CSFF Blog Tour – Merlin’s Shadow, Day 2

King_Arthur_and_the_Knights_of_the_Round_TableMerlin’s Shadow, like its predecessor, Merlin’s Blade from The Merlin Spiral trilogy by Robert Treskillard, tackles a legend–the well-known and well-adapted legend of King Arthur–but the approach is unique, so there is nothing same-old or predictable about the story.

In truth, Treskillard’s trilogy details what happened before the legend and, in fact, what happened that made the legend possible.

The Arthurian legend is known for a number of things–Merlin and his wizardry; the sword Excalibur which proved Arthur’s right to take the throne; his queen and the love of his life Guinevere; the mysterious Lady of the Lake; and more. The cornerstone of the legend, however, might be the Knights of the Round Table.

One common retelling of King Arthur’s story includes his decision to unify his land by bringing in select, noble knights who would have equal place. Hence he created (or accepted as a gift, according to some sources) a round table so that no knight, himself included, would sit at the prestigious head of the table.

These knights became known for a unique code of conduct. They were “men of courage, honor, dignity, courtesy, and nobleness. They protected ladies and damsels, honored and fought for kings, and undertook dangerous quests” (from “The Knights“).

In Merlin’s Shadow, Treskillard takes the unique angle that a group of knights were already forming around Arthur long before he became king. Their first identifying feature was their commitment to the toddler who was heir to the throne of his father Uther, High King of the Britons.

In truth, Merlin’s Shadow , apart from the character development aspects, is primarily about protecting or rescuing Arthur and finding out who is up for and serious about performing the task.

Of the twelve most commonly named Knights of the Round Table, we’ve already met three, possibly four (I’m not sure about Peredur). They demonstrate the character, throughout the book, of the chivalrous knight before any such code was formalized.

One of the things I love about this book is the huge part that this unaffected selflessness played in one of the key plot threads. More about that when I do my review.

For now, I’d like to recommend some of the other sites on the tour.

* For the chance to win a copy of Merlin’s Shadow see the contest at JoJo’s Corner

* Robert Treskillard’s three part examination of where is God in The Merlin Spiral – Part 1.

* Tim Hicks at Fantasy Thyme takes a look at “The Good, The Bard, And The Not So Pretty” (a play on The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly, for those of you too young to remember 😉 ).

* Jeff Chapman’s insightful look at some contrasts in his review.

* See the book trailers re-posted by Jennette Mbewe

If that’s not enough to keep you busy, see the entire list of participants at the end of the CSFF Blog Tour – Merlin’s Shadow, Day 1 post.



  1. And yes, Peredur is one of the “knights”. His name is the Welsh form of Percival.

    Question: were you counting Garth among them? His name is very similar to Gareth, but, no, he is not one of the Knights.

    He is a different legendary figure named “Garthwys”, “St. Kentigern”, or “St. Mungo” … http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Mungo

    One of the interesting facts about The Merlin Spiral is that I had envisioned the history of Merlin’s father in such a way that when I read the history of St. Mungo it was almost identical! So I switched Merlin’s history with Garth’s, using the explanation that the two were so close that some ancient historian got the two confused.


  2. Oh, yes … this also means that in history, St. Mungo’s mother became Merlin’s mother in my story. Read all about her here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theneva

    (Remember Kensa calling out … “Theneva Gweviana!”

    There you will find the seeds for all the legends with Atle. In history, Atle was Loth: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_Lot

    But I have split Loth into two … his father (by adding the “At” to the beginning of his name, and the son (the more traditional Loth). I was inspired to do this by ancient Swedish historian Olaf Rudbeck when I considered his fun and imaginative theories about Atlantis: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olaus_Rudbeck

    In particular, David King’s book “Finding Atlantis” was a really amazing book to read. I’m quite sure Rudbeck’s theories were false, but it was fun to play with them all the same.


  3. (I should say, though, that I’ve changed Theneva’s history a bit … molding it to fit my story.)


  4. […] had fun exploring Morgana and the Knights of the Round Table as part of the CSFF Blog Tour for Robert Treskillard‘s Merlin’s Shadow, Book 2 of The […]


  5. (There’s still one of my historical comments awaiting moderation here… just an fyi.)


    • Glad you alerted me, Robert. I’ll have to check my settings–got no notification there was a comment in moderation. I thought maybe it went to spam (it’s the links), but no. It was sitting there waiting for me to put it in play.

      I really like reading all the ways you took the various legends and added your spin to them. I think that’s why these books are so enjoyable. They are familiar but fresh and new at the same time.



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