The Mirror of Merlin
by T.A. Barron
There is something wicked in the swamplands on the magical isle of Fincayra – an encroaching evil intent on destroying the land – and only young Merlin possesses the power to stop it.
Together with Hallia, the deer-woman Merlin has fallen in love with, he must embark on a journey through the haunted land that will test his knowledge and his courage to find his stolen sword.
But then Merlin discovers a magic mirror capable of altering a person’s destiny – and the visage he finds within the glass is someone he never imagined he’d see…
I had completely forgotten what happened in this book when I picked it up to reread it. I’m kind of glad that I did because this book is a whopper.
Throughout the books, you get these little ties to the Merlin that we all know and love from the Arthur legends. Just little things. Like being turned into a fish and finding it educational. But you don’t really get any big, solid connections that ties legend!Merlin to this Merlin.
This book has those ties. We get to meet angry Nimue from the future, who has already imprisoned Merlin, and young Arthur who eagerly does as he is bid from a much older Merlin. There are magic mirrors and crystal caves and time travel and independent shadows that like to be ridiculous. For a good chunk of the book, you feel like you’ve been plonked down in some Merlin-centric sections of The Sword and the Stone. It’s amazing.
I also like how this book deals with Merlin and Hallia’s growing attraction for one another. It’s steady and slow and amicable without getting in the way of the things that need doing for the good of Fincayra. It doesn’t feel forced or alien in the midst of the storytelling, which is something that I am very grateful for.
Naturally, I’m recommending this if you’ve followed the other recommendations I’ve made for this series.