Friday, December 27, 2013

A Wizard’s Wings

Rating: 8

In this fifth and final segment of The Lost Years of Merlin saga, Rhita Gawr’s greatest invasion on “the in-between place” of Fincayra is imminent and Merlin is the only one who can stop it. Yet he is threatened on other sides by a mysterious man with arms made of swords instead of flesh, by his errant father Stangmar who has suddenly escaped from his supposedly impenetrable prison, and by his own mind and heart which war against him continually. In order to “prevail on winter’s longest night” he must defeat his greatest opposition—which he supposes is Rhita Gawr. But what is it really?

Interesting point: every book in this series has gotten a score of 8. I would have actually given this one a 7, but it was just interesting enough to put it over into the group of “rereadable” books. There are just some things in T.A. Barron’s style that are very irritating after you’ve read five of his books—for example, the fact that Merlin somehow always gets lucky. I’m like, why don’t you just run him through with your sword and kill him for once? How is there always someone who saves him? And then there’s the ever-predictable plot line. Since these books are written in first-person, Merlin will be like, “I have no idea what this means out of this really weird riddle which my mentor Cairpre is talking about,” and I’ll be like, “Duh I know exactly what it is and sometimes I just want to push you off a cliff because I would get everything done way faster” (okay, not really). There was one point in this story that T.A. Barron did passably well—the “Sword Arms” dude threw me off a little on the predicting scale. Since he perpetually throws Merlin’s own magic back at him, I thought—well, since Merlin hasn’t even really learned to come to terms with himself yet, what if this is actually Merlin’s bad side warring against him (which is an epic idea)? Then I doubted myself later on, and came up with a new hypothesis, until I finally learned the truth (and I’ll leave you to figure that out). As usual, T.A. Barron was far too dramatic in scripting and writing, reminding me of my own writing sometimes (gosh, it’s annoying when you go back and read it!). But he does keep the level of interest high in his books, and, again, that’s the only reason that I give this book an 8.

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