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 immeI 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. Sometimes I wanted to smack our young hero as he was being stupid or unkind but then again a young, lost and lonely boy is intiteled to behave irrational or willful. What I truly loved about this book are the descriptions of the island of Fincayra. ...more
I found this book in the bargain box. I liked the cover and the tagline - Magic is rising - so I bought it. To be honest, I didn't expect too much butI found this book in the bargain box. I liked the cover and the tagline - Magic is rising - so I bought it. To be honest, I didn't expect too much but I'm glad I was proved wrong. This book is beautifully written, even poetic at times, well plotted and the characters are memorable down to the minor ones.
At first I thought Advent was just going to be another coming of age story - don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with that and I usually like them. So we meet Gavin, the unwilling hero of this story. Gavin wants to be just like any other teenager but he isn't. He sees things that aren't there. He has strange dreams. Nobody understands him. He doesn't get along with his parents, who like to pretend that everything is just fine and as normal as can be. So when Gavin gets send to his eccentric aunt to a remote part in the English countryside, a journey of discovery begins - for Gavin as much as for the reader. I don't to give too much of the story away but Gavin has to deal with a nutty professor, a disappearance, the owner of a strange house and his daughter, lot's of half-forgotten secrets and what the local priests fears might be the end of the world.
Gavin's story takes lot's of interesting and unexpected twists and turns and even though I've read my fair share of fantasy novels, I found this one nicely unpredictable and fresh. There is a second storyline about a magician, who is later revealed to be none other than Dr. Faustus. The story of his downfall, which maybe not surprisingly involves a woman, the one love of his life - becomes more and more connected to Gavin's. To mention the name of that woman would be giving too much away, so let me just say that we go back to ancient Greek for her origin. She is the stuff of legends.
In the last chapter we meet a new character, a young girl, who is living with her drug-addict mother and her siblings. What happens to her one night seems to be the taste of things to come - at least I do hope so. Advent is part one of a series. As far as I know part two has been released last year. I'm looking forward to reading it and go back to this epic tale.
I really do recommend this book for all who like their fantasy to be clever, poetic, imaginative and beautiful. It is dark at times but it also rings true about a lot of issues, like how we as a society deal with people who are different. Is it really a sign of madness when you believe in magic? Or is there more than meets the eye? ...more