The Resource The lost years of Merlin, T.A. Barron

The lost years of Merlin, T.A. Barron

Label
The lost years of Merlin
Title
The lost years of Merlin
Statement of responsibility
T.A. Barron
Title variation
Lost years
Creator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
A young boy who has no identity nor memory of his past washes ashore on the coast of Wales and finds his true name after a series of fantastic adventures
Member of
Storyline
Pace
Writing style
Award
YALSA Best Books for Young Adults, 1997
Review
  • Books for Youth, Older Readers: Gr. 7-10. This is the first volume in a planned trilogy about Merlin's youth, an area generally ignored in traditional Merlin lore. Barron has certainly come up with an intriguing perspective of what he calls Merlin's lost years, as told by the future wizard himself. A boy, hurled on the rocks by the sea, regains consciousness unable to remember anything--not his parents, not his own name. He is sure that the secretive Branwen is not his mother, despite her claims, and that Emrys is not his real name. The two soon find themselves feared because of Branwen's healing abilities and Emrys' growing powers, and when they are attacked, Emrys strikes out, causing an inferno that blinds him when he plunges into the fire to rescue his antagonist. Branwen and Emrys are taken in by nuns, and as Emrys despairs and heals, he discovers yet another talent--that of second sight--which enables him to embark on a quest to find his true name and heritage. His journey leads him back across the sea to the isle of Fincayra, a mysterious land "not of the Earth, nor of the Otherworld." There he joins forces with the forest girl Rhia and the heroic little giant Shim to battle the evil Rhita Gawr, whose blight is destroying the isle. Barron has created not only a magical land populated by remarkable beings but also a completely magical tale, filled with ancient Celtic and Druidic lore, that will enchant readers. ((Reviewed Sept. 1, 1996)) -- Sally Estes
  • Gr 5-8--This first installment in a planned trilogy about Merlin's shadowy youth takes some intriguing twists. Young Emrys washes up on a Welsh beach with a woman who claims to be his mother. For years, they share a hovel, but Branwen tells him nothing about his past. One day he discovers that he has some unusual powers; using them to kindle a fire in Branwen's defense, he is blinded by the flames. However, he learns to see without eyes--using his "second sight." Desperate to know about his past, Emrys, now 12, sets off on an ocean journey. He lands on Fincayra, where he plunges into a dangerous quest to rescue the island from the destructive blight caused by a pact between its king and an evil power. In the process, he befriends a young Fincayran girl and a dwarf who becomes a giant through a brave deed. Emrys also learns the truth about his origins. The Fincayran portion of the story is very much like Lloyd Alexander's "Prydain Chronicles": a young boy and girl team up with a cute non-human to save a kingdom from the force of evil, with Welsh-style names abounding. Also, while the characterization of the hero is excellent, the portrayal of some minor figures is fair at best. However, the fast-moving plot is sure to keep readers turning pages. The tale is compelling enough to ensure that they will anticipate the next book in the series to learn how the events ultimately tie in to the more familiar body of Arthurian legend.--Mary Jo Drungil, Niles Public Library District, IL
  • In this coming-of-age fantasy, Barron (The Merlin Effect) investigates what he perceives as the mystery of the great enchanter's little-mentioned childhood and adolescence. Merlin himself narrates, at first in realistic mode as a child called Emrys in a grubby village in Wales, where he had washed ashore five years earlier; he is haunted by his inability to remember his earlier life. After some misadventures when his supernatural powers develop, he decides to set about "finding my past, my identity." Somehow he makes his way across the ocean to Fincayra, a strange place not quite of this world. There he gets drawn into a great conflict between good and evil, and the story mutates into a high fantasy quest populated by weird and mythic creatures. This part of the tale draws heavily on the Welsh Mabinogion; some of Merlin's adventures thus resemble Taran's in Lloyd Alexander's Prydain Chronicles, which also uses that body of legend. Merlin learns of his Fincayran birthright, but in the clumsily handled conclusion he looks off into the future (and to the planned sequel), having decided that although he has found his past and his identity he has not found his "true home." Some readers--mostly teens or adults--will be looking eagerly with him. Others may find this attempt to create a biography for Merlin less of an organic novel than a showcase for the author's deft recycling of Welsh myth. Ages 8-up. (Sept.)
  • Barton (The Merlin Effect, 1994, etc.) transforms the early years of the mythical wizard's life into a vivid, action-filled fantasy, replete with deep forests, ruined castles, and evil spells: a promising first installment of a projected trilogy. Although Emrys, 12-year-old son of Branwen, has fantastic powers, he is also a charismatic and sympathetic character; many readers will no doubt empathize with his self-pity, awkwardness, and the tense relationship he shares with his mother, a witch. But Barron never forgets his hero's destiny, and so when Emrys defends his mother from the flames of an angry mob by telekinetically burning the town bully, he leaps into the fire to save the boy and loses his own eyesight. Recovering in an abbey from his burns, Emrys develops second sight, vows to never again use his powers in anger, and sets out to learn his destiny. Along the way, he meets Rhia, who is brave, intelligent, and resourceful, and who enlists his aid in the war that forms the final steps toward adulthood that Emrys--now Merlin--takes. While Barton is careful to show that Merlin is still physically a boy, readers are left with a vision of a more confident, compassionate hero, prepared to confront the joys and sorrows that await him in future volumes. (Kirkus Reviews, August 15, 1996)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
085788
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Barron, T. A
Dewey number
[Fic]
Illustrations
maps
Index
no index present
Intended audience
770L
Intended audience source
Lexile
Interest level
MG
Literary form
novels
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/minGradeLevel
  • 5
  • 8
Reading level
5.1
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
Series statement
  • Volume one of the trilogy
  • Lost years of Merlin
  • Merlin
Series volume
  • 1
  • 1
Study program name
Accelerated Reader
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Merlin
  • Wizards
  • Magicians
  • Reading (Middle school)
Target audience
juvenile
Label
The lost years of Merlin, T.A. Barron
Instantiates
Publication
Copyright
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Dimensions
24 cm.
Extent
326 pages
Isbn
9780399230189
Lccn
96033920
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other control number
9780399230189
Other physical details
illustrations
Label
The lost years of Merlin, T.A. Barron
Publication
Copyright
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Dimensions
24 cm.
Extent
326 pages
Isbn
9780399230189
Lccn
96033920
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other control number
9780399230189
Other physical details
illustrations

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