Guardian of the Balance

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Arylwren, called Wren, was born of a single night of passion between Myrddin Emrys, better known as the Merlin, and Deirdre, high priestess of the Druids. After her mother’s death in childbirth Wren grows up in her father’s shadow, accompanying him on his journeys around Britain as apprentice healer, mage, and priestess. Her childhood friends are those later known to legend as King Arthur and his Companions. Her father’s charge – and thus hers as well – is to guard the land and prevent either Christianity or other evil forces from taking hold against the old ways.

What could have been an interesting twist on the Arthurian legends, though, fails overall. While the plot never lacks for action, the characters – including Wren herself, who narrates the story – are rather flat, and the setting isn’t fully realized. Other characters such as the sorceress Morgaine and Nimue, the cause of Merlin’s downfall, have no redeeming qualities, and even Merlin himself is cold and distant. It’s a shame, because Radford adds some creative touches to an otherwise worn-out storyline. For example, Guinevere’s barrenness and otherworldly beauty are rather creatively explained. It takes more than spells, fairies, and the usual personages, however, to effectively recreate the magic of Arthurian legend.

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Publisher

Published

Genre

Period

Century

Price
(US) $6.99

ISBN
(US) 0886778751

Format
Paperback

Pages
594

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