Author: T.A. Barron
Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy
Edition/Pages: Ace Fantasy, 2000/285 pages
Short & Sweet Synopsis: After discovering his magical powers and traveling to the enchanted land of Fincayra, young Merlin must save the land and its people from the evil ogre Balor by mastering the Seven Songs of Wizardry passed down from the greatest wizard in history.
Before reading: You might want to check out my review of book one in the series.
Hope in the Form of Music
Many people turn to music as their comfort. It gives us…well, all sorts of things: it lets us know we are not alone, it helps us sort through our feelings, and sometimes it even gives us hope for the future. The role of music in Barron’s book is a little more complicated than some well written lyrics and the catchy melody which we might be used to, but it is certainly an interesting concept. In this book, Merlin must learn to see not with his eyes but with his heart, and in doing so master the Seven Songs which were passed down from the most powerful wizard in the history of Fincayra, who just happens to be his grandfather.
Young Adult Book, Adult Themes
The main reason that Merlin is struggling through all of the conflict that he is, with relatively little complaint, is because his mother’s life is at risk. One of the first victims of the evil sweeping the land, Merlin must succeed where all before him have failed and bring back a precious elixir to save her. This book, in keeping with the first in the series, tugged at my heartstrings a little more than expected. It is certainly appropriate for younger readers, but it also deals with some deeper themes which they may or may not appreciate, depending on the child.
In either case, I don’t think it is an uninteresting read for an adult! Of course, the writing is a tad simplistic, but the story and characters are solid. With this book, Barron has managed to avoid the trap of a sequel that pales in comparison to its popular predecessor. This book – this series – definitely stays on my list of those well worth reading. Plus, it has a map in the front. I love books with maps.