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Child of the Dark Prophecy
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Child of the Dark Prophecy

(Merlin #9)

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  6,097 ratings  ·  224 reviews
Long Ago, Merlin Planted a magical seed that beat like a heart-a seed that grew into the Great Tree of Avalon. For centuries, this world has flourished as a land of wonder and mystery, a link between Heaven and Earth, a place where all creatures could live in harmony.

Now, though, Avalon reels from brutal attacks, mysterious droughts, and stranger evils yet. Then one night,
Paperback, 384 pages
Published September 27th 2005 by Ace (first published October 7th 2004)
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Ebony Ocasio This book is the first Tree of Avalon book. I read it many years ago followed by Shadows on the Stars and Eternal Flame. I think these three books are…moreThis book is the first Tree of Avalon book. I read it many years ago followed by Shadows on the Stars and Eternal Flame. I think these three books are a spinoff of the Merlin story, so they *could be* considered books 9-11. Merlin is referenced in these three books, but you definitely don't need to read books 1-8 to understand these three. Hope that helps!(less)

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4.06  · 
Rating details
 ·  6,097 ratings  ·  224 reviews

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Aug 29, 2012 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 28, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read my thoughts on my blog, PicaReads:

Snippet from my review:
Overall, I really liked this series, although I wouldn’t recommend reading them back to back in five days. (By the time I got to the middle of the third, I was getting sick of the storyline and needed a break.) The trilogy is a hero’s journey with three interconnecting plotlines that might be a little confusing at first: Tamwyn, a wilderness guide trying to find his brother and his own sense of self; Scr
Oct 20, 2008 rated it really liked it
Very well written. Barron's characters were strong and felt real (anyone else in love with Scree? XD lol). His flow was a bit slow, though, and I caught my thoughts drifting away every once in a while. Some of his creatures were a bit unbelieveable, too...I forgot the name of the one creature that kept annoying Tamwyn....a boggart, maybe? I dunno. The creature with big hands, circular eyebrows, and a taste for mischief. While I was interested in him enough, I found I couldn't quite believe in hi ...more
Mar 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is a beautifully written novel, and this series stands out as one that I used to read over and over again when I was younger. The characters are sympathetic and engaging, and the series is overall a fun read. I remember this being one of my favorite series, but I will have to go back and read it as an adult to see if the series stands up from different perspective.
Amelia, the pragmatic idealist
This book was just extraordinary – a great start to what I am confident will be an excellent series! T.A. Barron’s prose is absolutely beautiful – somewhat lofty, but more along the lines of elegant and occasionally didactic. He is still a “modern author” and you can see differences between his style and say, the 50s-60s style of C.S. Lewis or Lloyd Alexander, but he’s pretty close. I’d say Barron and maybe Clare Dunkle come the closest to emulating that style. In other words, his writing is a l ...more
Jul 08, 2008 rated it really liked it
I read one of T.A. Barron's books when I was younger, and it was one of my favorites. When I found this series, I was excited to dive right in. That said, for some reason, it was a slow start for me. It took me 269 pages to get into it, but once I did, I couldn't put it down. I think I didn't really connect with the characters at first, and there were too many story lines being introduced to really hold my attention. But once you get all the characters straight, and their stories start convergin ...more
Crystal Ganatra
Mar 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Great Tree of Avalon: Child of the Dark Prophecy was an incredible read. The cover it truly intriguing, in a simple kind of way. The cover is simply an old tree against a brilliant blue sky with stars. In front of the tree, the title and the author's name are a gleaming gold. I loved every moment of the book, every word. Tamwyn, Elli, Brionna, and Scree were amazing characters and I enjoyed learning all about them as they searched for Merlin's staff. This magical story is indeed one I would ...more
Ea Solinas
Apr 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
T.A. Barron created a sweeping fantasy classic in the "Lost Years of Merlin" series. Now he follows up with a brand new series, taking place eight hundred years after the creation of Avalon -- "The Great Tree of Avalon: Child of the Dark Prophecy," full of magic, chills and humor.

