Sons of Avalon: Merlin's Prophecy
by Dee Marie
||Conceptual Images Publishing
||February 8, 2008
An Arthurian Adventure,
The rebirth of a legend
Barnes & Noble.com
Sons of Avalon
Chaos ensues as Rome abandons Britain, leaving native Britons alone to defend their shores from the growing Saxon invasion.
Set in 5th Century Britain, this retelling of the traditional legends of Merlin, King Arthur, and Avalon, blends a mixture of historical fact with Arthurian fantasy.
Refreshingly innovative, the tale spans the mysterious birth of Merlin, climaxing with the conception of Arthur—the legendary future king of Britain.
A young Merlin advises three High Kings: to fight through the bedlam, fight for the right to rule, fight to save the future treasure of Britain!
Interlacing love, revenge, mystery and murder, with a dash of humor, this coming of age adventure is a guide through the shrouded tales that embrace the Sons of Avalon.
The earth rumbled as a lightning bolt flashed in the predawn sky splitting a giant oak at the meadow’s edge. An eerie silence followed, broken by a hawk’s cry.
Nestled within the womb of the shattered tree a baby squirmed, arms reaching upward. The hawk circled tilting her head from side to side and slowly descended. Cooing emerged from the tree trunk as the merlin gracefully perched upon the still smoldering bark. From her beak, she squeezed the juice of a large blackberry into the newborn’s mouth. Eagerly the child drank his first meal.
Sons of Avalon: Book Review
Sons of Avalon: Merlin's Prophecy
Publisher: C.I. Publishing
Book review by Nick Sorbin (Managing Editor, Renderosity Front Page News)
Where to begin? Why, at the beginning, of course! Beginning with the birth of Merlin, this novel traces Merlin's youth and his growth into his role as visionary of Britain's destiny, and the complex struggles and events that lead to the conception of King Arthur. Right from the Prologue in this retelling of an ancient legend, you catch a sense of great things to come...a mixture of magic, suspense, and mystery. All the elements for a great escape are right here in this first novel in a planned trilogy, written by none other than Renderosity's long-time member and current Front Page News Columnist, Dee-Marie.
Let's talk first about the characters in this novel. Dee-Marie expertly brings forth complex qualities in each of the main characters to give you the feel that you know them well. Interaction between the characters is also very engaging. Emotion and dialogue are definitely high points in this novel.
Now, I'm not one for heavily detailed battle scenes in novels, but I felt that the battle passages were touched on in a way that they were detailed just enough and not overdone. The real struggles in this novel are with the characters themselves, and the situations at hand. In fact, what I enjoyed most in this novel was Merlin's own personal struggles coming to grips with his destiny, and his feelings about himself and those around him.
The novel really flows at a great pace and I found it very hard to put down. In fact, rarely did I, but to attend to certain necessities of life. I found myself in a place I didn't want to leave, and I certainly can't wait to get back there again with the next installment in this trilogy.
Also, I must say that I especially enjoyed the included map at the beginning of the novel and the appendices at the end which list the Lords, Ladies, Beasts, and Places. This helped me to get a better sense of who's who, and also follow along with where events were taking place. I found myself drawn to these great extras while reading.
Now, as for the reading age, I would have to place this at about 14. This comes partly from seeing the books my own children are reading at this point. There are a couple of possibly uncomfortable passages in the book for a younger audience, but also the fact that certain elements of the story may be harder to grasp.
This is definitely a character driven book, and I feel Dee-Marie has really found a great joy in bringing this story into a new light. I highly recommend this novel to both fans of the legend, and those who are looking for a truly adventurous read. I am very much looking forward to the next installments in this trilogy. Dee-Marie has expertly breathed new life into an ancient legend, with her knowledge and intense research, and it clearly shows in the pages within.
