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The Lost Years (The Lost Years of Merlin, #1)
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The Lost Years (Merlin #1)

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3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  9,228 ratings  ·  423 reviews
When Merlin, suffering from a case of severe amnesia, discovers his strange powers, he becomes determined to discover his identity and flees to Fincayra where he fulfills his destiny, saving Fincayra from certain destruction and claiming his birthright and true name.
Paperback, 304 pages
Published July 2nd 2002 by Ace (first published January 1st 1996)
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The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer BradleyThe Once and Future King by T.H. WhiteMary Stewart's Merlin Trilogy by Mary StewartLe Morte d'Arthur by Thomas MaloryThe Winter King by Bernard Cornwell
Best Arthurian Fiction
14th out of 327 books — 1,137 voters
The Lightning Thief by Rick RiordanThe Hunger Games by Suzanne CollinsEragon by Christopher PaoliniThe Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. TolkienArtemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
What To Read After Harry Potter
75th out of 1,092 books — 4,106 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Paul Sheckarski
I enjoyed the prose, particularly when it describes the natural world. However, the novel is poorly plotted, with the protagonist bouncing from one coincidental encounter to the next. Nearly every problem is solved by something fortuitously dropping from the sky, appearing out of the blue, etc. No fewer than FIVE chapters end with the protagonist falling unconscious. Once is a cliche; five times is an offense against literature. The protagonist is almost willfully stupid. Either that or the auth...more
Jem Christian
I remember reading The Lost Years Of Merlin series when I was in Middle School. From what I remember, I LOVED them and decided to re-read them now, over 10 years later. I still enjoyed the book, but did not find it as amazing as I did when I was little.

Emrys does not know who he is, who his parents are, or what his real name is. After a terrible fire that leaves him almost blind, Emrys sets out to sea to find where he belongs. He finds himself in a terrible storm and is washed onto a shore, half...more
Nada Adel Sobhi
Merlin: The Lost Years is the first installment in the Merlin Saga by T. A. Barron. The prologue is written in the third person, while the rest of the novel is narrated in the first person by a 12-year-old Merlin, or as he is called throughout the novel, Emrys.

The opening lines of the story remind the reader of the popular scene when an arm rises from the water holding Excalibur.

Emrys washes up on a shore, alone at first, and has no memory of who he is and how or why he got to this place. He no...more
Maree  ♫ Light's Shadow ♪
I really think that the whole foundation for this story and series is really solid, especially in relation to the title, which I think is perfect. The Lost Years of Merlin, where he is not only kind of lost, wandering around wondering where he belongs, but these stories of his youth have been lost to time as well. And Merlin's youth, be him the wizard or simply wise man of King Arthur lore, has got to be one of the most interesting parts of the story, though one we know nothing about. Barron's t...more
Jarrett K
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Gail
I love stories about Merlin, King Arthur and knights, etc. I read these books a long time ago and decided to read them again. I really like this book and am anxious to reread the other ones in this series. Emrys is washed up on shore with his mother and has no memory of where he came from or anything about his life before. He helps a woman on shore and she tells him, she is his mother, but he feels that since she won't tell him about his past that she isn't really his mother. After some things h...more
Millicent Prendergild, Cybrarian
The Lost Years of Merlin is the initial installment of the five book series chronicling Merlin’s life as a boy, a prequel to Arthurian legend. It follows the ambiguous details of Emry’s obscure youth and the path he followed leading to the emergence of his magic and the wizarding name he proclaimed of Merlin. Barron’s imagineering of this portion of the great wizard’s life gives new depth to the renowned character as we see his life through the eyes of a young boy.

The story opens with a dream se...more
Annika
I adore these books. Don't let the thought of "young adult" dissuade you from reading them. I read them the first time when I was 13, re-read them again at 18, and now at 23 own them and read them for leisure at various times when I'm in between quality books. They're chalk full of fascinating characters, plot twists, enriching and exotic places, evil villains, beautiful love stories...these five books have it all. In my humble opinion, they're books that don't come along often. I wish they had...more
Mary JL
Jan 28, 2014 Mary JL rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: YA readers
I rated this book two stars only because of a lot of flaws. However, I rate books on how I feel about them now. I will freely admit had I read this book at age 12 or so, I would have not hesitated to give it three stars.

The plot is self-explanatory from the title---Merlin as a youth, before he was known as a wizard. There was some very good writing in places and some good ideas---but also too many co-incidences and careless writing.

