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

The Young Merlin Trilogy

(The Young Merlin Trilogy #1-3)

3.70  ·  Rating details ·  457 ratings  ·  46 reviews
This is the legendary story of Merlin--from his abandonment by his parents at the age of eight to the discovery of his powers at twelve. Together, these three novels reimagine the origins of the greatest wizard of all time, giving readers a Merlin at once more human and more magical than any that has appeared before.
Paperback, 276 pages
Published August 1st 2004 by HMH Books for Young Readers
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 The Young Merlin Trilogy, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Young Merlin Trilogy

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.70  · 
Rating details
 ·  457 ratings  ·  46 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Stephanie Fachiol
Aug 16, 2018 rated it liked it
The story may be simple, but the language is poetic and moving.

The overall plot of The Young Merlin Trilogy followers the titular wizard from his reintroduction to society after living in the wild, to the realization of his dreams and magic. The story is split into three parts: Passager, in which Merlin readjusts to living in society after living feral; Hobby, where he begins to understand his significant dreams and meets the classic Duke Vortigen; and Merlin, where his adolescent journey comes
Nov 08, 2017 rated it did not like it
This book was so bland. As I read it I got the impression the author had no idea what she was doing. Her struggles to be deep about the meaning of names lacked in meaning and significance, even though it seemed like she wanted it to be a big part of the books. I'm not a huge fan of fantasy, which I would consider this book to be. Or trying to be anyway. The little splurges of it came off just as the names did. It was supposed to be exciting finding out he had powers, but they didn't seem like po ...more
Jul 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This volume includes all three books of the Young Merlin Trilogy (Passager, Hobby and Merlin). All three books together tell the story of Merlin's childhood from the age of eight to twelve. From an abandoned boy in the woods to a farm then to travelling entertainers and finally back to the woods again, young Merlin learns about life, people and his own powers as a dreamer/sorcerer. Beautifully and tenderly written, and a joy to read - I highly recommend this re-telling of the Arthurian legend.
May 02, 2019 rated it did not like it
I didn’t care for the book really much. It wasn’t that good of a story and when in parts in was meant to be deep, it really wasn’t. I read this as an assignment, and I didn’t want to finish it. Initially, I thought that this was going to be an amazing book, be cause who doesn’t like Merlin? Right? It sounds better in the blurb then in the book. Unnecessarily long and all the chapters aren’t talking about really anything. Like there had to be a certain amount of pages written.
Mar 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
it what good for and it was amazing
Sep 22, 2018 rated it did not like it
I read this book for a book report, so I had to read it all and I remember crying so much because I hated this book so much and didn’t want to finish it.
Jul 13, 2019 rated it liked it
I enjoyed reading this trilogy. It was well-written and an interesting take on Merlin.

Content: clean- a few swear words, some violence
Jul 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
In this tightly-structured children's re-imagining of the legends of Merlin, a wild boy abandoned in the woods at age 8 learns to survive like an animal. Then, taken under the wing of a kind falconer named Master Robin, he finds his true name and learns to be human again. But a new tragedy sends him out into the world alone, equipped with little more than a growing awareness of his own strange powers, starting with dreams that come true, if only "on the slant."

Merlin has brushes with deadly dan
Mar 31, 2009 rated it really liked it
I bought these books because I love how Jane Yolen writes. I didn't realize they were so small (about 80 to 90 pages each; I read them all in one evening), but I should have guessed because they are written for an elementary-age reader. But I loved them anyway. They are a fun coming-of-age adventure story on the basic level for the young reader but also a fascinating blend of all the Merlin legends that the adult readers pick out. And I almost liked the after notes, which told about the various ...more
Sep 16, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: children-s, fantasy
I loved the first book of this trilogy (apparently, it really was first published as separate books, but they are all so slim, I still find it hard to imagine). Yolen's characteristic evocative prose breathes life into her feral child vision of Merlin, and it is fascinating to watch his survival story and the patient way Master Robin the falconer tries to tame him.

