The story of King Arthur is buried somewhere in legend and Treskillard has begun to uncover it in this historical fantasy.
Merlin is an important character in the Arthur legends and this novel gives us a plausible way he came into King Arthur's service.
The novel centers on the pagan druidow trying to overturn the Christian influence in Britain. Their leader has found a stone, a meteorite, that has amazing power, evil power. This stone epitomizes the devil and his hatred for Christ. The druidow use this stone on the people in Merlin's village, to entice them back to belief in the ancient gods.
Merlin is a young man nearly blind from an attack by wolves. The son of a smithy, he did not want to get involved in the spiritual battle. But he had to. “Merlin could feel it. Change. Change that would sweep across Britain, erase the name of Christ from the people's memory, and bring suffering and bondage in its wake.” (204)
I am not an avid reader of Arthurian tales but I really liked this novel. It brought to the forefront the spiritual battle between Christians and the druids in the fifth-century. The spiritual future of Britain is at stake. And Merlin is such a little guy, so to speak. He's nearly blind (but that turns out to be an advantage). He's not a burly swordsman. But he has the courage to fight for what he knows is right for Britain. I really like him as a hero.
I also like learning about what Christianity was like in Britain during that time. We sometimes think Christianity has always been like we experience it today. This novel is a good reminder that many have had to fight so that Christianity would survive the attacks of evil.
And fight Merlin did. There is tons of action in this novel, and just a bit of romance. But this is just the beginning of the story. I look forward to the successive books in this series.
Go to Treskillard's website to find out more about the book, enter a contest, get free wallpaper, and discussion questions. Read his blog here.
Watch the book trailer here.
Robert Treskillard is a Celtic enthusiast who holds a B.A. In Biblical & theological Studies from Bethel University. He is a software developer, graphic artist, sometimes bladesmith, and has been crafting stories since his childhood. He and his wife have three children and live near St. Louis, Missouri.
Zondervan, 432 pages. Please visit your local Christian bookstore to buy this book.
I am taking part in the Christian Science Fiction and Fantasy blog tour for this book. You can read other reviews at the bloggers below.
I received an advanced reading copy of this book from the publisher, in cooperation with the Christian Science Fiction and Fantasy blog tour, for the purpose of this review.