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Child of the Dark Prophecy

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Long Ago, Merlin Planted a magical seed that beat like a heart-a seed that grew into the Great Tree of Avalon. For centuries, this world has flourished as a land of wonder and mystery, a link between Heaven and Earth, a place where all creatures could live in harmony. Now, though, Avalon reels from brutal attacks, mysterious droughts, and stranger evils yet. Then one night, Long Ago, Merlin Planted a magical seed that beat like a heart-a seed that grew into the Great Tree of Avalon. For centuries, this world has flourished as a land of wonder and mystery, a link between Heaven and Earth, a place where all creatures could live in harmony. Now, though, Avalon reels from brutal attacks, mysterious droughts, and stranger evils yet. Then one night, just as the elusive Lady of the Lake predicted, all the stars in the sky suddenly go dark. The fate of Avalon now rests with three young people: Tamwyn, a homeless wilderness guide; Elli, an escaped slave turned priestess; and Scree, an eagleman with a startling secret. 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, the person fated to destroy it. This novel, like T. A. Barron's Lost Years of Merlin epic, creates a radiant, richly imagined new world, full of high adventure and unforgettable characters. And, like all books by T. A. Barron, it is at once deeply moving, masterfully written, and profoundly true. In accordance with prophecy, Avalon's existence is threatened in the year that stars stop shining and at the time when both the dark child and Merlin's heir are to be revealed.


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Long Ago, Merlin Planted a magical seed that beat like a heart-a seed that grew into the Great Tree of Avalon. For centuries, this world has flourished as a land of wonder and mystery, a link between Heaven and Earth, a place where all creatures could live in harmony. Now, though, Avalon reels from brutal attacks, mysterious droughts, and stranger evils yet. Then one night, Long Ago, Merlin Planted a magical seed that beat like a heart-a seed that grew into the Great Tree of Avalon. For centuries, this world has flourished as a land of wonder and mystery, a link between Heaven and Earth, a place where all creatures could live in harmony. Now, though, Avalon reels from brutal attacks, mysterious droughts, and stranger evils yet. Then one night, just as the elusive Lady of the Lake predicted, all the stars in the sky suddenly go dark. The fate of Avalon now rests with three young people: Tamwyn, a homeless wilderness guide; Elli, an escaped slave turned priestess; and Scree, an eagleman with a startling secret. 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, the person fated to destroy it. This novel, like T. A. Barron's Lost Years of Merlin epic, creates a radiant, richly imagined new world, full of high adventure and unforgettable characters. And, like all books by T. A. Barron, it is at once deeply moving, masterfully written, and profoundly true. In accordance with prophecy, Avalon's existence is threatened in the year that stars stop shining and at the time when both the dark child and Merlin's heir are to be revealed.

30 review for Child of the Dark Prophecy

  1. 4 out of 5

    bird

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. It took me almost TWO weeks to read this book. Two. The beginning was slow. 1. I could care less about the villains POV. I don't want to hear it. Seriously? All his Disney villain babbling drove me CRAZY! 2. Elli rocked and Tamwryn was annoying at times, but I was laughing at the antics of the Hoolah and Tam. Nuic was adorable and hilariously awesome. 3. Headhopping? SO desperately annoying. 4. I wish the author had made the journey more difficult. It seemed way too easy. TORTURE YOUR CHARACTERS! It took me almost TWO weeks to read this book. Two. The beginning was slow. 1. I could care less about the villains POV. I don't want to hear it. Seriously? All his Disney villain babbling drove me CRAZY! 2. Elli rocked and Tamwryn was annoying at times, but I was laughing at the antics of the Hoolah and Tam. Nuic was adorable and hilariously awesome. 3. Headhopping? SO desperately annoying. 4. I wish the author had made the journey more difficult. It seemed way too easy. TORTURE YOUR CHARACTERS! You know what would have made an awesome twist? If Elli really had died. Now that? Awesome. 5. I could care less about the death of Granda. It was coming. I feel sadistic, but I hate it the whole "dead and come back to life thing" blah. 6. Oh dear. All the cliches! Sighs. (heroic maiden, clumsy/stupid boy, bratty leader, evil wizard blah, blah, blah) All in all certain characters were enjoyable and others? Eh, not so much. The story turned out alright in the end, but I don't know if I'll read the next few books.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Pica

