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The Mirror of Merlin

(Merlin #4)

by
4.06  ·  Rating details ·  8,376 ratings  ·  96 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

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Hardcover, 256 pages
Published September 20th 2007 by Philomel (first published September 13th 1999)
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Average rating 4.06  · 
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 ·  8,376 ratings  ·  96 reviews


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Benjamin Thomas
The fourth book of the 5 book “Lost Years of Merlin” series is the first to really begin to get into the more traditional Arthurian lore. Previous volumes have confined themselves to more light-hearted adventure, sometimes with serious consequences, but never with a very far-ranging plot structure. This book begins the same way but thanks to the introduction of a mirror/portal, young Merlin is able to meet his wizened older self and learn much about his ultimate destiny. But only some of it. He ...more
Cathy Austin
Jul 08, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The stories of Merlin are timeless and many. This one is book four of a series about the young Merlin. No matter that I have not read the previous three books, this one was terrific and I will read the next one, The Wings of Merlin. Meant for young adults, it is a very adult read, a fast paced adventure tale, and even better, a foreshadowing of what's to come in the older Merlin's life when the two meet each other in two different worlds, a delightful encounter near the end of the book. In this ...more
Kami
Jun 03, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
- The story wasn't very good in this one. Merlin kinda just traveled around. It got better about half way through.

- The Ballymag's dialogue is annoying. I had to slow down to read what he said.

- Merlin hasn't said chants to do magic before. Why does he need to now?

- Merlin is still very arrogant and ornery. Will he ever learn?

- I loved that they added Ector into the story!

- I think I'm getting burnt out on these books. I will probably take a break and read something else before tackling the last
...more
Emelia
Aug 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read this in one sitting last night. On to book 3 !
What an interesting take on the young Merlin and Fincayra !
RTC's to come !
Aimee VanDenBerghe
The story for this series is fine. However, the writing isn't my favorite. Over all, the series is pretty enjoyable and I liked this addition.
Lindsey (Bring My Books)
Probably my least favorite of the four I've read thus far, but still an enjoyable installment in the Merlin Saga. In a weird way, there's this part at the end that is simultaneously both my favorite and least favorite of the series - without giving too much away, young Merlin meets someone he very much did not expect to meet, but this someone is a person that most of us reading are going to be intimately familiar with through stories and films. The characterization of said person seemed to be wa ...more
Griffin
Jan 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Mirror of Fate is the fourth book in T.A. Barron’s Merlin series. It is an interesting book and very well written. I would recommend it to younger teens or tweens, as it could get boring for older teens and adults. The new characters were surprising and introduced well. Other than Merlin and Hallia, the other characters were not characterized very well. Though the beginning is nice, the ending is a bit bland. The storyline is interesting, though the plot is a bit wandering.
EA Solinas
Apr 29, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first three books of T.A. Barron's Lost Years series were kind of light on the Arthurian aspects, but that changes dramatically in "The Mirror of Fate." The story is somewhat less enchanting and swift than the previous Merlin tales (particularly with the ballymag), but it's still an intriguing time-spanning adventure.

Hostile marsh ghouls have started rising in the Haunted Marshes of Fincayra, and Merlin and Co. happen to have a mission there (to find Merlin's magical sword). There Merlin enc
...more
Lindsical
Aug 22, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This volume was a lot of fun. I liked getting to know Hallia and her budding relationship with Merlin. Although I was quite disappointed there was no Rhia or Caipre - two of my favorite characters.
The author is really getting more into the Arthurian legends and lore now and it's exciting! I can't give away any spoilers but some very important characters have begun to show up and I love it. He's doing it in a pretty creative way.
Scratch
Apr 11, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I will begin with the caveat that I went nearly 20 years between reading book 3 and book 4 of this series. That implies the second caveat, in that I am clearly no longer the target audience for a YA book.

That being said, this was a disappointment. The story picks up with young Merlin where we left him, in the sense that he is traveling with his were-deer girlfriend. There is remarkably little exposition summarizing the earlier books (a definite point of frustration for someone who went 20 years
...more
Masyn Archie
Oct 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"The Mirror of Merlin" by T.A. Barron is set on an ancient island called Fincayra where you can find a young wizard by the name of Merlin. I found this book by reading the previous books of the series.

