Saturday, July 12, 2014

Review: Merlin's Shadow (The Merlin Spiral #2)

Robert Treskillard. Grand Rapids: Blink, 2013. 430 pp.
Rating: Striking

Forged in the fires of Britain, with the sword crafted by his dying father, Merlin impales the Druid Stone thwarting Morganthau's devious scheme to usurp King Uther and redistribute power to the Druidow. Destruction of the Stone forces the evil within to beckon another mortal vessel to its bidding. Feeding on hate, weaknesses, and selfish desires, the alluring power calls to the darkness of the soul. Sorrow-laden by her parent's death, plus the loss of the only home she has ever known, rage-driven Ganieda fights the pull of the darkness, but inevitably succumbs to the enchanting "Voice."

Yet, as warned by his mother, Merlin's quest was far from complete. Actually, it had just begun. Seeking a safe refuge from their pursuers, Merlin and his faithful companions constantly dodge dangers while eluding capture. From the forests of Kernow to the coast of Dintaga and through the valleys of Kembry, Vortigern hunts the ragtag group. However, at some point, the chase must end. Seized during a Pictish raid, Merlin and company head north escaping Vortigern, but march to an unknown fate. 

Merlin's Shadow is a continuation of Treskillard's engaging story-telling and well-developed characters. It opens with a concise summary of Merlin's Blade allowing readers to immediately jump into book two with a good grasp of the previous novel; thereby, negating the lost feeling many readers experience upon starting a book in the middle of a series. Told from multiple points of view--that of Merlin, Ganieda, Morganthu, and King Uther's traitorous Army Captain, Vortigern--readers delve deeper into these characters enabling notice of personality changes from the earlier novel.

Throughout the book, readers experience Ganieda's incessant torment and conflicting emotions torn between wanting love, acceptance, and a place to call home or choosing a heart of malice. Merlin, on the other hand, regains his visual abilities, but loses sight of his unwavering faith. Though wallowing in self-doubt with each new hardship, Merlin refuses to give in to circumstance. Merlin's Shadow is a well-crafted tale wrapped in prophecy, adventure, faith, vengeance, perseverance, and tenacity. 

On a side note: I thought Muscravel died in Merlin's Blade. If anyone else thought the same thing, please let know that I wasn't alone. 

Favorite Quote

"Breath fled from her lungs like grain spilling from a torn bag--and she moved no more." (quoted from ARC)

I received a complimentary copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

To view my review of Merlin's Blade.

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