Wednesday, December 18, 2013

CSFF Blog Tour Day 3: Merlin's Shadow by Robert Treskillard

When I was growing up my favorite movie was (and still is) Excalibur. It was played constantly on cable and I literally watched it hundreds of times. My claim to fame was that I knew every line from the movie (Let's overlook the fact that a child of ten should not watch this movie for a few reasons).

Already a fantasy reader, I fell in love with the Legend of King Arthur and the cast of characters. Over the years I have eaten up everything that has come along that has do with Arthur, Merlin, and the rest, and there has been a lot. From books to movies to TV shows, the Arthurian legend has been told and retold and then retold again.

It was with mixed feelings that I approached this retelling of the story by Robert Treskillard. He first introduces us to the famed wizard Merlin as boy in Merlin's Blade. Merlin is young and blind but stands up to evil despite his obvious failings. By the end the immediate threat is destroyed and Merlin is healed, but he is far from safe.

Merlin's Shadow picks up right where Merlin's Blade leaves off. Merlin is running with the infant Arthur, heir to the throne, along with his friend, Garth, and his love, Natalenya. Not only is Merlin being pursued by Vortigern, is the real murder of the High King, but his only sister is now his sworn enemy. Can Merlin overcome the obstacles before him, including himself, to overcome an ancient and powerful evil?

My Thoughts on Merlin's Shadow

Whenever a new project comes around having to do with King Arthur, Merlin, or any of the other characters, I get nervous and excited. Each book, movie, and TV show have been done with varying degrees of quality. Some have tried to stay true to the period while others went straight fantasy and others have tried to mix the two.

Treskillard has done something very unique. He has used historical accuracy, with a splash of fantasy, to make Merlin come alive. He has also used this setting to proclaim Christ being the truth in a way that fits well and is not jammed in there to fit.

He also makes the characters layered and has them grow through the story. Merlin obviously goes through a lot, but others do as well. His friend Garth is one who comes to mind. Treskillard tells a story with twists and turns filled with action and heart. We care about the characters, rejoicing at their triumphs and fretting at the dangers they face.

If the first two books are any indication, Treskillard's Merlin's Spiral series will be a high quality, doing justice to the Arthurian legend.

* In conjunction with the CSFF Blog tour, I received a free copy of this book.

Stop by Robert Treskillard's website or his blog.

Check out what my fellow CSFF Blog Tour friends are saying:

Red Bissell
Thomas Clayton Booher
Beckie Burnham
Jeff Chapman
Pauline Creeden
April Erwin
Victor Gentile
Ryan Heart
Timothy Hicks
Jason Joyner
Carol Keen
Jennette Mbewe
Amber McCallister
Shannon McDermott
Meagan @ Blooming with Books
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Joan Nienhuis
Jalynn Patterson
Writer Rani
Nathan Reimer
Chawna Schroeder
Jacque Stengl
Jojo Sutis
Robert Treskillard
Steve Trower
Phyllis Wheeler
Deborah Wilson


  1. Shane ... great review, and I consider that a privilege considering how much of Arthuriana you've experienced!

    I'm glad you enjoyed Garth's journey, too ... his bagpipe comes in quite handy on occasion!

  2. Nice to hear the opinion of someone who's an Arthur geek. Personally, I'm waiting for the all-Klingon version to come out. Preferably, a musical.


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