And frankly, I am really not a huge Merlin fan--I wanted to see...more
Valentina
Watching his journey as he grew older was magical. I hope he finds out about his past.
Sharon
What a lame read. I was REALLY disappointed. After Avalon totally winning my heart, this was a huge let-down. Merlin was a prideful, ignorant, annoying guy that got himself into all sorts of trouble because of his own stupid mistakes. And for what? To become the most famous wizard of all time? Sheesh.
I admit Hallia and her brother were fairly cool, but Rhiannon was the only I really liked. It DID help enlighten me on some stuff in the Avalon series since this a prequel series, but the whole sti...more
Sean Yao
In the beginning, a young boy has just regained consciousness and finds he, along with a woman with long blond hair and a tattered blue tunic, are washed up on a beach. The boy encounters a boar as he is walking toward the woman, which tries to attack him and the woman. It stamps its foot on the ground, signaling that it is going to attack. With tusks like razor blades, it charges at the boy. He tries to drag the woman into a hollowed out tree trunk. He puts the woman in first, then tries to fit...more
Carrie Slager
I’ve always been fascinated by the Arthurian legends and in particular with the mysterious sorcerer, Merlin. And this book is what sparked my fascination.

It’s the Dark Ages in ancient Wales, after the Roman Empire has withdrawn and nothing is truly certain. Emrys lives with Branwen, a woman that claims to be his mother, but because he lost his memory when they washed up on shore five years ago, he does not believe her. But their life together is happy until the people of their small village turn...more
Tara
Don't knock it till you try it. This book is obviously intended for a younger audience but should not be underestimated. I re-read this book atleast once every two years. The narator explains all that is happening with the most vivid detail. There are also some really surprising moments in the book that show you a glimpse of the message behind the story. This book is filled with many beautifuly written verses that could be as easily from a great work of literature as a adolesence fantasy book.
Andrew S.
I absolutely adored lost years of merlin. Taking place in the magical land of Fincarya. this book provides a interesting glimpse into the earlier years of merlin. Although Fincarya was once a rejoicing land , it now lies on ruin and despair thanks to Rhita gawr, a wicked sorcerer who tries to ruin the land. It's up to a young merlin to stop him. I personally thought the book was very interesting , I couldn't put it down for some period of time. I admit the beginning it drags but it is totally wo...more
Taylor
I wasn't quite sure what to think of this book when I found it in the library that I work at. I love the stories about Merlin and the knights of the round table and I adore the BBC tv show. I knew this was going to be very different but I tried it anyway and I actually enjoyed it. I liked the writing style and the mood of the book. Personally I think that the use of blackouts as chapter beginnings and endings was a bit overdone and that the word angels was often used descriptively. I sometimes f...more
Rachel
I found this series when I was 11 years old and I couldn't read them fast enough. Here, more than 10 years later, i'm still so very disappointed in myself for not making all of them my own. They all are enriched with the values of friendship, family, courage, and of course magic. I always envisioned it as a pre-harry potter series, even though I discovered it after I began the HP series.
Nabil
The Lost Years of Merlin by T.A Barron is a really good book about a boy named Emyrs, who sets out to find who he once was because he has no idea where he is from or who he is. He lives with a woman named Brawnen who says she is his mom, but he doesn't believe her, so he sets out to try and find where his home really is. He goes to the mystical land of Fincara, a mid point between Heaven and Earth, and an evil is invading the land and he has to stop hit with a few friends: a girl named Rhia, and...more
Lindsey Meyer
This fantasy novel is rich with creative and lovable characters and a lush environment that will instantly draw you in. The book begins with excitement and mystery, intriguing you to read further. I can't wait to continue on with this series! Barron's writing is fun and he paints a great story of his theory on Merlin's young adult years.
Alis Stone
If you are interested in trying a new fantasy series, or are just interested in the Merlin legend, you need to give this book series a go. With an amazing retelling of Merlin's story and a brilliantly thought up fantasy world with lovable characters, this book is not easy to put down. The young, lovable characters of Emrys, Rhia and Shim form an unforgettable trio in this wonderful fantasy novel. The book centers around Emrys' own search for his identity.

After washing up on the shores of ancien

...more
Mel
I picked up this book at the library because I wanted to read something to do with the Arthurian legend. Merlin is a favourite character so I was immediately intrigued.
I guess it's safe to say that the book is intended for children or young adults, which I don't really mind. The plot is simple, there are no flashbacks or interwoven storylines. We follow young Merlin on his quest to find out more about his past, his parents and the strange powers he seems to posses and which cost him so much.
So...more
Kam Alexander
Just an amazing book from the great times of powerful wizards and ferocious dragons! I have always been a fan of books from specifically this time era and plots that involve the great Merlin or the courageous King Arthur! This book is great for anyone who is like me and loves books from this setting, or a great adventurous book. The best part is that you don't need to know anything about the legend of Merlin to read this book. Luckily the author knew how to write this story in a manner that keep...more
Beau
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Alexzander
Oct 14, 2011 Alexzander rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Any one who likes stories about merlin.
This was a good book that tells a good story about the early years of Merlin. It gives you an idea about how he came to the name Merlin as well as how he learned his magic, and why he was gone from history during those early years.
Adele
This book is about the childhood of Merlin from the Arthur legends. It takes place in Fincayra which is a magical land between the other world and earth. It is a very exciting book.
Ptitelfe

Avant tout, je remercie les éditions NATHAN JEUNESSE pour leur confiance.