Unfortunately, the other two books couldn't live up to the first one's promise. As Merlin grows out of the animal-wildness of his e
Jan 11, 2015 rated it it was ok
The fact that I got this as an omnibus means a lot. If these were presented to me in single book form, I would not have read them. They would have automatically be deemed too short.

This is something that showed up in the book. It wasn't one continuous story where the breaks could be smushed into one book. It was multiple books, with just a continuous character. Because of this shortness character development and plot were really lacking. I was looking for something like I am Morgan LeFay or a R
Ingrid Foster
Jan 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Middle Grade and Fantasy Readers
Shelves: favorites
Maybe it was my recent watching of the British series Merlin on Netflix or my newly re-awakened love of all things Merlin and King Arthur. But whatever it was, I loved this book!

Jane Yolen presented an interesting, thought-provoking and well presented account of how Merlin might have been as a young boy, abandoned in the woods (as apparently many children were in those days) and left to fend for himself. During the course of reading this book, I felt as though I were there, cheering for Merlin
Feb 09, 2009 rated it liked it
The Young Merlin Trilogy is three seperate books for 9-12 year olds. I like Jane Yolen's approach to story telling and found them to be interesting at an adult level as well. The vocabulary was more advanced than I remember from when I was 9-12 but since part of reading is learning new words I don't think that should stop anyone. These would make an excellent read aloud. I read all 3 (silently) in a couple hours.

Merlin is abandoned at age 8 in the woods by his mother who we infer is a Nun. He li
Jo Oehrlein
Jul 22, 2012 rated it liked it
These 3 books (sometimes in a bindup as a single book) are quick reads about Merlin’s early life. Passager begins with Merlin at age 8 as a wildboy who has been left alone to live in the forest. He follows a man (Robin) home who adopts him and tames him. Hobby begins 4 years later with Robin’s house burning down and Merlin’s travels to the nearest market town where his dreams predict trouble for the ruling Duke. Merlin falls in with a traveling musician, where he learns the difference between tr ...more
Sep 04, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: middle-grade
According to goodreads, I read this book in September of 2009. I found it recently on my bookcase and had no memory of it, so I read it again. Definitely worth it! It's a quick read, and engaging.

There are so many Merlin/Arthur stories and tellings and re-tellings out there that it's sometimes hard to keep them straight. This one gives a fascinating glimpse into a possible-world young Merlin as he makes his way in the world and discovers some prophetic dream powers. However, the book is more su
Jayaprakash Satyamurthy
Nov 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Jane Yolen, you are a genius and a magician.

I love the character of Merlin and have read a fair amount of Arthurian fiction over the years. My favourite depiction of Merlin used to be Nikolai Tolstoy's 'The Coming of the King'. But this is my new favourite. In an economical 260-odd pages of elegant, ecovative prose Yolen takes us deeper and more authentically into a lived-in, nuanced picture of Britain just before the rise of Arthur, includes references and re-imaginations of various aspects of
May 14, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
I really enjoy how Jane Yolen writes, she takes you into the story as if you are one of the characters. The story is about Merlin, the magician, as a young lad. He is abandoned in the forest at seven years old and lives in the forest for a year until he follows a falconer home and becomes part of their family. There isn't much magic performed in the book, but it sets the background of Merlin's youth and how he is introduced to the young Arther. It was a fun read, took a couple of hours to read. ...more
Jan 31, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is a great trilogy-in-one book for those highly interested in Merlin, King Arthur, and different perceptions of the 'Knights of the Round Table.' Jane Yolen weaves a magnificent tale in "The Young Merlin Trilogy," using her own writing style, imagination, and research to bring the story of Merlin to life in a different way than those before her. He is perceived with more humanity, thus connecting himself to readers as they begin to experience his conflicts and wish the best for his future.
This is really three books in one, but they're such short YA books that I don't feel right counting this volume as three. Yolen offers a unique perspective on the Arthurian legend, with this tale of Merlin's origins. Yolen's writing is lovely, as usual, but overall this felt kind of slight and I really wished that the book was longer and more in-depth. It ends up feeling more like the taste of a story instead of like three novels.
Apr 26, 2013 rated it liked it
This book is three novels in one, and it took me a while to get into it. I think part of the reason for that is because it depicts the wizard Merlin differently than any portrayals I have ever seen. However, one thing I did like about it was the boy Merlin's evolution, from eight-year-old child to twelve-year-old child. You could see the changes in him as he matures and comes into himself. However, I don't know if this is a book I would read again in a hurry.
Jul 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A gem o a book

