Monday, May 27, 2013

Book Spotlight: Merlin's Blade

Happy Memorial Day!  I always feel strange saying that, because Memorial Day isn't really a happy day.  It's a day set aside to honor the troupes who have fallen to preserve America.  What do you think?
Today, I'm doing a special spotlight as part of the Christian Science Fiction and Fantasy Blog Tour.  The book I'm talking about today is Merlin's Blade by Robert Treskillard.
Before the round table
Before Author was crowned
There was . . . Merlin

Click HERE to buy on Amazon.

About the Author:
Robert Treskillard is a Celtic enthusiast who holds a B.A. in Biblical & Theological Studies from Bethel University, Minnesota. He has been crafting stories from his early youth, is a software developer, graphic artist, and sometime bladesmith. He and his wife have three children and are still homeschooling their youngest. They live in the country outside St. Louis, Missouri.

It all began when Robert’s son wanted to learn blacksmithing and sword-making. The two set out to learn the crafts and in the process were told by a relative that they were descended from a Cornish blacksmith.

This lit the fire of Robert’s imagination, and so welding his Celtic research to his love of the legends of King Arthur, a book was forged—Merlin’s Blade, book one of The Merlin Spiral, now published by Zondervan / BLINK Young Adult Books and available worldwide wherever books are sold.

And about the book:

Merlin's Greatest Weakness Could Become His Greatest Strength 

When a meteorite crashes near a small village in fifth-century Britain, it brings with it a mysterious black stone that bewitches anyone who comes in contact with its glow---a power the druids hope to use to destroy King Uthur's kingdom, as well as the new Christian faith. The only person who seems immune is a young, shy, half-blind swordsmith's son named Merlin. 

As his family, village, and even the young Arthur, are placed in danger, Merlin must face his fears and his blindness to take hold of the role God ordained for him. But when he is surrounded by adversaries, armed only by a sword he helped forge, how will he save the girl he cherishes and rid Britain of this deadly evil ... without losing his life? 

And a few of my thoughts:

In reading this book, I discovered something.  I am much harder on a novel if I know I'm going to write a review about it.  I received an Advanced Reader Copy of Merlin's Blade about a month ago for review purposes.  I knew I was going to be writing a review about it.  I'm pretty sure this is part of the reason I couldn't get into the book.  I'm pretty picky when it comes to my medieval Briton fiction.  There are a few books I absolutely love, a few I enjoy, and the rest I have a really hard time getting through.  I was really hoping Merlin's Blade would fall into the first category  but it didn't.  For some reason, I had a very hard time getting into this book.  I took it with me on vacation, even started reading it a few times, but it just didn't hold my interest.  I think part of this is that it begins rather slow.  This is a problem I see in a lot of medieval Briton fantasy novels.  Finally, over the weekend, I did push myself through the first few chapters and the book got much better.  I haven't finished it yet, though.  If I do, I'll let you know with another post.  I think that if this had been a book I'd checked out of my local library without the pressure of writing a review, I would have liked it better and been able to get into it more.  I also think that this book is written for boys, specifically 11-14 year olds.  In case you couldn't tell by the purple and green of my blog and my first name, Sarah, I'm not a boy.  And I'm also older than 14.  I'm pretty sure if I gave this book to my 12 year old brother to read, he would really enjoy it!  And the story did pick up quite a bit by Chapter 5.

Please remember, my thoughts are not the only ones out there.  Check out some of the other posts on this tour before you make any judgment calls on Merlin's Blade.


  1. Thanks for the review, Sarah! I'll be interested to find out what you think once (and if) you finish it.

    One thing to note is that Natalenya plays an increasingly important role in Merlin's Blade. In fact, her help at the very end is critical.

    She also continues as an important character in books 2 and 3, with book 3 spotlighting her so that about 1/3 of the novel follows her story.

    Also, book 2 is about 50% split between Merlin's story and the story of his younger sister, Ganieda (that's her on the cover).


    1. I'm happy to hear that Natalenya has a bigger part in Book 3, Mr. Treskillard! She was one of my favorite characters. But I also loved Merlin :)

  2. Hey Sarah!

    I just came across your blog and saw the title of your post, I love medieval Briton fiction! There are some really good books by Rosemary Sutcliff about King Arthur & Merlin and & Round Table that you might really enjoy, called: Sword and the Circle, Road to Camlann, and The Light beyond the Forest.


    P.S. My blog:

    1. I read this book and reviewed it too. I actually liked it--I thought Robert Treskillard was really good at keeping those pages turning--but thought that the characters needed to be more distinguishable. Also, I would have appreciated a less modern feel to the story.


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