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The Lost Years of Merlin

(Merlin #1)

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  17,967 ratings  ·  778 reviews
There has never been a magic like Merlin’s, and T. A. Barron reveals how the legend was born in his adventure-loving five-book epic featuring the heroic young wizard and his unforgettable band.

To celebrate the epic, which has sold over a million copies, Philomel has created a stunning paperover-board edition with fantastical new cover art by Justin Sweet to enchant and en

Hardcover, 336 pages
Published September 20th 2007 by Philomel (first published 1996)
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Richard It is explained later in the series. In the Wings of Merlin.
George They're both coming-of-age stories riffing on Welsh myth. Some similarity is inevitable.

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Average rating 3.98  · 
Rating details
 ·  17,967 ratings  ·  778 reviews

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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
Rebecca McNutt
Any knowledge I have of Merlin or stories of King Arthur comes from watching the BBC TV series Merlin (it was first airing when I was still in elementary school), so I wasn't really sure what to expect from this book beyond that it was a YA fantasy novel. While I'm not sure that I found it to be particularly unique or unforgettable, for what it's worth it's an engaging story and an interesting look at the origins of one of the most well-known fictional characters of all time. The Lost Years is d ...more
Jeremey Christian
Feb 05, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
(review in English below)

Não consegui interessar-me por esta história.
Tentei, ainda cheguei à página 191 (!), mas desisto.

Tudo muito déjá-(l)vu, e uma escrita que não consegue prender-me - o que pode dever-se, em parte, à tradução (de vez em quando, há frases que não fazem muito sentido).

Ao contrário do que diz a capa ("Se é fã do género fantástico ou da série Harry Potter, não pode deixar de ler Merlin - Os Anos Perdidos"), este livro é mais adequado a quem ainda não tenha lido (muita) fantasi
Norah Una Sumner
Real rating; 3.5.

Too much description for my taste.If there's one thing I don't like it's a book whose plot is really good but has too many unnecessary descriptions.I don't really care how the sky looked when Emrys woke up or how the grass smelled when he traveled.I kind of liked Shim,but Rhia is a different story-you know I'm not a fan of insta-connection between characters.I'm also not liking the fact that Emrys saved his cruel father but left his mother easily.I mean,the woman took care of yo
Oct 16, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cute, clean, middle grade novel. I think primary school me would have given this 5⭐️. But being that im in college it was young for me which I expected but i really did enjoy Merlin before he became Merlin. It was a unique interpretation of what the author thinks about the person that Merlin was before he was all powerful
Georgina Lopez
Oct 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Hidden. The whole world is hidden." This fiction book full of turning events that you wouldn't have imagined that could have happened. I think this book is really good book. I enjoyed reading this book, i found it interesting, every turning page there was something exciting, and interesting.

***SPOILER ALERT*** Emrys and Branwen washed up on shore to an unknown place. Emrys was in pain and he couldn't remember anything. He couldn't remeber who he was or how he had gotten there and he couldn't
Sep 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
(Plot)A young boy named Emerys washes up on shore and he doesn't even know his name or where he came from. Throughout the book he is trying to figure out who he is and trying to find his real name. He travels to this different place called Fincayra where everything lives and talks. Fincayra is taken over by an evil king and Emerys trys to overthrow him and turn Fincayra to its old wonderful self.
(Character Analysis)Merlin really showed his true colors when he learns that he can do magic. At firs
J.Aleksandr Wootton
In which we learn that good research, lushly-imagined settings, and fine writing can't make up for bad plotting.

Our protagonist's one-dimensional motivation propels him through a story populated exclusively by static NPCs. The reading experience is like playing a short linear-narrative RPG where each character is waiting off-screen for the designated hero to show up, trigger an encounter, and move the story forward.

A reasonably entertaining series start, but not one I'd bother to repeat or comp
Nov 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely adored this book. I usually don’t enjoy shorter fantasy novels since I seem to need 800+ pages to really become invested in a new world and new characters but this time that was not the case.

There was just the right amount of travelling and we didn’t get mind numbing descriptions of every individual leaf along the way.

The plot was constantly moving forward while still taking the time to build the world around you.

Although it is a YA novel it is not centred around a romantic r
May 16, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I could not finish this book after five chapters; it was just so boring and icky. Dull, dull, dull. I didn't like it ok?
Tokio Myers
Jan 19, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
To tell the truth this is a three star book. The story is very predictable and the characters are somewhat bland. Merlin complains a lot and only cares about himself at first which works for his character but causes me to find it hard to relate to him. I guess I have nothing in common with eight year old boy who knew. The thing that caused me to give this book four stars is the world building. For a book that has simplistic writing the world was very detailed and magical. T.A Barron doesn't expl ...more
The story is good, but the prose is too young for me. I'd rather re-read Stewart or Lawhead.
Love of Hopeless Causes
Cringe inducing author introduction followed by Book Party Foul: amnesiac main character. I suppose I should know this, but I never read those plot spoiling blurbs. Audiobook DNF.
It wasn't QUITE as amazing as it was when I was a kid, but revisiting this book after some 20 or so years was a nice nostalgia trip.
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
Nada 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
Jun 27, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 30, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This was an interesting take on the Merlin mythos and a great starting point for young readers to get into Arthurian literature. If you have a young reader you want to get interested in this stuff, reach for this one, absolutely.

Unfortunately, I came into this as an adult, already fascinated with Arthurian legend (so some of this felt a little far fetched) and right on the heels of Mary Stewart's excellent Merlin saga, so I think this fell a little flatter than it would have otherwise.
Jul 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Mar 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A book for all ages.

In this excellent tale of the wizard between the mortal and divine, voices appear in Merlin's head and he wants his memory back to know who and what he is. Later Merlin learns, like Luke Sky Walker in Star Wars, that his father is the evil one. It is in Chapter 4 "Sacred Time" that Merlin recreates the classic myth of the eternal return, rebirth.

Jan 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-fiction, favorites
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.
Oct 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
L.R.W. Lee
Dec 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I loved the idea that the author chose to write. It takes great imagination to invent a world and characters that create the beginnings of a character that has been written about for so long. I found the narrative compelling as well as believable.
Aug 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: awesome
....*sigh* now I need to find the rest of the books >.< ...more
Jun 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Watching his journey as he grew older was magical. I hope he finds out about his past.
Sep 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've read the whole series and I love it, the fantasy aspect and the amazing characters will hook you on the series really quickly.
Darby Karchut
Jan 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Re-reading this series. It's been years since I read the first one.
Hannah Belyea
Emrys knows nothing of his childhood, not even if the woman who cares for him is his real mother, but he yearns for the truth - and when he uses powers that cost him dearly, he sets out for answers, journeying to a land of magic and coming across a kingdom drenched in evil...Barron begins what is sure to be a pleasure for young fantasy fans, though the odd blend of religions and myths may put off faithful readers. Will Emrys be able to find the truths he seeks before he ends up the victim of mag ...more
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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 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)
  • The Great Tree of Avalon (Merlin #9)
  • Shadows on the Stars (Merlin #10)
  • The Eternal Flame (Merlin #11)

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