Dreams, prophecies, riddles, and a quest to find one's destiny.
March 1, 2015
What an adventure! Percy Jackson fans take a look, you will notice some familiar techniques. Merlin's dreams are filled with riddles and messages from the spirit world as his waking hours are filled with unexpected challenges and confrontations. Truly, Arthur, Merlin, and Natalenya are battling both. I rejoiced in the uncompromising messages of truth from the angels and prophets that spawn him on to complete his quest despite his fears, doubts, and weaknesses. I couldn't put in down and neither could my son.
Merlins Nightmare concludes the Merlins Spiral Trilogy, but we know it is not the end of the story. This is King Arthur we are talking about here.
Its been several months or so since Ive visited the previous books in the series, so I loved the opening recap where books one and two were summarized by the characters and their contributions to the story thus far. Especially since there are a lot of characters.
To get a proper feel for Merlins Nightmare, it would be beneficial to review my previous thoughts on Merlins Blade and Merlins Shadow. Both books, I was blown away. Book three? Not so much. It was a great read, enjoyed it immensely, but it didnt deliver like the first two books. At least for me. And I think it had something to do with the characters.
In the first two books, we are anchored to Merlins point of view. Yes, we cut in and out from all the other characters, but the book began and ended with Merlin. Book three ended with King Arthur. Makes sense as the ending leads to the next series, The Pendragon Spiral. But I didnt connect like I did with Merlin. I was apprehensive about the characters, being that its been about sixteen years since book two. Thats a lot of growing up to do apart from us, so we didnt grow with the characters. That said, I didnt feel a disconnect from Merlin, just more distant since the focus now shifted from Merlin to King Arthur as it should.
This novels pace is fast and the story switched back and forth between Merlins and Arthurs thread, Natalenya, the kids, and the hidden villages thread, and Morganas. Lots of stuff happening, decisions being made and their consequences being unleashed upon them all.
I loved the supernatural aspects such as the Natalenyas cut skirt connection, the mysterious visions, and the twist involving the sword and stone. And the creepy werewolves. Andyeahdont want to give too much away. :-)
I highly recommend this series, but start with book one! Im picky and eclectic when it comes to what I read, but I think it is safe to say that I would read anything by Robert Treskillard.
*In conjunction with the CSFF Blog Tour, I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.
While this is the third in a series, it can be read on its own. The author has included enough information at the beginning of the book that the reader is caught up to the present action. There is also a Glossary in the back, very helpful for all the unusual names and terms. That the Glossary is fourteen pages long tells you how many names and places you need to know. There are maps and village layouts at the beginning, again essential for following the action.
The characters have changed since the last book as sixteen years have passed. That caused a little disconnect for me. Merlin is married with children and is fearful and unsure of himself. Arthur is an adult, is brash and ready to move forward. We have missed the growing up years of Arthur and the influence Merlin had on him.
Soon I was right back following the action, however, and there is plenty of it. There are battles galore. There is the stone with the embedded sword. There are druids and hideous sacrifices Arthur and the Britons detest. There is a powerful fang and a magic orb. There are murderous man/wolves and werewolves and a dragon.
I was surprised that the end of this book does not wrap up, at least in some sense, the story. In fact, I felt like this book could have been the first in a series, not the last. We have experienced the background to Arthur becoming High King, now the next adventure begins. It seems it will in the series the author is working on, the Pendragon Spiral.
I found the spiritual aspect of the novel very interesting. Merlin, Arthur, and others are believers in Jesu Christus and call upon Him for help. In opposition are prominent pagan religions. It really gives the reader a sense of the spiritual struggle to control Britain.
Lovers of King Arthur fantasy will like this book. This entire series provides a new take on the background to King Arthur's life and the role Merlin played in it. Teen fantasy readers will enjoy it.
I wish the author had included an historical note informing readers of the aspects of the novel based on historical fact (at least as much as we know). He suggests researching names in the Glossary with asterisks for a wealth if information. So I did a Google search for Saxenow (a term with an asterisk) and found only references to Treskillard's books and a person's surname. I did not pursue that idea. Further general searching found one history site saying Vortigern died around 457, with Hengest being defeated (for the first time) then. That is quite different from the dates in this book. Granted, the chronology of the era is an educated guess but a short historical note with a timeline would have helped me understand Treskillard's dates. A page on his website on the history behind the series would be another way to help us put this series in historical context. I read books like this one to learn a little history, not just for escape. I appreciate when the author provides the information for me as a reader.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through the CSFF Blog Tour for the purpose of an independent and honest review.
Robert Treskillard in his new book Merlins Nightmare Book Three in The Merlin Spiral series published by Blink gives us another adventure with Merlin.
From the back cover: Haunted by the past, chased by the present.
Arthur is now eighteen, and Merlin, tired of hiding and running from his enemies, wants nothing more than to spend his days with his family and train Arthur for his rightful place as king. But when Arthur goes missing, a desperate Merlin must abandon all other quests to find him before a shadowy pursuer catches Arthur first.
Having everything to fight for, and almost nothing to fight with, Merlin and Arthur must rally Britains warriors against three overwhelming enemies: Saxenow hordes in the south, Picti raiders in the north, and a chilling new enemy that has arisen in the west.
At the same time, Mrgana brings Merlins deepest fear to life and sets a horde of werewolves loose to destroy Britain. But when the secret purpose of this nightmare is finally revealed, will Merlin and Arthur find a way to survivewithout unleashing an even greater evil?
Just say the two words, Merlin and Arthur and, immediately, you know you are in for a good time reading the story. Mr. Treskillard continues the story of Merlin and Arthur and brings them an adventure they are unprepared for. The enemy is gathering on three sides and Britain is severely challenged. It has been eighteen years and Merlin and Arthur are leading somewhat normal lives, almost like a normal family. However this is not to be. Arthur runs away hoping to join in the fight without telling Merlin leaving Merlin to drop everything to find him before the bad guys do. This is exciting stuff. There are multiple epic battles not only on the battlefield but in Merlins mind. The duo are pushed to the brink of doom more than once and just barely escape to continue the fight. Merlins Nightmare is an epic battle between good and evil. Mr. Treskillard has done an incredible job of bringing his characters to life and we root for them to win against overwhelming forces. Merlins Nightmare is a wonderful, interesting story with power and depth that will keep you flipping pages. While The Merlin Spiral series ends now it will pick up again in Mr. Treskillards next series, The Pendragon Spiral of which I am so looking forward to.
Disclosure of Material Connection: In conjunction with the CSFF Blog Tour, I received a free copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
Merlin's Nightmare is the PERFECT way to close out the "Merlin Spiral" series by new author Robert Treskillard. Merlin's Nightmare picks up roughly 18 years after Merlin's Shadow finishes and takes readers on an epic coming-of-age journey for Arthur. We also find Merlin deciding whether he will face his fears or let them overcome him, and possibly even the whole of Britain.
The Epilogue is the absolute perfect ending to the "Merlin Spiral". There's closure to the Merlin story line that was started in Merlin's Blade and there's intrigue into the upcoming "Pendragon Spiral" series. I, for one, will definitely be anxiously awaiting the arrival of the new series! It's not often that an author of a series will keep me coming back for more but Robert Treskillard has this writing thing down. Epic battles, great story and character development, just enough humor to keep things real. I LOVE it!
Disclaimer: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.