book review

Book Review: Merlin's Dragon (Book One) - by T.A. Barron

11:06 PM

Rating: 5/5 stars

Summary from goodreads:
In the years after Fincayra disappears and Merlin has been sent wandering, a young lizard-like creature, with the wings of a bat and the magical power to produce any smell it encounters, is born into the new world of Avalon. The unlikely hero—Basil, he is called—cannot find a single creature like itself nor a person who can tell him what he is. But it is clear that Basil is much more than he seems when he stumbles into an encounter with the great Merlin, saving his child’s life, then uncovers a secret plot by the evil Rhita Gawr. It’s a race against time and across Avalon as Basil, with the help of the faithful wind sister Ailah, searches for the great wizard to warn him. This is one of T.A. Barron’s most thrilling adventures yet and features a new and unforgettable character in his earliest years.

There is nothing I did not love about this book. There was imagery, characterization, character development, and a great plot. But the thing that really drew me into this book was the writing. Barron has a writing style I could only wish to read for the rest of my life. It was easy to understand but still held so much meaning and grace. As I read through the book, I clearly heard every sound and every voice. I could see the images the characters were seeing and felt what they were feeling. Even when there wasn't much going on in the plot, reading what Basil, the main character, was seeing or thinking was so satisfying. There were certain paragraphs, if not the whole book, that I could have re-read time and time again.

Aside from the writing style, the content was so perfectly detailed and vivid it would put an award winning movie to shame because of how clearly a reader can imagine the scene and connect with the characters.  The writing uses all five senses to aid in the imaginative aspect of the scenes. It did not just use sight. It explained more than just what the characters saw. It explained what the characters heard, smelled, felt, and, occasionally, tasted.

Another positive thing about Merlin's Dragon was it's continuity. With all the detail in the book, a reader would imagine something would get forgotten. Something small, maybe. Something that wouldn't necessarily matter if it got left behind. But there was not one detail concerning the plot that didn't get mentioned again. It was relatable to the situation at hand, as well. It wasn't just thrown in at some point for the sake of continuity. 

If there is one flaw I'd have to point out about Merlin's Dragon, it would probably be that I don't have the second book.

I recommend this to everyone who comes across the review. Everyone. Especially if you're a particularly fond of fantasy novels. 

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