(Middle school / Young adult)

I read this out loud with Amber (11) over a week or two, and we finished it last night. This is the second in the series, but we read the first, The Lost Years of Merlin, about a year or so ago, so it wasn’t fresh in my mind. I was able to catch back on pretty quickly, though.

At the beginning of The Seven Songs of Merlin, Merlin is 13 and is given the task of traveling across the island of Fincayra, using a magical harp to rejuvenate the land which had been devastated in the first book. The problem is he’s a teenager, thinks he knows best and abandons his job to bring his mother, Elen, through the mist to be with him.But within minutes of her arrival, Elen is poisoned by a deathshadow that the evil Rhita Gawr had meant for her son. Merlin spends the rest of the book, learning the discovering the sould of the Seven Songs of wizardry so he can enter the Otherworld and obtain the Elixir that can save her. He is helped in his quest to Rhia, a wise girl who has an affinity for nature, and a “jester” who is always gloomy and glum. While characters from the first book reappear, the trio do overcome many challenges, meeting new people and goind new places along the way.

Merlin annoys me sometimes. He can be a downright selfish jerk at times. His downfall is his pride, but he can just be so melodramatic. I don’t think Amber feels that way, though, and it is a story meant for her age level. He becomes more understanding as the book progresses, learning more about himself and the world he lives in. He learns something along that way that really surprised me, too.

It ‘s a good middle school fantasy that can be read on its own, but I think works better if you start at the beginning of the series. We’ll definitely be reading the next in the series, sooner or later.

Purchase at Amazon or an Indie Bookstore.

Lost Years of Merlin #2
304 pages
First published 1997

3 out of 5 stars

I think we purchased our copy and the above is my honest opinion.