The Young Merlin Trilogy by Jane Yolen [Review]

passager.jpgIt was the winner of the 1998 Mythopoeic Fantasy Award (Children) so it should not come as a surprise that I am reading these books as part of the Mythopoeic Reading Challenge.

They won the award as a trilogy so only counts as one book towards that challenge, and so short are the individual books (around 90 pages) I’d feel a little guilty doing anything else! (which means of course I am only going to count them as one towards my target of 100 books this year – that is of course unless I fall a couple short! 😉

hobby-thumb.jpgI sort of chose these books, because at the moment I am watching the Saturday-night BBC series Merlin, which focuses on the magician’s younger years as well (in the case of the TV series, his late teens) and I though they’d be a bit of associated fun. 🙂

The first in the series, Passager, follows a eight year old Merlin from the time his is left in the woods, the year there he survives alone and when he is found by (and goes to live with) a falconer a journey of hardship, danger, and magic that will one day make him merlin-thumb.jpgthe most famous wizard of all time.

The second book of the Young Merlin trilogy, Hobby, follows Merlin from the age of 12. Merlin has lived with the falconer and his family for four years, when a devastating fire leaves Merlin alone once again. And so begins an adventure with a street magician and his wife.

In the third of the trilogy, Merlin, the young wizard, having just escaped the king in book two, Merlin finds himself first saved by and then imprisoned in a cage by a group of wild woodland folk called the wodewose. It his here that be meets and befriends the small boy who will one day grow up to be King Arthur.

Aimed primarily at the 8-12 market there is enough about the books that they will probably appeal to the adult reader as well. The books are extremely slim (as I said, around 90 pages a piece) so they are more glimpse into the story than a fully fledged epic. Each an simple sketch into the boy who would become the most famous wizard ever.

If you have an hour or two to spare and enjoy Arthurian tales (or even just a light fantasy) then these could be definitely worth your time!

Buy, the Young Merlin Trilogy from The Book Depository.

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    5 thoughts on “The Young Merlin Trilogy by Jane Yolen [Review]

    • Pingback: November Wrap-Up | Bart's Bookshelf

    • November 29 at 8:45 pm

      I’ve been wanting to read some Jane Yolen for so long. These sound great! The only thing I’ve read by her is a short graphic novel of a ballad in Charles Vess’ Book of Ballads.

      And congrats on the Gaiman mention! I had a huge smile on my face when I saw that. Now you, Nymeth, Carl and I have all been mentioned over there! Good to see that he appreciates our little blogging group!

      Chris´s last blog post: Happy Turkey Day!

      • November 29 at 10:55 pm

        You had a huge smile? 😀 Actually I think mine was more 😮 LOL!

    • November 29 at 8:13 pm

      I read this trilogy earlier this year and enjoy it a lot. You’re right, they do feel like glimpses into a larger story, but then again in a way that’s what they are. And I just love Jane Yolen’s writing. Have you read anything else by her?

      Also, have you see Neil Gaiman’s latest blog post? There’s something there that will make you smile 😀

      • November 29 at 8:21 pm

        No, this these are the first books, I’ve read by her (though I suspect not the last!)

        Yes, I’ve read Mr Gaiman’s blog! 😳 I nearly fell out of my bed this morning when I was checking my email and found the Google alert!

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