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SFF Author: T.A. Barron

t.a. barron review(1952- )
T.A. Barron grew up in Colorado ranch country and traveled widely as a Rhodes Scholar. Though he’d dreamed of becoming a writer, he couldn’t find anyone to publish his first novel. He joined a business, eventually became president, then decided to try again. So in 1989, he surprised his business partners by moving back to Colorado to become a writer and conservationist. Since then he has written over twenty highly acclaimed novels, children’s books, and nature books, many of which are international best sellers. He has won the Nautilus Award, given to books that inspire a better world, along with many honors from the American Library Association and the International Reading Association. His favorite pastime is hiking, camping, or skiing in Colorado with his family, which he does at every opportunity. Find maps and games at T.A. Barron’s website.


The Lost Years: Initial novelty has worn off

The Lost Years by T.A. Barron

Perhaps because it was a tad over-hyped for me, perhaps because since its publication there have been several other books and films that tell the story of Merlin’s youth, but T.A. Barron‘s The Lost Years left me a little cold. I enjoyed it well enough, though certain segments dragged a little, but ultimately I think that much of its initial novelty has worn off. What was an innovative look at an unknown aspect of a legendary figure’s life back in 1996 may feel like a somewhat generic fantasy-adventure by today’s standards.

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The Seven Songs: Missing the X factor

The Seven Songs by T.A. Barron

“Pursue the Seven Songs in Turn; the Parts Beget the Whole…”

The second book in T.A. Barron’s MERLIN SAGA (preceded by The Lost Years and followed by The Raging Fires) continues young Merlin’s journey toward the powerful wizard of legend. Having noticed that there was very little literature that dealt with Merlin in his formative years, Barron set about writing a “prequel” of sorts to Arthurian legend that explored what Merlin was like as a child.

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The Raging Fires: Enjoyable well-written fantasy for youngsters

The Raging Fires by T. A. Barron

“The Dragon Avenges His Dreams Yet Unhatched…”

The third book in T.A. Barron’s MERLIN SAGA, chronicling the adventures of the young wizard before his famous exploits in the Arthurian legends, continues on from The Lost Years and The Seven Songs of Merlin. Merlin has been reunited with his mother and sister on the magical island of Fincayra and is looking forward to continuing his learning in the magical arts.

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The Mirror of Fate: Solid but superfluous

The Mirror of Fate by T.A. Barron

The Mirror of Fate is the fourth book in T.A. Barron’s THE LOST YEARS OF MERLIN saga, chronicling the adventures and experiences of Merlin as a young man, long before Arthur’s birth and Camelot’s creation. Having discovered his true parentage and voyaged to his birthplace, the magical island of Fincayra, Merlin is now practicing and improving his magical abilities, helped along by several friends and family members.

Although Barron has by now established quite a large cast of characters,

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A Wizard’s Wings: A fitting end to a popular saga

A Wizard’s Wings by T.A. Barron

This is the fifth and final book of T.A. Barron’s THE LOST YEARS OF MERLIN cycle, one of the earliest literary explorations of the famous wizard’s childhood. Since then there have been a number of books (and one television show) about what this enigmatic sorcerer was like as a young boy, well before his mentoring of the famed King Arthur, but Barron’s take on the subject matter remains one of the most popular.

So popular that it’s warranted a recent re-publication,

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The Dragon of Avalon: A return visit to the island of Avalon

The Dragon of Avalon by T.A. Barron

Recent republications of The Dragon of Avalon number it as the sixth instalment in T.A. Barron‘s MERLIN series. To be more accurate, it was published *after* the five-part LOST YEARS OF MERLIN and THE GREAT TREE OF AVALON trilogy, but is placed between them in the chronology of events. Confusing, right?

Although reading this in the newly designated order certainly doesn’t give away any spoilers, there’s a definite sense that Barron expects you to have some awareness of the Great Tree of Avalon (it’s kind of like reading The Magician’s Nephew before The Lion,

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Atlantis Rising: Did Not Finish

Atlantis Rising by T.A. Barron

I gave Atlantis Rising by T.A. Barron a pretty fair shot I’d say—200 of its 370 pages, but eventually I just had to give it up. And I wasn’t alone in that, as my wife and 13-yr-old son gave up far, far quicker. As usual with books I didn’t care for, and especially for books I didn’t finish (a rarity for me), this will be a relatively short review, as I don’t like to belabor the point.

The problems began immediately,

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Next SFF Author: Max Barry
Previous SFF Author: Laird Barron

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July 2024