Monday, 29 August 2011

Merlin: The Nightmare Begins (Children's, 11 years +)

September 2010, Bantam Children, 
176 pages, Hardback
Review copy

Children's, 11 years +, TV Tie-in, fantasy

Themes: magic, Arthurian legend, secrets, persecution, evil creatures, flight, lots of moderate peril, some humour

Summary from Random House
When Morgana's nightmares spill into waking house she becomes terrified that she has magic. Gaius is determined to keep her in the dark for her own good but Merlin won't stand by and watch his friend suffer. He knows exactly what she's going through and he knows she needs the truth. Is Merlin about to reveal his secret at last? 

Willfully disobeying Gaius, Merlin risks everything to help Morgana, little guessing what the far reaching consequences might be. Lives are put in danger, loyalties are tested, and Morgana is reunited with the strange young druid Mordred, who the Dragon predicted would one day kill Arthur...

Nayuleska's reasons for loving Merlin: he has a good heart and wants to save everyone, but in this book learns sometimes taking what seems like a cruel action will be the best in the long term. 

Is there another character who deserves a mention? Morgana: This is the one where her evil side begins to stir. It should really be renamed Morgana: The Awakening

How evil/nasty is the enemy? If something injures you with poison it isn't an act of friendship. Most of the the threat from the druids was ill conceived. Beware cute looking children! 

Are there lots of plot twists and surprises? I had seen this episode on TV so knew what was happening, yet I loved the insight into each character's thoughts which aren't examined as deeply in the drama. 

One of my favourite parts was...when Merlin was dodging Arthur's questions - it was hilarious on TV and I instantly remembered the way Merlin reacted. 

This fantasy tale gets 9/10. 

You can find out more about the show here

Suggested read
Try another Merlin book Merlin: The Mark of Nimueh


Charmaine Clancy said...

This is a fun tv show but I must admit I've dropped off in interest in it lately. The kids like it so it's good to see medieval come back in fashion :)
Wagging Tales - Blog for Writers

Nayuleska said...

I watch it without fail (although managed to miss the very last episode of the 2nd series). My friend who is equally enthusiastic as me reliably told me that it should be starting in October on BBC One. I love Gwen's costumes.