J'ai été agréablement surprise de découvrir ce livre dans ma boite à lettre, livre qui sort en librairie le 10 janvier prochain.



Pour commencer, la couverture est vraiment très belle, les couleurs bleues révèlent le côté mystique du personnage, le baton capture l'image, et le titre du livre est vraiment bien mis en valeur.



Niveau contenu, le livre est composé en trois partie d'une dizaine de chapitres chacun. Chaque chapitre...more
Jason
This was one of my OMGFaves back in, like, elementary school. But I think having read many more books inc several in the genre made this reread totally unsatisfying in comparison. Merlin’s a boring, annoying little shit who seems to stumble around from person to person, who are conveniently around wherever he goes to push him further on his little journey. The main saving graces are the concept which is still cool, and a pair of one-dimensional but likable characters, the maternal mother and the...more
Kyler Place
Emrys is a young teenage boy with no memory of his past: where he comes from, who his parents are, or even his own name. Raised by a beautiful woman named Brawen, who claims to be his mother, he is bullied by the children in his village, until one day he causes something terrible to happen. Blinded by his own actions, he begins a quest to discover who he really is.

This book has a very interesting premise, but unfortunately suffers from slightly wooden dialogue quite frequently. Still, it is an e...more
J.A. Dalley
T.A. Baron writes like the classics of previous generations like Tolkien. So the series starts off rather slow, but once Merlin starts his journey there are lots of adventures in store.

The first book in the Lost Years of Merlin series has lots of action and adventure once you get to about the halfway point in the book, but even then a lot of the book is still just building the world and setting the stage for the rest of the series.

I love Shim! He is such a fun character, and of course there is t...more
Makenna
This isn't the worst book I've read, but I also wouldn't read it again. The plot was all over the place. Sometimes it was confusing, sometimes it went too fast, but the story was enjoyable. I've never read any books having anything to do with Merlin, so I might just be a bit confused starting out. I'm not really sure I'll be reading the next book. I'm not trying to discourage anyone from reading this book, and I'm sure the series will get better the further along you go. It just wasn't my cup of...more
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The Word Nerds Bo...: "The Lost Years of Merlin" Discussion *SPOILERS* 4 6 Jul 04, 2014 02:17PM  
The Word Nerds Bo...: "The Lost Years of Merlin" First Impressions *no spoilers* 2 5 Jun 11, 2014 11:33PM  
fantasy book review 1 16 Jul 02, 2012 01:03PM  
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T.A. Barron grew up in Colorado ranch country and traveled widely as a Rhodes Scholar. Though he’d dreamed of becoming a writer, he couldn’t find anyone to publish his first novel. He joined a business, eventually became president, then decided to try again. So in 1990, he surprised his business partners by moving back to Colorado to become a writer and conservationist. Since then he has written o...more
More about T.A. Barron...
The Seven Songs of Merlin (The Lost Years of Merlin, #2) The Mirror of Merlin (The Lost Years of Merlin, #4) The Fires of Merlin (The Lost Years of Merlin, #3) The Wings of Merlin (The Lost Years of Merlin, #5) Child of the Dark Prophecy (The Great Tree of Avalon, #1)

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“And I came to understand, in a way I never had before, that books are truly the stuff of miracles. I even dared to dream that someday, somehow, I might surround myself with books from many times and many tongues...” 14 likes
“As the wind swelled, my tree started to sway. Almost like a human body it swung back and around, gently at first, then more and more wildly. While the swaying intensified, so did my fears that the trunk might snap and hurl me to the ground. But in time my confidence returned. Amazed at how the tree could be at once so flexible and so sturdy, I held on tight as it bent and waved, twisted and swirled, slicing curves and arcs through the air. With each graceful swing, I felt less a creature of the land and more a part of the wind itself.
"The rain began falling, it's sound merging with the splashing river and the singing trees. Branches streamed like waterfalls of green. Tiny rivers cascaded down every trunk, twisting through moss meadows and bark canyons. All the while, I rode out the gale. I could not have felt wetter. I could not have felt freer.
"When, at last, the storm subsided, the entire world seemed newly born. Sunbeams danced on rain-washed leaves. Curling columns of mist rose from every glade. The forest's colors shown more vivid, its smells struck more fresh. And I understood, for the first time in my life, that the Earth was always being remade, that life was always being renewed. That it may have been the afternoon of this particular day, but it was still the very morning of Creation.”
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