"The Mirror of Merlin" is about Merlin saving a swamp which belongs to some of the most evil creatures on Fincayra, the marsh ghouls. He needs to save the swamp from a lady called Nimue who is trying to kill Merlin. Merlin ends up going through this mirror and goes into the future to meet his futur
...more
Oscar Dovalina
I have enjoyed this serious so far, but I do struggle with the writing at times... And this may just be a personal opinion on the writing, but I feel that Merlin's emotional, logical, and wisdom based character development takes strides forward in one book... just to be lost or forgotten in the next. But maybe, this is just realistic as we all repeat some of our past mistakes?
Jordan
Oct 04, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: re-read, fiction
I don't get it. He finally figured out how to pace a plot, and then he goes and writes a book that has no plot. I just don't get it. I will say I'm impressed that between Shim, the Ballymag, and whats-his-face in book 5, Barron actually came up with three different cutesy dialects. And I'm tempted to give this another star just for sneaking "assnasty" in there...but I won't.
Jf Li
May 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a brilliant penultimate book with a great twist to it. This one is just as good as the final book, my favorite in the series.
Bethany Wade
Nov 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As this series goes on, I am LOVING how Barron introduces characters and symbols of the traditional Arthurian legend!!!! It is genius....and so much fun!!!!
Noah Turner
Oct 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great book
Wendy
Jul 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019-reads
Explains a lot about Merlin. The Crystal cave, shapeshifting, and time travel. He still needs to work on humble learning.
Jason Prodoehl
Continuing in the series. Fun, light teen reading. I particularly enjoy the author's descriptions of the natural world, and the morality of thinking about others.
Melissa Bristow
May 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Name change?
Laura Mitchell
Jun 23, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting treatment of choices and destiny, and what is within.
Laura Nixon
Jun 26, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I DNFed fairly quickly, so not much to say. Dull.
Chris Seltzer
The story has a very uneven pacing and plot. There are really good parts mixed with meandering parts. Overall a pleasant read.
Jamie
Oct 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Interesting, very interesting. Merlin meets his older self and Arthur
Ashley
Dec 26, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Mirror of Merlin is the slowest of the series thus far. It wasn’t until about 150 pages into the book (only about a 250 page book) that things really began to happen. I just felt like this was a little slower than the plot should have moved. Maybe if something more important happened to Merlin at the beginning of the story it would have been more interesting. Basically, we just learn that he is trying to control his shadow, which he is having a hard time with and that his art of Leaping isn’ ...more
Lauren
Dec 08, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first three books of T.A. Barron's Lost Years series were kind of light on the Arthurian aspects, but that changes dramatically in The Mirror of Merlin. The story is somewhat less enchanting and swift than the previous Merlin tales (particularly with the ballymag), but it's still an intriguing time-spanning adventure.

Hostile marsh ghouls have started rising in the Haunted Marshes of Fincayra, and Merlin and Co. happen to have a mission there (to find Merlin's magical sword). There Merlin en
...more
Tyler
Jul 25, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, young-adult
The Lost Years of Merlin series has always been hit and miss for me, and Mirror of Merlin remains that way with one true gem of redemption.

On the positive side, I love Barron's "foreshadowing" as Merlin thinks and has ideas about his future; being familiar with the myths and stories surrounding Merlin's life, it is delightful to read about his life as a teenager when he first has the desire to grow a beard, or live backward in time, or have a crystal cave for his home. I also love Barron's famil
...more
Carrie Slager
Feb 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What if you could go back in time to talk with your younger self and warn him/her about impending danger? Or what if you could look into a mirror as a teenager and see the person you will become? Well, that’s what the mysterious mirror in the middle of the Haunted Marsh allows Merlin to do. But first he must travel to the very centre of the swamp with the deer-woman he loves in order to retrieve the sword Nimue stole from him.

“Mirrors, I assure you, can cause more pain than broadswords, more ter
...more
Alex
Oct 02, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really love this series, and I am so happy I can read these again and still feel the magic. In this adventure Merlin is stillll plagued by self doubt and that weird voice in him that tells him not to listen to what his tasks are. I really love this writing and the continuation of this series though I have a complaint about the way Shim and that weird seal creature talk.

I get it, Lloyd Alexander had to have one, Tolkin, Lucas, and I thought Barron would be satisfied with just one, but no he ha
...more
♥Xeni♥
Okay, this is where I really started to despise Merlin. First off, his love life: okay, great, you can turn yourself into a deer now (on a side note, why a deer? Don't you know that they get shot and eaten?? Mr. Barron you should have done it differently.) but Merlin, you don't have the courage to stay with the love of your life? It's fate that you're both to be together for only a short time and then you see your own death? Really?

Okay, you can probably tell by my sarcasm that I'm more than a
...more
Jen
May 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mirror of Fate is book 4 of Barron's chronicles of the young years of Merlin. I quite enjoyed how this book played more with traditional Arthurian legend than the past books. Little hints that made me smile to things more overt. Merlin is still a bit prideful, show-offy, a little complainy/despairing, and sometimes acts before he thinks. But he is only 15, so it is all about him growing up and making mistakes - which we have all done. I see him starting to grow and learn more in this book and ma ...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 Lost Years (Merlin #1)
  • The Seven Songs (Merlin #2)
  • The Raging Fires (Merlin #3)
  • 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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