As the book opens, legendary wizard Merlin rescues an orphaned eagleboy from a pair of mercenaries, and gives him to a flamelon woman with a half-human baby. He also leaves his staff with the eagleboy. The boys are rais
Feb 05, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book has such a high rating that I'm simultaneously intimidated and confused. The writing is kind of old-fashioned, which is fine, and makes me think that perhaps it's some kind of foundational fantasy classic that I've just never heard of for some unearthly reason? Yes? Maybe? No?

I had high hopes for The Great Tree of Avalon because it has Avalon in the title, and features mythos based on Arthurian figures like Merlin and the Lady of the Lake - just my type of thing. However, I finished it
Mar 07, 2012 rated it liked it
This review was also posted on my blog The Hobbit of Pemberly Place

I picked up Child of the Dark Prophecy, by T.A. Barron, as a part of a project for my “Teaching Reading” class. We needed to pick several young adult books, a graphic novel, and some other texts (film, other novels, poetry, etc.) that were all based around a theme or genre. Several potential ideas bounced around in my head for a while as I went book surfing on GoodReads and Google. I eventually settled on Arthurian Legend.

This bo
Jul 08, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, magic, arthurian
By the end of this book, I rather liked it, though I dislike books written for a younger reading level than the main characters. For example, I would dislike a book if the issues dealt with are clearly 17-year-old issues, but it's written to an audience of 12 year olds. Clearly, the three main characters here are all 17, but the writing was very juvenile. It would fit better in Children's than in Young Adult.

This is not to say that 12 year olds should not read about mature problems like politic
Mar 12, 2012 rated it liked it
This is one of those books I wish I read as a child. Although T.A Barron creates a fascinating and colorful world, it's obvious that this book was geared towards those a bit younger than myself.

The Good:
This book is about the land of Avalon, envisioned by Barron to be a giant tree with seven realms. Each realm has a special characteristic (woods, water etc.). It's a place that I would certainly like to visit. Each region is unique and vividly described.

The characters are interesting, if a bi
Oct 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The book was nothing like I thought it would be from the cover, which was nice because the cover blurb sounded too clichè. If you liked anything else by T.A. Barron, either the Seven Songs of Merlin quintet, Heartlight, etc, this is a no-brainer. If you've never heard of him... Two brothers were born in the same year, a year a prophecy says two children will be born: the heir to Merlin, and the Dark Child who will destroy the world. Needless to say, people born in that year tended to get killed ...more
Jan 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Child of the Dark Prophecy is all about the backstory of Merlin, the wizard. The story is Merlin lives in a place called Avalon but has never been seen since he last left. One thing that Merlin left was his staff and only the true heir of Merlin can hold the power. There are hidden symbols on the staff and when the true heir holds it, the symbols will light. The problem is that a dark prophecy was told that a child born in the darkest year of Avalon will soon destroy it. A group of people, Tamwy ...more
Neil Hepworth
Mar 24, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I read 180 out of the 400 pages. What on earth do people see in this book? How does it have such a high rating? I did read that some of the reviewers found the characters to be two-dimensional --understatement of the year. The characters are flat, boring, and spout dialogue fit for a toddler. The plot, what little was divulged in 200 pages, was equally cliched and uber tree-huggery. I just ain't gonna waste any more time.
Ashlin Fletcher
Jun 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
It quenched my thirst for fantasy, with a dash of old myths, and a little bit of magic. This beautifully written and elegantly spun tale was worth every page of paper it was written on.
Matthew Miller
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Silvio Curtis
May 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This author's Lost Years of Merlin series was one I started off liking very well way back when. But that was during the early-teen nadir of the quantity and variety of my free reading, and even then I cooled off a bit on the series before I finished, so I wasn't sure what to expect from revisiting the author. Child of the Dark Prophecy starts a new series in the same universe, about a thousand years after the Lost Years books, with a new set of characters, also aimed, as far as I can tell, at th ...more
AJ Sacerich
Oct 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The book Child of a Dark Prophecy By T.A. Barron published on October 7th, 2004 is a fantasy fiction. The main character, Tamwyn, is very easily liked because he is very funny and he is an adventure guide. He believed he was the Child of the Dark Prophecy because it was said that child was the only one born on his birth year. It turns out he is actually the true heir of the great wizard Merlin. He created the Great Tree of Avalon to be a bridge between mortals and immortals, and living and dead. ...more
May 25, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Child of The Dark prophecy is a a fantasy novel that tells the journey of Elli, LLynia, and Tamwyn's to save the the wizard staff of Merlin. Tamwyn and his brother Scree are both born on a prophesized year where Merlin's heir will be born and so will his nemesis, the child of the dark prophecy. Scree becomes the protector of the wizard staff of Merlin untill it gets stolen from him. Tamwyn, Elli, and Llynia travel across Avalon to retrieve the staff and save Avalon from an evil sorcerer and ...more
Hadiqa Minwoo
For some reasons, I had high expectations from this book, but my expectations were bound to be... DOOMED!

