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The Mirror of Merlin

(Merlin #4)

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  8,632 ratings  ·  110 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, 245 pages
Published September 20th 2007 by Philomel Books (first published September 13th 1999)
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Average rating 4.06  · 
Rating details
 ·  8,632 ratings  ·  110 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
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
If you made it to book 4, g'danya! I am burned out on reading these aloud but we are sallying fourth to book 5. No noticeable drop-off in quality. ...more
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. ...more
Dec 16, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: a-fun-read
Wait what…why did it mix with sword in the stone stories??????
Jay Wright
Oct 17, 2022 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Merlin goes to the Haunted Marsh and loses his sword. In the process in which he travels with his friend Hallia, he meets a cute six armed creature, marsh ghouls, Nimue (the evil witch) and his future. This is a tale that gets better in the fourth book. The characters are well known to use and the story is coming together. This is the best in the series to date!
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
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
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.
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
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
Lynn Wallace
Jan 19, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

I can think of two great examples of backstories in the literary world. One is T. A. Barron’s Merlin series. These five books trace the origin of the great wizard Merlin – made so famous in the stories of King Arthur – starting from his early life as a young man. For me, it was fascinating to discover a version of Merlin without a long white beard or wizard’s robes. I loved watching the various skills he acquired, his romance with the deer woman Hallia, his relationship with his sister, etc. In
Nov 07, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Where every step you take means…choices. Hard choices.” He took another bite and chewed thoughtfully. “So whichever path you choose, it’s bound to be partly right and partly wrong.”

"The universe will always continue to surprise us, no matter how clever we may think we are. That’s its nature, just as the nature of people is to keep trying to comprehend it.”

“All life is but a stream of moments, my lad, each one containing its own choices, its own marvels, its own mysteries. And, I fear, its own p
Judith Chelekis
May 17, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In spite of 11 or 12 published books "in this series", the first five are considered one series?

Continues trekking back and forth and up and down and all over Fincayra, with Hallia mostly. Merlin meets up with new and old friends and discovers problems, and in solving them, grows his magic. Light on the magic learning, it is interesting to see him interact with various creatures and people and you can see where he will use what he has learned in order to teach Arthur what he must know.

Seems fair
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? ...more
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. ...more
Nov 19, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Likely more "me" than the book, I felt my interest in the book waning by this fourth book in the series. It's still very readable, but didn't pull me in. The same patterns in the book continue with the somewhat obvious direction playing out very slowly, whether it's Merlin's self-doubt as a wizard or Hallia and Merlin's relationship. ...more
Kayla Squire
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I read a book from this series as a kid and liked it. I couldn’t remember or find the rest of the series back then and I’ve always wanted to finish it. So here I am at 30 and I finally was able to read from the series again after rediscovering what it was called
Clare Farus
Meh. I normally love Arthurian retelling but something about how this series is telling the story is not engaging to me. That being said it was nice to see "arthur" finally. And i will read. The last book as I've come this far ...more
Sumer Sidhu
This is a great book. I think it is great because it is unique from most fantasy books. It's not about some kid in middle school who has some magic powers, but it is actually based in the middle ages. ...more
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
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. ...more
Melissa Bristow
May 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Name change?
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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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