Friday, June 30, 2017

Sequel Review: Merlin's Nightmare

I would suggest reading Merlin's Blade and Merlin's Shadow prior to this book. As always, this review should be spoiler-free. I'll be back next week with a new series!

The Short:

Merlin’s Nightmare
The Merlin Spiral, Book 1

By: Robert Treskillard

4/5 Stars

What: It’s time for Arthur to take his rightful place as Pendragon—but can Merlin let go of his hopes and fears to allow him to do it?

Recommended to those who like: Arthurian legend, Christian, fantasy.

The Long:

In the final installment of the Merlin Spiral, Merlin and company have settled into their new lives. Arthur is a growing man, skilled in war, while Merlin has settled into his new life as a bard, raising his family. But when disaster strikes Britain, will Merlin be able to let Arthur go meet his destiny? Or will his old fears keep him from trusting God’s plan?

This was a nice conclusion to the Merlin Spiral, though it almost felt more like the beginning of a new series. Several new characters are introduced, while former main characters begin to take more of a back seat to Arthur and his warband. Even though this book wasn’t my favorite in the series, I thought it set up nicely for the upcoming Pendragon Spiral, which I certainly look forward to reading when it comes out.

I found the action to be exciting, but I felt removed in time from many of the villains since the gap between books 2 and 3 was so large in “story time”. I will give the book that it made me genuinely fearful for the main characters at multiple points—that’s more than many books can do—and the villains were genuinely creepy.

The Christian message was good overall, especially in the aspect that it showed characters struggling with past problems and not just miraculously never relapsing into old doubts and fears. However, I did think that it toed the line toward preachy a couple of times.

Overall, this was a good book, but I thought it was a better transitionary book than a true end to a series. I look forward to reading the next series when it comes out.

The Bottom Line: This series would be well-suited for teens and up who enjoy fantasy and don’t object to magic use by antagonists.                                                                                                                                         

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