Gr 6-10-- T. A. Barron's The Lost Years of Merlin series goes out with bang in this final installment (Philomel, 2007). The action revolves around a young Merlin trying desperately to save his beloved homeland, Fincayra, from the evil Rita Gawr. His time is limited because on the longest night of winter Rita Gawr, warlord of the spirit world, will bring his undead armies from the other side and destroy Fincayra forever. Merlin must convince the other inhabitants of Fincayra to put their differences aside to fight against Rita Gawr and save their home. In addition, Merlin must defeat a deadly warrior with blades for arms before he kills off all of Fincayra's children. Listeners are swept into Merlin's adventure and the action never lets up. Fincayra vividly comes to life through Barron's textual imagery and Kevin Isola's brilliant narration. He gives each character a unique voice--from Merlin to the ornery female leader of the dwarves to his silly but well intentioned giant friend--without skipping a beat. While events from previous volumes are mentioned, this title can easily stand alone. Fantasy fans will gobble up this fast-paced tale that gives yet another possible answer to the question of Merlin's origins before he met Arthur.--Shari Fesko, Southfield Public Library, MI[Page 58]. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.