Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Merlin: The Mark of Nimueh by Various

October 2009, Bantam Books
208 pages, Hardback
Review Copy

Children's, TV tie-in

Cushions: 2 (even if you've seen the TV episode)
Smiles: 5
Tissues: 1
Yunaleska's recommended rating: ♥♥♥♥

A deadly plague is rife in Camelot and Gwen is suspected of witchcraft. Merlin must help Gaius find a cure and save his friend from execution...

Once more the world of Merlin - and Arthur - is brought to life, something which can't be said for some of the characters in this tie-in with the popular BBC series Merlin. An evil sorceress has conjured up a plague for Camelot, determined to watch the town die, and to make Uther suffer. I agree with the making Uther suffer (he isn't the kindest or most compassionate person in the land), but making other people suffer is wrong.

People close to Merlin's heart suffer. Poor Gwen's father is sick. Merlin likes her (as a friend - although Arthur believes otherwise in this story) and can't bear the thought of her father suffering. So, against the orders of Gaius he dabbles with magic. He may have saved Gwen's father, but he has condemned her death because he does something foolish. He endeavours to find a way to save her, and everyone else.

Once again I enjoyed getting further insight into the characters. More time is given for the sorceress, which makes me hate her even more. Having watched the series, I have a clear image in my head of what everyone looks and sounds like. This adds to the fun of the story. I could see the TV episode clearly in my mind, and knew the expressions Arthur and Gaius were pulling at certain points. It's a good reminder of what happened in the TV series - until I read the summary I had forgotten what this episode was about. Even if you haven't seen the TV series, this is a great book to have.

Liked this? Try the earlier books in the Merlin series of The Dragon's Call and Valiant.

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