I picked up the book, say, some years ago. That time I didn't like it and thought I would read it some other time. After all those years I picked it up again, few days ago, but oh man! I'm really sorry to say that I couldn't finish it till the end. It felt more like a middle grade than a YA. And too much extra details. The book needn't to be hefty. Could've finished in 200 some pages if it wa
Teagan P
Jan 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book! I liked how there was a lot of fantasy and the big adventure that this book features. I think it was really cool that even when the characters split up, none of them were just sitting and doing nothing, and the book switched perspectives so that you could see what all of the main characters were seeing. If I could change one thing about this book it would be that there would be a little more description because sometimes it would change perspectives of people and I wouldn't re ...more
Nate :)
Oct 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The great tree of Avalon is one of the best books I have read.T.A Barron has made a breathtaking plot and story of magic,love,loss,and comedy that will take you in and you won’t be able to stop reading until you have finished all three books.This book is a very easy read and there won’t be many phrases that might fly over your head.I suggest this book to people 6th grade and up.You must read this book and it’s other series like Lost Years of Merlin and Merlin’s Dragon.
May 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent young adult novel! Loved the characters, and if the final reveal at the end was a little obvious, that didn't detract from the enjoyment of reading it. I'm not going to actively search for the next book in the series (hence the 4 stars vs 5), but if I happen to see it in a used book store or library it will absolutely come home with me.
Jan 18, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned, on-tape
Sometimes have an expressive reader is worse than a droner...the material wasn't good enough to garner my full attention and the readers efforts at acting it all out (quite well to be honest) showed its weaknesses all the more.
Megan Frangia
Apr 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 340-bookshelf

This is a follow up series to TA Barron’s Lost Years of Merlin Series. While this series is a little darker than the original series, I would feel confident recommending the original series to a 5th grade student and the student being ready for this series by the time they were done.
Jul 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm so biased.

I gave this book five stars based simply on my enjoyment of it.

I found this book on the shelves of my grandmother's lake house on year when I was... seven? eight? years old. I LOVED it so much and have read it pretty much once a year since.
Galion Public Library Teens
Review by B.M.: "I feel as though this book was well written with wonderful plot twists. The book was addictive and hard to put down."
Sep 01, 2018 rated it it was ok
I remembered I had high hopes, but also remember being tremendously let down. A book I never plan to pick up twice.
Phoebe Vidler
Apr 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I never read any of the other Merlin saga books because 1. I didn't have access to them 2. you don't need to read the others before you read this trilogy.
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T.A. Barron grew up in Colorado ranch country and traveled widely as a Rhodes Scholar. He is the winner of the de Grummond Medallion for “lifetime contribution to the field of children’s and young adult literature” and many other awards. T. A. Barron is the author of more than 30 highly acclaimed books, many of which are international bestsellers. They include The Lost Years of Merlin (now being d ...more

Other books in the series

Merlin (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • The Lost Years (Merlin #1)
  • The Seven Songs (Merlin #2)
  • The Raging Fires (Merlin #3)
  • The Mirror of Fate (Merlin #4)
  • A Wizard's Wings (Merlin #5)
  • The Dragon of Avalon (Merlin #6)
  • Doomraga's Revenge (Merlin #7)
  • Ultimate Magic (Merlin #8)
  • Shadows on the Stars (Merlin #10)
  • The Eternal Flame (Merlin #11)