Synopses & Reviews
Long ago, the great wizard Merlin planted the seed that would become the peaceful world of Avalon. Now, though, Avalon is suffering from mysterious droughts. Then the very stars begin to lose their light, and it seems that the Lady of the Lake's dire predictions are about to come true. The fate of Avalon now rests with Tamwyn, a wandering wilderness guide; Elli, an apprentice priestess; and Scree, a young eagleman. One of them is the true heir of Merlin, the only person who can save Avalon...and one of them is the dreaded child of the Dark Prophecy, fated to destroy it.
As in his acclaimed epic The Lost Years of Merlin, T. A. Barron has created a radiant, richly imagined world, full of high adventure and unforgettable characters.
"Barron's (The Lost Year's of Merlin) new entry in his Arthurian mythos explores the legend of Avalon, 'the Great Tree [that] stands as a bridge between Earth and heaven, mortal and immortal.' The opening scene lays out the novel's central conflict: a pair of kidnappers attempt to take from its branches 'an eagleboy,' who in the process becomes orphaned; ensuing events lead Merlin to come to the rescue of the eagleboy as well as a human child and its mother. The magician makes veiled mention of a Dark Prophecy and asks the woman to raise the orphan, Scree, alongside her own son, Tamwyn (meaning 'Dark Flame'). In the next chapter, 17 years later, the mother is dead, and the boys, separated, search for each other. The author then introduces Elli, also an orphan, who becomes apprenticed to an arrogant priestess deemed 'The Chosen One' for her visions of the Lady of the Lake. Readers meet Elli just as the Dark Prophecy is beginning to come true, and Elli must help the priestess find Merlin's true heir in order to save Avalon before the foretold enemy destroys it. At times the narrative repeats itself, in order to telegraph to readers vital information. But the thickening plot and the three key characters Tamwyn, Scree and Elli as well as a captivating supporting cast of sprites, fairies and assorted changelings will keep the pages turning. Arthuriana fans will also delight in Barron's bonus revelations, as he ties in identities of the Lady of the Lake and others with Avalon's history. An epilogue hints at a sequel. Ages 10-up." Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Liberally laced with humor and wit, the first in The Great Tree of Avalon series effectively introduces and fleshes out remarkable characters, both human and non-human." Booklist
"Barron's fantasy is rich with interesting characters and fascinating landscapes, sure to please fantasy readers looking to travel deep into another world." Michele Winship, KLIATT
"The story will appeal most to devoted fantasy readers, particularly fans of the "Merlin" series, who will recognize details from the earlier books and try to guess how the epics will converge." Beth Wright, School Library Journal
Long ago the great wizard Merlin planted the seed that would become the peaceful world of Avalon.
Now, the enchanted land is in peril, and its fate lies in the hands of three people-but only one of them is Merlin's heir who can save Avalon, while the others are destined to destroy it.
About the Author
T.A. Barron is the award-winning author of fantasy novels such as The Lost Years of Merlin
epic—soon to be a major motion picture. He serves on a variety of environmental and educational boards including The Nature Conservancy and The Land and Water Fund of the Rockies, and is the founder of a national award for heroic children. Following a life-changing decision to leave a successful business career to write full-time in 1990, Barron has written seventeen books, but is happiest when on the mountain trails with his wife, Currie, and their five children.