The Lost Years of Merlin by T. A. Barron

(Cover picture courtesy of Winter Park Public Library.)

Washed up on the shores of ancient Wales, the boy had no home, no memory and no name…

He was determined to find all three.

Under the wing of the mysterious Branwen, who claims to be his mother, the nameless boy learns the lore of such ancient peoples as the Celts and the Druids.  But to discover his identity and the secret of his own powers, he must escape to the mist-shrouded isle of Fincayra, an enchanted land between earth and sky that is being destroyed by blight.  With this land’s inhabitants to guide him, the boy will learn that Fincayra’s fate and his own quest are strangely intertwined…

He is destined to become the greatest wizard of all time.

History will name him Merlin…

I’ve always been fascinated by the Arthurian legends and in particular with the mysterious sorcerer, Merlin.  And this book is what sparked my fascination.

It’s the Dark Ages in ancient Wales, after the Roman Empire has withdrawn and nothing is truly certain.  Emrys lives with Branwen, a woman that claims to be his mother, but because he lost his memory when they washed up on shore five years ago, he does not believe her.  But their life together is happy until the people of their small village turn against them and accuse Branwen of witchcraft.  This is when Emry’s life changes irrevocably and he sets out on a journey to learn about his past.

I read this book when I was quite young and now that I’ve re-read it, I have gotten a lot more out of it.  T. A. Barron intertwines old Arthurian legends with Celtic mythology to create a beautifully written, enchanting story.  All of the characters—especially Emrys—are very sympathetic and will definitely hold your attention.  The land of Fincayra is very well-developed and it’s where Baron’s wonderful imagination really shines through.  For anyone who likes fantasy, this is a worthwhile read.

I give this book 5/5 stars.

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  1. Pingback: The Lost Years of Merlin, by T.A. Barron « Booking It Up!

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