Beautifully written, this story about the early years of the great magician is itself magic.
Jane Yolen takes you into the mind of the young boy left alone in the woods for his powers and with him, we marvel as he discovers the world of men and his own powers.

A poem to the resilience of the human spirit.
Angelica Raquel
Oct 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I really loved this trilogy of the story of Merlin the books were little but full of adventure! I have to say the last chapter of the of the last part of the trilogy (Merlin) was my absolute favorite! The trilogy had a great ending!
Jan 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a weird one. But I loved the different elements of Arthurian legend that were woven into the story, usually in very subtle and surprising ways. Makes me want to read more in-depth Arthurian stories.
Oct 29, 2013 rated it liked it
This was a nice change of pace from the intense books I've been reading lately. I picked it up for Brook and Alex, but neither of them was interested. It was very light reading, but still a good story, very well written. I always enjoy Yolen's work.
Book Wormy
Jun 27, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: bw-tbr
Definitely aimed at younger readers this give a new perspective on the early life of the boy who will become the famous wizard Merlin parts of the traditional myths are woven in along with new elements
Apr 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, 2014-reads
If I could turn Jane Yolen's words into a blanket fort, I would never leave that warm safety. I love how she reworked tales to create this interesting tale of merlin's childhood.
Inge Hulsker
May 12, 2008 rated it liked it
It's a nice quick read, but a bit weird and vague at times.
Aug 20, 2009 rated it liked it
This was an interesting, if short, trilogy. Kids would have difficulty with it if they didn't already know the legend of Arthur...
Ben Crowder
Oct 12, 2010 rated it liked it
I liked the trilogy a lot, but there wasn't as much interesting stuff (magic, Arthur, etc.) as I'd hoped for. But it's certainly worth reading if you're into Arthurian legend at all.
Jan 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Best Merlin book I have ever read.
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • I Am Morgan le Fay
  • The Squire's Quest (The Squire's Tales, #9)
  • The Road to Camlann. The Death of King Arthur
  • De Historia Et Veritate Unicornis/on the History   and Truth of the Unicorn
  • The Book of Mordred
  • King Arthur's Death: The Middle English Stanzaic Morte Arthur and Alliterative Morte Arthure
  • Corbenic
  • The Song of Rhiannon
  • The Pendragon
  • The Circle Cast: The Lost Years of Morgan Le Fay
  • Arthur the King
  • In Camelot's Shadow (The Paths to Camelot, #1)
  • Aria of the Sea
  • The Chessboard Queen (Guinevere, #2)
  • The Dalemark Quartet, Vol. 2: The Spellcoats & The Crown of Dalemark (The Dalemark Quartet, #3-4)
  • Sarah's Unicorn
  • In the Shadow of the Oak King (Dragon's Heirs, #1)
  • The Story of Sir Launcelot and His Companions
See similar books…
Jane Yolen is a novelist, poet, fantasist, journalist, songwriter, storyteller, folklorist, and children’s book author who has written more than three hundred books. Her accolades include the Caldecott Medal, two Nebula Awards, the World Fantasy Award, three Mythopoeic Awards, the Kerlan Award, two Christopher Awards, and six honorary doctorate degrees from colleges and universities in Massachuset ...more

Other books in the series

The Young Merlin Trilogy (3 books)
  • Passager (The Young Merlin Trilogy, #1)
  • Hobby (The Young Merlin Trilogy, #2)
  • Merlin (The Young Merlin Trilogy, #3)