Mind Fog Reviews July 13, 2008
by book reviewer for Anastasia's Book Attic, Anastasia Cassella-Young
Author Dee Marie does an excellent job following the historical facts of Merlin and Arthur and adds a flourish of fiction to write a wonderful story for reading in the “Historical/Fantasy” genre in her work of “Sons of Avalon: Merlin’s Prophecy” right up through the birth of Arthur. This is an historical/fantasy that young adults/adults will enjoy! A fantasy in good taste and form; Dee Marie should be up for an award for this one!
Wonderful New Author
Dee Marie is one of the best modern authors I have read in a long time. Her writing style is fast paced, yet her prose are very well written. She pays attention to character detail and gives the reader a visual picture of her characters through words.
Once I started the book, I could not put it down. I am waiting now for the rest of her series. I recommend this book not only for enthusiasts of the King Arthur time period, but for those who just want to read a well written, interesting, and exciting book.
5 out of 5 stars
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Reader Reviews for "Sons of Avalon: Merlin's Prophecy"
|Reviewed by Stuart McCallum
5.0 out of 5 stars Escapism at its' Best!, May 1, 2009
By STUART MCCALLUM "Stuart / Beyond my Control" (Melbourne, Australia)
From the moment I saw the strikingly impressive front cover of: Sons of Avalon, Merlin's Prophecy, the exhilaration of this enchanting tale began.
Dee Marie's solid grasp of the wondrous medieval time period; Arthurian, is highly evident as she takes us (readers) on a non-stop exciting tale. From the mystifying birth of Merlin, I was drawn into the magic. Dee Marie is successful in combining both early British history and mythical characters, masterfully weaved and brought to life.
Merlin is no ordinary child, and throughout the tale he uncovers his life's purpose, while coming to terms with his special powers. I experienced the bloodiness of the battlefields, love, and humor infused in this captivating story.
Sons of Avalon is not just a thrilling page turner, it is, a journey which is guaranteed to leave you anxiously awaiting the second book in the series - Absolutely Outstanding!
If ever a book is worthy of a six star review, Sons of Avalon: Merlin's Prophecy is the book! Highly recommended.
|Reviewed by Todd Fonseca
|After witnessing a tree shattering lightening strike, Arden and Enid hear the cries of a newborn child emerging from the tree’s scorched remains. The elderly couple take the helpless child to raise him as their own. Guarded by the ever watchful eye from a high above hawk, the boy receives the fitting name of Merlin. As the boy grows, it becomes clear through demonstration of both his remarkable intelligence and mysterious abilities that Merlin is no ordinary child. This results in his being sought after by the most powerful king of the time putting both himself and his family at risk.
Driven by forces beyond himself, Merlin uncovers his parentage and life’s purpose on the beautiful shores of fabled Avalon. As he grows, Merlin learns natures mystical properties from the Druids while continuing to enhance his innate fantastical gifts. As advisory to Britain’s powerful kings, Merlin crafts the cascade of events necessary to protect her shores at all costs leading to the conception of the great King Arthur.
In Sons of Avalon, Merlin’s Prophecy, Dee Marie creates the beginnings of an epic series. Marie’s writing is reminiscent in voice and style to Ken Follett’s World Without End and Pillars of the Earth. Her description of the period and locals are a testament to her substantial research and travels. Her imagery was such that not only was I mentally transported to Arthurian Britain but I could almost feel the stinging bite of the ice cold rain as it pelted the characters in their journeys betraying the areas frequent inhospitable weather. My favorite passage takes place at Stonehenge where Merlin calls forth the powers of Earth through a sacred ceremony honoring the slain royals of the time.
Marie’s writing is extremely refined not only in style but plot. She introduces various story arcs wetting the reader’s appetite nesting them just right so as not to resolve them too quickly. There were a few elements I wanted oh so much more of but did not get. Merlin’s time with the Druids for example, want happened? How did he learn their magic? Nimue, Merlin’s love interest, makes occasional appearances but is off on the periphery. Finally, the rationale for Merlin’s singular focused motivations at times wasn’t always clear for me. These elements, however, may likely be additional story arcs ripe for closure and exploit in the series next offering.
For those interesting in Arthurian legend and historical fiction, Sons of Avalon is a must read!