Blurb from Goodreads.com:
The exciting conclusion to this futuristic Arthurian trilogy!Heather and Earl (called Merlin the wizard by most) are working with King Arthur to unite Britain following a terrible nuclear devastation. Merlin’s sworn enemy, Morgan LeFay, is also organizing her forces, hoping to take over the world once and for all. Earth’s only hope is for Earl to find his father, who has been trapped in an enchantment for two thousand years. The problem is, Earl doesn’t know where to look, and worse, doesn’t even know what form the enchantment takes. Time is running out and Earl and Heather must solve the ancient mystery and return with the key to the Earth’s Magic.
Traveling to one of the origins of humanity, the ancient kingdom of Kush, Merlin must decipher the key before the summer solstice when a great battle will be waged to decide the future of the earth.
With a terrific heroine and an exciting nod to many cultures and legends, this riveting conclusion to Pamela Service’s tightly crafted and ingenious Arthurian trilogy is an exciting homage to the great adventure classics, as well as a marvelous addition to the Arthurian legend.
I first discovered this series long ago when it was only two books (which have now been reprinted in a single volume). I was proabaly a young adult or close to it at the time and I was delighted last year when Pamela Service picked up the series again and continued it.
Now we have the last volume of the series. This one focuses primarily on Merlin, with Heather as the secondary character. Welly has much more of a bit part, but he had found himself and his future by the end of the previous book and he fitted nicely into his smaller role in this one.
Not only do we have the science fiction-ish trappings of the post-nuclear world and mutated creatures, but in the last two books the remergence of a new kind of magic has become more and more prevalent. In fact, the series in its newly published form is now called the "New Magic" trilogy. And really that is what this book is all about as Merlin strives to return some kind of balance between good and evil in the world so that the creatures of the normal world and the various otherworlds can live together.
I liked this series and I was nicely happy with its conclusion. The concept of how humanity created the otherworlds and their inhabitants and then forget them was nicely done. And I loved the idea that stopping believing in someone doesn't stop them exisitng.
As Osiris says to Merlin, "A child is created by his parents, right? But when the parents die, does the child just fade away? No. He may change as he grows, and he will have been molded by his parents. But he exists and will until his natural time is up."
The future of the world is going to be very interesting and I'm just sorry that there's a good chance we'll never see the characters living in it. That's a difficulty with books where there is a big problem to be solved to create a new future. They tend to end at the point where that future is created. I want to see what living in it is like, but unfortunately, unless more troubles arise, there generally isn't a suitable story to tell after that point. I'm not a great fan of short stories, but I think this is a good case for them as it is a way to give us a sneak peek at the result of all the characters' hard work. I'd like to get to see what Service's world is looking like a few years down the track and I hope we'll get to do so.
This is a good little series. Yes, it's technically for older children; probably those approaching the YA range rather than young adults themselves. But it's still a fun read for adults and I'm glad I've read them. They'll be staying on my shelves (and my computer as I have the latter two as ebooks) and I suspect I'll be rereading them again a few years down the track.
I'm only sorry that combining the two original books means that we've lost the wonderful title of the first - Winter of Magic's Return - as it is combined with the more prosaic Tomorrow's Magic. Oh well, it is the content that matters most. Take the time to travel 500 years into the future, meet Merlin and King Arthur in guises you've probably never seen before, and enjoy a story about creating a new world out of the ruins of the old.
Pamela F. Service
New Magic Trilogy, Book 3
Read: 31-12-09 to 1-1-10
New Magic Trilogy: