Merlin’s Nightmare By Robert Treskillard – CSFF Blog Tour, Day 1

Merlin's NightmareThis month the CSFF Blog Tour is featuring a young adult fantasy, Merlin’s Nightmare, Book 3 of the Merlin Spiral by Robert Treskillard, who is one of the CSFF members!

I know I’m picky when it comes to fantasy. I have firmly fixed in my mind the way I think fantasy should be done. A map is one of the requirements. A list of characters and/or a glossary is another. In the case of a series, a review sheet reminding readers what went before is highly recommended, if not exactly a requirement.

I’m happy to report that Merlin’s Nightmare includes all three.

First of all, the map is actually three different maps. There’s the overview—a map of Britain during the fifth century. Next, there’s a map of a more localized portion of Britain, and finally there’s the map of a particular village. If readers aren’t clear about the logistics of the story, it certainly won’t be because of a want of a map.

Next, the needed glossary and the desired summary of events from the previous books are cleverly combined. Rather than giving an alphabetical listing of terms, the names and places that appear in the front matter are organized sequentially. First are those that came into play in the first of the series, Merlin’s Blade, then those that were significant to the second, Merlin’s Shadow. After reading through these lists, a reader will have received a nice review of the opening two books.

For those who don’t have the previous books and would like to know what went on before, I recommend Carol Gehringer’s introductory post (with links to her reviews) and Megan @ Blooming with Books excellent review article that summarizes each of the first two books in the trilogy.

Member Jojo Sutis also gives a review of the first book in the series, but her approach is unique. First she posted the book trailer video for Merlin’s Blade, then her own video review of the book.

Interestingly, some of the CSFF tour participants have noted how much they enjoy stories based on the Arthurian legend. I came at this series from the opposite side of the spectrum–story weariness which I defined in my article at Speculative Faith as “familiarity with a story to the point that another rendition seems needless and unappealing.”

Nevertheless, Robert hooked me in the first book and held my interest even as he has did those who love new iterations of the legend. How did he do so? I offered a couple possibilities in “Story Weariness.”

As the week wears on and the tour heats up, you’ll see the number of posts (indicated by check marks) grow. Take time to see what each of these bloggers has to say about a series that captures readers coming to it with contrasting perspectives.

Thomas Clayton Booher
Beckie Burnham
Jeff Chapman
Vicky DealSharingAunt
April Erwin
Carol Gehringer
Victor Gentile
Rebekah Gyger
Carol Keen
Emileigh Latham
Jennette Mbewe
Shannon McDermott
Meagan @ Blooming with Books
Joan Nienhuis
Nissa
Jalynn Patterson
Writer Rani
Nathan Reimer
Audrey Sauble
Chawna Schroeder
Jojo Sutis
Robert Treskillard
Phyllis Wheeler
Elizabeth Williams

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7 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Reblogged this on Worthy 2 Read and commented:
    Thanks for pointing to my blog, Rebecca! I’m working on a series review that should be posted by tomorrow evening. Stop by and let me know what you think!

  2. I love how he introduced/summarized the characters/story before the first chapter! It was a great refresher. I’ve enjoyed the stories and enjoyed connecting dots to the Arthurian legends.

  3. I never consider a map an essential of a fantasy novel. I mean, what if the author wants to stick in an extra mountain range or a new country between locations already mentioned? If you do maps then you can’t do that. Or you can, but you have to draw a new map and hope no one notices the differences.

    • Simple! Just site geographic error, and/or passing through the region at night/in a storm! (Okay, okay, not so simple.)

      But real life old time maps had errors all the time. I think it’s not an impossible to fix problem.

  4. Great points in your post here! I love that this series has all of the extra goodies we like to see in fantasy fiction! And thanks so much for the shout out:)

  5. […] Be sure to check out what other CSFF members participating in the tour have to say. You can find a list and links to their articles at the bottom of the Day 1 post. […]

  6. […] If you haven’t taken time to see what tour participants are saying about Merlin’s Nightmare, I hope you do so this weekend. The book is worth your consideration, and you have a wealth of insight at your disposal. Links to the tour articles are available at the end of my day one post. […]


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