Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Merlin” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


3.7  ·  Rating Details ·  172 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
A bestselling author and professor brings the historical figure of Merlin to life--the Merlin who prophesied his own death and was a counselor to kings as well as a scientist, humanist, and man of mystery.
Paperback, 400 pages
Published January 4th 1989 by Harper Perennial (first published November 1987)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Merlin, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Merlin

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Flint Johnson
Dec 26, 2013 Flint Johnson rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Having done the hard research, I can see the one massive flaw in Goodrich's methodology. She has read a great deal (in literature) and she is a good writer to capture audience. Her problem, she never bothers to tell the reader how the sources she is using fit in with the sources she ignores. She rarely mentions the other sources. She simply jumps from literature to literature as she takes the reader on a merry ride. If she had any historical knowledge she would have known that "Merlin" was activ ...more
Feb 17, 2015 Emmy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is about a man named merlin.He has magic powers .He also has is not scared of dragons and any creature in the woods.The problem was that since their was a king the king wanted to do a new castle .But close by, there was a big dragon in a big dark, then merlin use his pawers to move the dragon to another place.

I like this this book because in some parts it gots mysteries and also it kind of aventuries.I would reccommend this book to people who like magic book and fairytales lik
Bookendsused Pefferly
Jul 05, 2012 Bookendsused Pefferly rated it really liked it
An excellent exploration to find the historical Merlin. I like Norma Goodrich. She is a lively writer who follows where the history takes her. I've read too many history based books where an author will bend time, space and reason to fit the theory. Norma sets out on a quest and begins with a theory and sometimes finds that historical documentation, geography, etc takes her somewhere beyond the theory so she follows the leads to where they go rather than BSing her way through.

This book was thoro
Reyannan Miller
Apr 20, 2013 Reyannan Miller rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An excellent writer who bases her beliefs with carefully gathered I historical data. Reads like a textbook, and at that level, it is nicely done. To the skeptics of Camelot and the Arthurian legend........ you have to take a leap of faith occasionally. Some could argue that it is just a revisionists perception of an historical possibility; however, we all bring our own thoughts and prejudices to each new read and often a book read at the age of twenty something takes on a new meaning at forty so ...more
Oct 13, 2013 Chuck rated it really liked it
This books focuses on the literary and "historical" Merlin. I found the book fascinating, but a little hard to follow. The author throws a lot at you. I read this book for general interest and for development of a character so perhaps it is more for an Arthurian scholar. Suffice to say if you have more than a passing interest in Arthurian history and mythology, I recommend this book, just plan on taking a little bit of time with it.
Aug 04, 2008 Dominique rated it it was ok
Shelves: mythology
I couldn't finish this book largely due to the author's insistence tht what she was telling the reader about Merlin was fact, not speculation. I do not consider myself an expert on Camelot, but I do know enough that it is filled with a lot of uncertainty. We do not no for certain when, or even if, Merlin and Arthur lived.
Nicole Diamond
If it has one star I liked it a lot
If it has two stars I liked it a lot and would recommend it
If it has three stars I really really liked it a lot
If it has four stars I insist you read it
If it has five stars it was life changing
Jun 13, 2013 Dave rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I loved King Arthur, but found Merlin to be both less revelatory and less convincing. I accept her thesis for the identity of Merlin, but it was so drawn out that I only finished the book to be able to say I finished it.
Mike Hinkle
Mike Hinkle rated it liked it
Mar 05, 2010
John rated it liked it
Mar 10, 2012
Sophie Ellis
Sophie Ellis rated it liked it
Jun 14, 2013
Laura rated it liked it
Sep 20, 2011
Becca rated it really liked it
Nov 10, 2015
Richard Rodriguez
Richard Rodriguez rated it liked it
Jan 09, 2016
Peggy rated it it was amazing
Dec 05, 2012
Nov 09, 2010 Cathy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Explores historical clues as to Merlin's true idenity.
stephen rodgers
stephen rodgers rated it it was amazing
Nov 02, 2013
Konnor rated it it was amazing
Dec 31, 2012
R.L. rated it really liked it
Sep 04, 2011
Claire rated it it was ok
May 06, 2010
Thomas rated it it was ok
Dec 19, 2009
Christopher rated it it was amazing
Feb 21, 2012
Martin Mcgrath
Martin Mcgrath rated it did not like it
Mar 31, 2014
Amy rated it liked it
Jul 05, 2011
Linz rated it it was ok
Jan 24, 2015
Leah rated it really liked it
Nov 11, 2011
Marisa Boone
Marisa Boone rated it liked it
Aug 03, 2013
J.M. rated it it was ok
Sep 01, 2010
Jaymee rated it it was amazing
Mar 13, 2014
TJC rated it it was ok
Apr 18, 2013
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • King Arthur and the Goddess of the Land: The Divine Feminine in the Mabinogion
  • The Mountain of Marvels: A Celtic Tale of Magic, Retold from the Mabinogion
  • The Druid Animal Oracle
  • Reader and Educator Guide to "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings"
  • Darkin: A Journey East
  • The Pendragon
  • Welsh Fairy Tales
  • The Book of the Sword (Hallowed Isle, #1)
  • Dark Magic (The Godwars, #2)
  • King Arthur: Dark Age Warrior and Mythic Hero
  • Foxwise (The Legend of Vanx Malic, #2.5)
  • Venom of the Serpent's Cunning (Andy Smithson, #2)
  • In Winter's Shadow
  • The Mabinogi and Other Medieval Welsh Tales
  • First Aid for Fairies and Other Fabled Beasts
  • Christian Mythmakers: C.S. Lewis, Madeleine L'Engle, J.R.R. Tolkien, George MacDonald, G.K. Chesterton, Charles Williams, Dante Alighieri, John Bunyan, Walter Wangerin, Robert Siegel, and Hannah Hurnard
  • The Violet Fairy Book
  • The First Chronicles Of Prydain (The Chronicles of Prydain #1-3)
Norma Lorre Goodrich, a prolific author, was an Arthurian scholar known for her unconventional theory that King Arthur was Scottish -not English or Welsh. She was a professor of comparative literature and writing for many years at the University of Southern California and the Claremont Colleges.
More about Norma Lorre Goodrich...

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »