Alrighty. 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.
Emma or Audrey Engel
Meagan @ Blooming with Books
Rebecca LuElla Miller