Friday, October 21, 2016

Review: The Merlin Chronicles by Daniel Diehl

Arthurian fantasy is a popular subgenre of the fantasy genre. Many fantasy authors take either the characters or story from the King Arthur legends and try to write a new version. Daniel Diehl is a recent author I discovered that provides a new take on the story with his “The Merlin Chronicles” trilogy. The books focus on the character of Merlin and is set in modern day United Kingdom. The books have interesting characters, plenty of action and adventure, and some humor. There are even dragons.
Revelations is the first book that begins with American archaeology student Jason excavating a site in Britain. In his digging, he discovers a crystal orb that does not belong. After the discovery, he is plagued by visions of Merlin who asks Jason to free him from the orb. Jason asks fellow student Beverly to help him. Later, they are caught up in a battle to save the world from Morgana LaFey and dragons. There are many adventures around the world to interesting places like Mongolia. Merlin proves to be a humorous, enigmatic character that drives the story to a satisfying conclusion in the first book.

Next, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice finds Jason, Beverly and Merlin still struggling against Morgana and the dragons to still save the world. Merlin sends Jason on a quest to Ethiopia to find the Ark of the Covenant in order to get magic stones that will lock the dragon gateway forever. Merlin stays in Britain with Beverly to keep Morgana busy until Jason can return with the stones. The characters undergo many perilous struggles. This keeps the middle book of the trilogy interesting and suspenseful.

Out of Time concludes the trilogy with a trip into the past to fifth century Britain for the characters. Merlin wants to save Arthur and his kingdom in the past. Jason and Beverly are reluctant to help because they fear changing the future. Merlin convinces them to help and the final book has many bloody battles against the dragons and Saxons in order to save Arthur and Merlin’s time from the dragons. The books brings the trilogy to an action packed, satisfying ending that doesn’t leave readers up in the air.

“The Merlin Chronicles” trilogy by Daniel Diehl is an excellent addition to the subgenre of Arthurian fantasy. Mr. Diehl provides a suspenseful, action story with interesting characters and plot. The books are a fast read and hard to put down.

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