Merlin's Blade by Robert Treskillard

(7.5/10) Treskillard handled the religious material with a mostly deft hand.

Robert Treskillard's debut novel is a breath of fresh air in an otherwise stagnant Arthurian genre. Rather than trying to retell the same old story in a slightly different way, he decides to plumb the depths of Celtic legend and mythology for inspiration and tell a story about Merlin as a young boy. The victim of a wolf attack as a child, Merlin is half-blind with a scarred face, always dependent upon others for help. Befriended by the monks of the abbey, his village is at peace until the Druids return, calling the people back to the old ways. The Druids come with signs and wonders, a great blue stone of terrible power, an aerolite that fell from heaven and seems able to be able to beguile the whole world. Convinced that the stone is evil, Merlin sets out to destroy it, and in the process will become the legendary figure we know today.

Merlin's Blade is Christian Fiction, but as far as that genre goes Treskillard handled the religious material with a mostly deft hand and is an improvement over a lot of similar material available. His prose is strong and clear, and the book proves that his abilities as a storyteller will only grow with the remaining volumes. Young adults will enjoy the book, as will many adults. Recommended.

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