Monthly Archives: May 2013

Merlin’s Blade — A Teenager’s Review

6825-merlins After a long absence from the CSF&F Blog Tour, I return for Robert Treskillard’s debut fantasy novel. A few years back, he and I exchanged the opening chapters of our manuscripts and provided feedback. My book is still waiting the final word from a publisher, but Robert’s has hit the shelves. Whoo Hoo!

So, for the first day of the three-day tour, fifteen-year-old Niece #1 has re-entered the book reviewing lists, this time without securing promises of food and drink in return for her gallant efforts:

Merlin’s Blade by Robert Treskillard is an excellent story — engaging and well-crafted. There is a wonderful attention to detail and a feeling of history in the writing, from the dialogue and settings to the names and appearances of the characters. Every page, every sentence, every word that I read, I could not help but feel as though I were there, standing in the world of the story and watching it all play out.

The characters are portrayed vividly and realistically. Garth, the orphan, is self-centered and lonely, but does learn to do the right thing. Owain, Merlin’s father, is a man who has been blinded by the world but find faith again. Merlin, the main character, is someone I can especially identify with. He is young and struggles with faith, courage, and self-esteem. In addition, due to a wolf attack when he was young, Merlin struggles with extremely poor eyesight — something a person who is nearsighted like I am can empathize with.

The plot starts slowly and draws you in — Merlin is having a perfectly ordinary day when a powerful force forever disrupts life in his village. An evil druid Stone betwitches the people, drawing them away from God and destroying them. Only Merlin is impervious to the Stone’s power; therefore, he alone can save his people.

I could not put this book down until I found out how it ended. Upon finishing, I was quite satisfied with Treskillard’s treatment of the characters and the world of Arthurian legend. I am eagerly awaiting the publication of the full trilogy — I want to know what happens next!

I’m still reading the book, but will post my own thoughts on the book tomorrow or the day after.

Addendum (5-31-13): Life took me down different roads this week, so no other blog tour posts on this topic, but I believe the next book in the Merlin’s Spiral series is due out later this year.

Meantime, below is a list of other stops along the tour. Although there are tours where bloggers’ reviews are similar, opinions can vary widely on the same book. Someone will think of something the others didn’t consider, or will have a sideways approach to the story. Whatever — it’s all good.

Noah Arsenault
Beckie Burnham
Keanan Brand
Jeff Chapman
Laure Covert
Pauline Creeden
Emma or Audrey Engel
April Erwin
Victor Gentile
Ryan Heart
Timothy Hicks
Jason Joyner
Carol Keen
Krystine Kercher
Shannon McDermott
Meagan @ Blooming with Books
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Joan Nienhuis
Nathan Reimer
Chawna Schroeder
Kathleen Smith
Jojo Sutis
Robert Treskillard
Steve Trower
Phyllis Wheeler
Shane Werlinger
Nicole White


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I See You!

Niece #2, first as I see her through a tunnel on the playground, and next as she peeks around the edge of her safety seat at the end of a fun couple of hours at the park to celebrate her last day of kindergarten:

c2013, KB

c2013, KB


c2013 KB

c2013, KB

There were dinosaur slides, funky plastic grass on the playground, and toothy dinosaurs that rocked back and forth on sturdy springs. Then there was a fountain that could not be contained on a windy day, spraying water on passersby. Good times.

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Posted by on May 24, 2013 in Family, Photography, Stories, Uncategorized


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Tales of Woe and Wonder

Just a short post after a long silence.

Here’s a review of a book I recently finished reading:

Tales of Woe and WonderTales of Woe and Wonder by Jeff Chapman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“Tales of Woe and Wonder” is an excellent title for this collection of short stories. I didn’t quite know what to expect when I dove in, but I’m glad I did. There’s darkness here — as there was in the old fairy tales — but also much wonder.

Sometimes I stopped to re-read a sentence or a phrase, enjoying the way the words sounded, how they fit one another. Enjoying the actual writing in a novel is a rare thing for me these days, so when I encounter it, I share it with the world.

I highly recommend this book.

View all my reviews

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Posted by on May 14, 2013 in Books, Reading, Stories, Uncategorized


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