises miracles, and forces the villagers to submit completely to it or face consequences. The stone is not loyal to anyone, but it expects full loyalty or it was unleash disastrous results. Throughout the story it causes chaos, confusion, and destruction.

Can Merlin put an end to this demonic stone once and for all? Can he help save his friend and orphan monk, Garth, from giving in to the dark side (this stone makes Darth Vader seem harmless)? A lot of people die in this story, one man is graphically beheaded (I didn't require such a detailed horrific telling of this scene), lots of blood gets shed (Merlin alone is injured SEVERAL times), and some arm band on Merlin's father's arm does strange things to both him and Merlin's stepmom.
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I must say that I am very pleased with this book. I have read Stephen Lawhead's version, in the Pendragon Cycle, and thought that was excellent so other books about Arthur and Merlin have to be compared with Lawhead. Even so, I really enjoyed Treskillard's version. It's different enough to still be interesting while retaining all of the important elements. I found it a good read from start to finish. It does well in bringing forth a massive amount of research, yet the story is very readable. There are good action scenes sprinkled throughout to keep the reader interested, but they aren't wasted scenes. The early scene with Garth and the wagon has importance that continues to the end of the story. (No spoilers here.) I was looking forward to the ending and did not know what to expect, although it makes so much sense maybe I should have seen it coming. I will definitely get the next book in the series.

What I can't get over is that this is the author's first published book. I have read a lot of first books from an author, on the Kindle, over the past several months and this book is so much better. The bad part is that the next book needs to be at least this good. Which is good for us. I hope the author keeps up the quality. And now, I have a few people that I need to get to read this.
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Format: Paperback
I don't think I've ever read a book about the legends of King Arthur (especially not one where he is a young child in the story) and I'm not very familiar with the legends, so I found Merlin's Blade really interesting and enlightening. :)

The characters were great and I definitely felt for Merlin - what with him becoming half-blind at a young age. Garth was an intriguing character and my feelings for him kept changing throughout the story.

The writing was good, but there were a few times the story was a little hard for me to follow - nothing too bad and it was probably just because I'm not familiar with these types of books.

Overall, Merlin's Blade was a great fantasy read! While this isn't my favorite type of book and it was a slower read for me, I did still really enjoy it and recommend it for fans of this genre. I'm looking forward to the next book in this series, Merlin's Shadow, which releases next month. :)

*I received a complimentary copy of this book for my review. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.*
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Format: Paperback
"Before the Round Table...Before Arthur was crowned...There was Merlin."

Merlin is the 18-year-old, half blind son of the village blacksmith. He was nearly blinded by wolves when he was eleven.

Overall: 5/5
Overall, Merlin's Blade was an engaging, well-written story. The plot was well developed and the characters, minor and major, were realistic. Each of the characters had their own weaknesses and strengths without being cliché.

Writing: 5/5
Merlin's Blade is very well-written. The typos were so minimal that I didn't even notice any. Maybe there really weren't any. Or maybe I was so wrapped up in the book, I simply didn't notice them. Either way, it was refreshing to see. The descriptions were well done, the dialogue was realistic for the time period.

Worldview: 5/5
From a blatantly Christian viewpoint, Mr. Treskillard did an excellent job of writing Christian themes into a well-known story, but without beating us over the head with the Christianity. I greatly appreciated being able to read a King Arthur story without all the wizardry.

Conclusion: I highly recommend Merlin's Blade to anybody over the age of ten. I can't wait to see what happens in the next book.
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