The Fires of Merlin
by T.A. Barron
The dragon called Wings of Fire has awakened from his enchanted slumber. Prophecy dictates that only the descendant of the wizard who first defeated the dragon possesses the power to stop him. Before Merlin can go to battle, he must conquer his own fears by confronting the sorceress who has stolen his magical talisman – a talisman needed to stop Wings of Fire.
But according to prophecy, the one who destroys the dragon, must also die…
This may very well be my favourite of the Lost Years of Merlin books. I can’t say for absolutely certain because I don’t remember what happens in the next book and I have never read the last, but I have a pretty strong bias for this one.
Dragons. This one has dragons and I love dragons with my soul. I love that this book starts out as a stereotypical “dragon is burning down everything in revenge” stories and morphs into something deeper than that as Merlin discovers the truth. I love the little dragon with the wonky ear and the respect Merlin has for Wings of Fire and Merlin’s desire to save everyone, including the dragon trying to kill him. It’s wonderful.
I also love the introduction of the deer people. I don’t consciously remember them from the last time I read this book, but I suspect that they influenced my creation of The Weaver, which is a half deer fae I favour in my faerie stories.
And it’s clear in this book that, while still foolish and young and eager, Merlin is learning. Really learning. He’s applying the souls of things that he found in the last book and he accomplishes much more on his own in this book than either of the previous too. You can see the greatness forming.
Again, I’d definitely recommend this for fans of Merlin and Arthurian legend and, now, dragons.