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The Seven Songs of Merlin (Lost Years of…

The Seven Songs of Merlin (Lost Years of Merlin) (original 1997; edition 1997)

by T.A. Barron

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Title:The Seven Songs of Merlin (Lost Years of Merlin)
Authors:T.A. Barron
Info:Philomel (1997), Hardcover, 320 pages
Collections:Your library

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The Seven Songs of Merlin by T. A. Barron (1997)



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Book two picks up shortly after book one. Merlin has been tasked with restoring the land of Fincayra with the magical Flowering Harp; travelling the lands and with the pluck of a chord, Merlin is able to bring the once decaying and blight stricken land alive again. During his travels he realizes he cannot fully complete his task while his mind strays to thoughts of his mother. He thinks that if he can just being his mother to Fincayra, he can continue his mission to restore the lands, and all will be well. When Merlin brings his mother to Fincayra only to have her fall deathly ill, he has but one month to bring her the cure. The cure can only be found by discovering the Seven Souls of Wisdom, and traveling to the other world to defeat the mighty Ogre Balor and only then requesting it from the great Dagda himself. With time of the essence, Merlin sets out with the help of his ever loyal friend Rhia and an unlikely Jester on a mission wrought with danger in an attempt to save his mother.

Another magical read! While the hubris of youth definitely makes Merlin a frustrating character this go around (seriously, was I ever this much of an ass when I was a teenager?! I'd like to think not *cough cough*) his struggle is relatable to all of us who have navigated the confusing years of adolescences, if at much higher stakes. Once again Merlin must use his wits and cunning to navigate and understand Seven Souls of Wisdom; which are lessons and parables of life. Rhia, as ever, was the perfect balance to Merlins temper and impulsiveness, and a startling revelation about her left me literally speechless (No spoilers!). Shim of course was a delight to read again, and all the new characters along the way were the perfect addition to this growing cast of much loved characters. Although predictable at times, this series continues to be a growing favorite with it's action, magic, and underlying themes of good vs evil. Thoroughly enjoyable and recommended! ( )
  courtneygiraldo | Jun 6, 2018 |
It was well written but not as good as many other texts. ( )
  jnmwheels | Apr 3, 2016 |
So good! ( )
  katieloucks | Feb 26, 2016 |
Even though the first book in this series can easily stand alone, I decided to read this next book because I enjoyed the previous. I am glad I read The Seven Songs of Merlin because it was a great read and it was exciting to see Merlin grow more into the wizard he will become.

I really enjoyed the plot of this novel. The plot was very interesting and moved along at a great place. Since Merlin only has a certain amount of time to save his mother, the book moves fairly fast providing the reader with a sense of urgency. Even though the plot moved along quickly I didn’t feel that it was too rushed. I loved how Merlin had to go around finding the souls of the seven songs. It was like a scavenger hunt! He learns a lot about life and himself while doing so. Also, this is where we find out how Merlin gets Excalibur! Did i mention the twist in the book is so very exciting! Though I sort of knew it was coming since there are some clues throughout the novel. Overall, it was a very exciting plot, never boring for me, and also emotional at times! Almost cried!

There was plenty of detail provided throughout the novel to give you a good description of the people Merlin meets, as well as the places he travels. I never noticed it being overly detailed, which was good. There was just enough for me!

I really enjoyed reading about Merlin more in this novel than in the previous book, probably because he is developing more as a character. The one thing that bothered me throughout the story was that he was very ignorant and arrogant. After being given several warnings about not completing a task, he doesn’t finish it anyway, which leads to some consequences. Later, he is given warnings again, but doesn’t listen to them and does what he wants to. This leads to more consequences. It feels like Merlin never learns from his mistakes. I can sort of understand this because he is so young and really wants his mother back, so he does what he has to. I just felt that after so many mistakes in this book he could have decided to follow someone’s advice at least once. Merlin is just so arrogant in this novel that it is a bit annoying; however, he gets a little better at the end of the book. Despite this flaw in Merlin, he is developing more into the wizard he will become, since he is learning more about what it means to be a wizard, as well as learning to control some of his powers.

I loved seeing Rhia again in this book. She is so lively! The character that I did not enjoy very much was Bumbelwy who is a jester who is unable to make anyone laugh. I didn’t notice much of a personality to Bumbelwy, he was annoying, and it felt as if the author was just trying to come up with someone who can tag along with Merlin and Rhia, but couldn’t quite create a character as good as Shim. Even Merlin and Rhia didn’t want him tagging along. Bumbelwy just didn’t serve as big of a purpose as Shim did in the previous book.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and am looking forward to reading all the others. I think this is a great series for anyone who loves fantasy, the legend of Arthur, or is 8 or older!

( )
  AshleyMiller | Sep 10, 2014 |
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A cluster of shadows more dark than the night, the circle of stones stood erect on the ridge.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0441007015, Mass Market Paperback)

Merlin's mother has fallen ill. To save her, he must learn the Seven Songs of Wisdom, which will enable him to journey into the spiritual Otherworld and obtain the elixir he needs. But first Merlin's growing power will be put to the test when he has to defeat a vile ogre whose merest glance means death...

"Full of action and excitement...while its origins are epic, it is foremost a tale of the heart...it is Merlin's inner journey that readers will cherish above all: His development is convincing and heartwarming. A rich and resonant read."-- Kirkus Reviews

"Filled with harrowing escapades and many surprises....A delightfully original story of magic and myth."-- School Library Journal

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:43 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

Having stumbled upon his hidden powers, the young wizard Merlin voyages to the Otherworld in his quest to find himself and the way to the realm of the spirit.

(summary from another edition)

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