Review: MERLIN’S BLADE [and] MERLIN’S SHADOW [and] MERLIN’S NIGHTMARE / by Robert Treskillard

Treskillard, Robert. Merlin’s Nightmare (Merlin’s Spiral, 3)
Blink     IBSBN     978-0310735076

Treskillard, Robert. Merlin’s Shadow (Merlin’s Spiral, 2)
Blink     IBSBN     978-0310735076

Treskillard, Robert. Merlin’s Blade (Merlin’s Spiral, 1)
Blink     IBSBN     978-0310735076 432 p.
HS     Grades 10-12     Rating: 4

merlins blade merlins shadow merlins nightmare

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?

In Merlin’s Shadow, Merlin’s story continues. He finds himself adrift – an advisor to the uncrowned king, Arthur. On the run with his beloved and his faithful friend, Merlin faces adversaries on every side. Even his half-sister is bent on his destruction. Having plunged the sword into the druids’ stone, will Merlin be able to keep the young king safe when enemies surround them on every side?

In Merlin’s Nightmare, Arthur is now eighteen, and Merlin wants nothing more than to enjoy his family. But when Arthur disappears, Merlin stops at nothing to rescue him before one of their enemies finds him. Together they face the Saxenow in the south, the Picts in the north, and a new enemy rising in the east – and Merlin’s half-sister has unleashed werewolves –Merlin’s biggest fear since being attacked by wolves as a child. Will they survive?

It is hard to believe that Merlin’s Blade was Treskillard’s first novel. It is a well-written epic fantasy, with its enormous 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 on the violence (although it was a bloodthirsty time period).

Merlin’s Shadow and Merlin’s Nightmare are difficult to read as standalone novels, although the author tries to give the reader enough background in the glossary to permit this. Kudos to Treskillard who not only identifies the characters but describes what happened in the previous books that is significant to the overall storyline. His attempt to recreate the Arthurian legend from a Christian perspective is to be applauded.

Disclaimer: Book reviews are my opinion of books I either purchased or received free of cost from the publisher in exchange for a honest review.

In conjunction with the CSFF Blog Tour, I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.

9 responses to “Review: MERLIN’S BLADE [and] MERLIN’S SHADOW [and] MERLIN’S NIGHTMARE / by Robert Treskillard

  1. Pingback: CSFF Tour: MERLIN’S NIGHTMARE / by Robert Treskillard | Worthy 2 Read

  2. Pingback: CSFF Tour: Reivew posted for MERLIN’S NIGHTMARE / by Robert Treskillard | Worthy 2 Read

  3. Pingback: Merlin’s Nightmare By Robert Treskillard – CSFF Blog Tour, Day 1 | A Christian Worldview of Fiction

  4. I have to say I, too, like when books try to bring you up to date with the various characters and the roles they have played.

  5. I like what you’ve done here with the reviews, all well put together and with illustrations.

    I don’t share your appreciation for the writing – as you said, it’s hard to come into this story in the middle.

    About the violence…I am conflicted on that one. I think that SF & F could do with as much action fiction as we can get, if only to encourage boys and young men to read the stories. (There are always exceptions, but boys just aren’t as interested in emotional context – or, perhaps, the same emotional context – as women and girls.)

    And it is true to expectations that younger boys and men engage in a lot of action and occasional violence. A story that cut all of that out wouldn’t be entirely true. But what sort of example and ‘character witness’ should the books we read (and write) be setting?

    I don’t have a good answer. Most of my issues with the violence were rooted in the storytelling – great action in the plot, not so great description or flow to the story. But as you say, sometimes it seemed that the violence was a bit much.

  6. You make some valid points. The target audience for this book is high school and adult, so maybe it is appropriate. But I do think more of the violence could be done offstage and still have the same effect on the storyline.

    Thanks for stopping by!

  7. You raise some good points. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your comments.

  8. Good point! Thanks for stopping by!

  9. Pingback: WHAT I’M READING / REVIEWING NOW | Worthy 2 Read

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