Book six of the 48-hour Book Challenge binge! I’m going to use up all my blogging capabilities today, and by tomorrow, will be down to three word reviews. “Liked this book.” “This one bad.” “Book of awesome!” “V. boring book.”
Okay, I was quite thrilled that this sequel came out! I read Winter of Magic’s Return and Tomorrow’s Magic years ago when they first came out and I was an impressionable barely-teenager. Happily, the first two books are back in print, in a single volume as Tomrrow’s Magic.
The series is uncategorizable as either fantasy or SF, because it’s about Merlin and King Arthur coming back to a post-apocalyptical world. Yes, really!
The first book begins with three misfit students at a post-Devestation boarding school, in a nuclear winter made dangerous by roving mutants. There’s bookish, excitable Heather, solid, short-sighted Welly (short for Wellington), and the loner Earl Bedwas. If you’ve read the first two books, you know that Heather has wild magic and can talk to animals, Welly is on his way to becoming a famous warrior (much to his embarrassment, because he sees his bravery as pure, dumb luck and the growing stories as rampant exaggeration), and Earl is really Merlin. Yes, that Merlin, pulled out of his magical sleep as a toddler on the low end of the spell that preserved him in an endless loop of aging and rebirth.
All should be well. Merlin has his memories back, is on the way to reconciling his ancient magic with the undercurrents of this new world, and is engaged to Heather. King Arthur has returned, and is engaged to Queen Margaret of Scotland. And lo, there was much rejoicing. But Morgan LeFay is also back. And after the events of the previous two books, she definitely has it in for Merlin and his friends. She swoops in with her own nefarious plan, kidnaps Heather, and Merlin and Welly are off (with a dragon!) on a chase around the world.
If you’re sensing any damsel in distress vibes, don’t worry. Heather is a resourceful sort of girl, and does every bit as much work as Merlin and Welly to get herself out of harm’s way. This is a fun romp, and Blanche the persnickety young dragon is a entertaining addition to the cast. There were a couple of coincidences that were a bit too convenient, and there weren’t really any big revelations in this book. The first two were much broader in scope and there was a lot more at stake. Still, it was an enjoyable return to a beloved book-world, and I’m especially glad that this means that the first two books are back in print with a shiny new cover.