Rating: 5 of 5; TMBOA Recommended
Author: Dee Marie
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!