Reviews for Seven Songs of Merlin


Horn Book Guide Reviews 1998
In the sequel to [cf2]The Lost Years of Merlin[cf1], Merlin abandons his appointed task to heal the barren lands of Fincayra and misuses powers to bring his mother to the island. Almost immediately she is stricken by a death shadow meant for her son, and Merlin must obtain a life-giving elixir from the Otherworld. The adventure-filled fantasy adds a new dimension to the legendary character. Copyright 1998 Horn Book Guide Reviews

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 1997 July #3
Picking up where The Merlin Effect left off, this patchy tale opens when young Merlin is summoned by the Great Council of Fincayra to heal their wounded land. The boy decides instead to follow his own wishes, with disastrous consequences: a deadly curse on his mother. In order to save her, he must learn the Seven Songs of Wizardry, and his desperate quest leads him and companion Rhia on a whirlwind tour of the magical isle. His pursuit of the Seven Songs leads to seven individual adventures with some interesting brushes with characters and objects from the Arthurian mythos (i.e., a sword that will be Excalibur and the temptress-to-be Nimue). However, each adventure boils down to a lesson and Merlin's recitation of such noble clichés as "The strongest bonds are of the heart," and "Everything is connected to everything else." Except for some unexpected developments and encounters with characters from the first book, this Round Table-inspired tale may not do enough to pique readers' interest, especially avid Arthurian legend fans. Ages 10-up. (Sept.) Copyright 1998 Publishers Weekly Reviews

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School Library Journal Reviews 1997 September
In this sequel to The Lost Years of Merlin (Philomel, 1996), 13-year-old Merlin faces down the powers of darkness on the island of Fincayra and masters the traditional Seven Songs of Wisdom. In one month's time, he must discover the soul of each song and journey to the Otherworld to obtain a magical elixir to save his mother's life. He is accompanied by Rhia, a girl who possesses a mystical relationship with nature; and Bumbelwy, an annoying and pessimistic court jester. Adventure follows adventure as Merlin seeks wisdom and learns that his pride is his worst enemy. The trio encounters giants, a huge spider with a voracious appetite, and a treacherous one-eyed monster. In the village of Slantos, Merlin finds the magical sword that will one day belong to King Arthur. This richly layered fantasy is filled with harrowing escapades and many surprises. While readers may never doubt the outcome, they will eagerly devour the chapters to arrive at the satisfying conclusion. Arthurian legend is used as the starting point for a delightfully original story of magic and myth that retains the spirit of the classic tales. Merlin is a flawed hero, yet he rises to each new challenge. While the title can stand alone, there are constant allusions to incidents and characters introduced in the first book. Readers will surely be waiting impatiently for the third part of this marvelous series. Copyright 1998 School Library Journal Reviews

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