I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
A strange meteorite.
A deadly enchantment.
And only Merlin can destroy it.
A meteorite brings a mysterious black stone whose sinister power ensnares everyone except Merlin, the blind son of a swordsmith. Soon, all of Britain will be under its power, and he must destroy the stone—or die trying.
Confession: As much as I love the Arthurian Legend, I have not read any books on it besides the movie novelization, King Arthur, based on the screenplay by David Franzoni. I own several books on the subject and even skimmed through one for a British Literature class project. Beyond terrible, I know. Each interpretation of the Arthurian Legend offers something different, something new, and somewhere within may lie the truth. Merlin's Blade is no exception.
Treskillard presents engaging writing and a relatable protagonist. Merlin's relatability springs from his daily struggle regarding his abilities and limitations. We all regularly contend with various infirmities be it mental, physical, or emotional. I enjoyed Merlin's strength even in his uncertainty. Despite doubting his physical prowess, Merlin continued to fight and never gave up. Notwithstanding the obstacles, Merlin stood steadfast in his belief.
Holding family and friendship in high esteem, Merlin demonstrates loyalty to both through his interactions with Owain, Garth, and Natalenya. Although Garth's motives prove damaging to he and Merlin, he later redeems himself. His selfless act to save Arthur, resolve to help fight the Druidow, concern of others, and denial of food, despite his never ending hunger, allows him to right his wrongs. A most refreshing aspect, Merlin's Blade contains no love triangles. Yes, score! I found Natalenya to be a likable love interest. During their walk to the smithy, I couldn't help but smile and root for them as Natalenya hints at marriage. Some of the names, objects, and customs were new to me, I appreciated the glossary and pronunciation key in the back of the book. My favorite quote alludes to the Book of Ruth, "But though I don't know where I'm going, I can provide for you. Will you come?" She took his hand. "Where you go, I will go, and your people will be my people" (405).
Now, I await the next installment to find out what's in store for Merlin and his band of followers.
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