Review: Merlin’s Shadow by Robert Treskillard

Merlin's Shadow by Robert TreskillardMerlin’s Shadow (The Merlin Spiral #2)
Robert Treskillard
Blink YA
Published October 1, 2013

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

After vowing to protect young Arthur at all costs, Merlin and his companions flee from the army of Vortigern, the new self-proclaimed king of Briton. Merlin’s faith falters along the difficult road, as does his confidence in the love of the fair Natalenya. Now that his sight has been restored to him, he can’t help but despise the terrible scars that mar his face. He decides to ask Natalenya to break her vow to marry him and return to her family. Heartbroken, Natalenya fears the mysterious illness that plagues her has driven away Merlin’s love for her. A vicious tribe of Picts corners Merlin and his companions and forces them to choose between death and slavery. Desperate to save Arthur, Merlin chooses slavery and endures cruel treatment at the hands of his master and tribal leaders. When help finally comes, Merlin fears the price may be too great, and all the sacrifices he’s made may prove worthless.

This second novel in the Merlin Spiral picks up immediately following the first installment. Unfamiliar readers (or those who’ve lost track of some of the finer plot points since reading the first book) will be thrilled to find a brief synopsis of the series’ debut in the opening pages of this tale. In addition, Treskillard also provides a character glossary with pronunciation notes, which is a great help to readers who struggle to remember the roles for each character in the large cast.

While some stories seem to lose steam in the second book, the Merlin Spiral only ratchets up the action and intensity, propelling readers through action and danger. Characters continue to grow as they face new threats and challenges. Fans of the classic story of Arthur and Merlin will continue to enjoy the fresh, imaginative twists to the tale and find themselves eager for the third installment.

Profanity/Crude Language Content
None.

Sexual Content
None.

Spiritual Content
Beneath the familiar story of King Arthur and Merlin lies a raging war between Christianity and Druidism for the Isle of Briton. Some Druidic rituals are referenced, including human sacrifice and use of powerful artifacts. A young girl falls into a burial pit and sinks to the bottom where she encounters a Druid deity. Merlin sees God-gifted visions and finds the Sangraal (Holy Grail.)

Violence
Battles between Merlin’s companions and Druids or soldiers following the self-proclaimed British king Vortigern are described with moderate detail.

A savage tribe of Picts carries Merlin, the young Arthur and their band of companions off into slavery and treats them cruelly. A Druid ritual nearly costs a young boy his life.

Drug Content
None.

Note: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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About Kasey Giard

Kasey is a mother, reader and aspiring author. When she's not reading or writing, you might find her out on the water fly fishing, pretending she can keep houseplants alive, or talking with the family rescue cat.
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