Merlin’s Spiral Trilogy / by Robert Treskillard. 8.29.2014

Merlin’s Blade / by Robert Treskillard. (Merlin’s Spiral, 1)

Blink ISBN 9780310735076

Merlin’s Shadow / by Robert Treskillard. (Merlin’s Spiral, 2)

Blink ISBN 9780310735083

Merlin’s Nightmare / by Robert Treskillard. (Merlin’s Spiral, 3)

Blink ISBN 9780310735090

HS Grades 10-12 Rating: 4

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 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).

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.

Recommended for public libraries and school libraries.

Carol R. Gehringer,

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