Entertaining Read ... Recommended ... 4 stars
The narrative opens with a determined bearded man in a red cape shouting orders as a battering ram is moved into place. Without warning in the inner quartz cave where Merlin and others have slept for eons a horrendous battering resounds. Merlin is aroused from his slumber by the precipitate invasion of his rocky domain. Without warning the men preparing to forward the ram once more became aware of an apparition before them. Fleeing in terror Merlin is left to ponder what to do next. He knows the intruders will return. To stop the invaders was going to take more power than Merlin alone might muster. Merlin calls out to his blood lines. The planet nearest to his quartz cavern is earth where youngsters who have no knowledge of their kinship reside.
Responding to the call sent out by the Wizard; fifteen year olds Francis Steel, and Zoe Bellamy along with Zoe’s friend Allison, Curtis Brown 14, and thirteen year old Jude Plunkett are compelled to gather in a forest area. Drawn to an ancient stone gateway the teens descend into a musty darkness. A sudden topple into an unseen body of water leaves the group wet, cold and out of sorts. The land of Greensward is dominated by an evil ruler; Calupsis. The teens have no idea where they are, how they have arrived nor the importance of their visit. Fellow travelers, strange homes on wheels – wandahomes- pulled by mammoths, a bird who babbles all, cheerful Moorfolk, subterraneous caverns, a village named Meander, friends who will help, and those who will not, dreams directed by Merlin himself, wondrous mythic creatures, knights, a special key, Pits of Gloom, kidnapping, slavery all abound in this absorbing tale of Merlin’s descendants.
On the pages of "Merlin’s Kin" Writer Coles has crafted an enthralling, fast paced narrative sure to gratify the 10 – 15 age group target audience. Coles sets in place an intriguing premise: what might take place should the Wizard Merlin need aid and call upon descendants for help, and the author then sets about spinning a tale certain to thrill the most discerning reader. Occupied with tumult, potent ingeniously interwoven plots within a plot, stratagems, snappy dialog, machination and wondrous creatures "Merlin’s Kin" is filled with the elements of a first rate fantasy. Forceful motivations, treachery, friction aptly determined abound against a backdrop of sights and sounds, fragrance and sensation designed to draw the reader straight into the tale. Characters are richly fleshed, acceptable and believable. Dialog is tart, at times gritty and hard hitting.
This audacious account is a pleasure read awash with change and spins and awe and remarkable mythic creatures. Vocabulary used is British dialect. Younger readers will enjoy the challenge in trying to figure out various terms they have not seen before. Older readers will find the dialect only adds to the charm of the tale.
Good addition to the classroom pleasure reading ‘book report’ list, personal and home library and homeschool curriculum.
Enjoyed the read, happy to recommend..