    Read my thoughts on my blog, PicaReads: http://picareads.blogspot.com/ Snippet from my review: Overall, I really liked this series, although I wouldn’t recommend reading them back to back in five days. (By the time I got to the middle of the third, I was getting sick of the storyline and needed a break.) The trilogy is a hero’s journey with three interconnecting plotlines that might be a little confusing at first: Tamwyn, a wilderness guide trying to find his brother and his own sense of self; Scr Read my thoughts on my blog, PicaReads: http://picareads.blogspot.com/ Snippet from my review: Overall, I really liked this series, although I wouldn’t recommend reading them back to back in five days. (By the time I got to the middle of the third, I was getting sick of the storyline and needed a break.) The trilogy is a hero’s journey with three interconnecting plotlines that might be a little confusing at first: Tamwyn, a wilderness guide trying to find his brother and his own sense of self; Scree, an eagleman charged with protection of Merlin’s staff, and the foster-brother of Tamwyn; and Elli, an apprentice priestess who sets off on a journey to the Lady of the Lake. One of these is the true heir of Merlin, with the power to save Avalon. Another is the Child of the Dark Prophecy, with the power to destroy it.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Elise Rose

    bruh. The first little bit was, um, *cough* pretty boring, but then it reeeally got its stuff together and delivered a great story. The intended audience is slightly younger than me, so the humor was a bit childish (at parts), the writing was super simple and redundantly obvious (at parts), and most of the characters weren't as developed as the ones in books I usually enjoy. However, there were some definite snort-out-loud parts and some pretty awesome characters nonetheless (umm, yeah, i'm talki bruh. The first little bit was, um, *cough* pretty boring, but then it reeeally got its stuff together and delivered a great story. The intended audience is slightly younger than me, so the humor was a bit childish (at parts), the writing was super simple and redundantly obvious (at parts), and most of the characters weren't as developed as the ones in books I usually enjoy. However, there were some definite snort-out-loud parts and some pretty awesome characters nonetheless (umm, yeah, i'm talking about Scree and Brionna). The world grows increasingly more interesting as the story progresses and you get new glimpses into the complicated and lush diversity of Avalon. Can't wait to read the next book!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Vee

    Very well written. Barron's characters were strong and felt real (anyone else in love with Scree? XD lol). His flow was a bit slow, though, and I caught my thoughts drifting away every once in a while. Some of his creatures were a bit unbelieveable, too...I forgot the name of the one creature that kept annoying Tamwyn....a boggart, maybe? I dunno. The creature with big hands, circular eyebrows, and a taste for mischief. While I was interested in him enough, I found I couldn't quite believe in hi Very well written. Barron's characters were strong and felt real (anyone else in love with Scree? XD lol). His flow was a bit slow, though, and I caught my thoughts drifting away every once in a while. Some of his creatures were a bit unbelieveable, too...I forgot the name of the one creature that kept annoying Tamwyn....a boggart, maybe? I dunno. The creature with big hands, circular eyebrows, and a taste for mischief. While I was interested in him enough, I found I couldn't quite believe in him. The last book in the series made me cry, though. Haha.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Monica

    This is a beautifully written novel, and this series stands out as one that I used to read over and over again when I was younger. The characters are sympathetic and engaging, and the series is overall a fun read. I remember this being one of my favorite series, but I will have to go back and read it as an adult to see if the series stands up from different perspective.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Amelia, free market Puritan

    This book was just extraordinary – a great start to what I am confident will be an excellent series! T.A. Barron’s prose is absolutely beautiful – somewhat lofty, but more along the lines of elegant and occasionally didactic. He is still a “modern author” and you can see differences between his style and say, the 50s-60s style of C.S. Lewis or Lloyd Alexander, but he’s pretty close. I’d say Barron and maybe Clare Dunkle come the closest to emulating that style. In other words, his writing is a l This book was just extraordinary – a great start to what I am confident will be an excellent series! T.A. Barron’s prose is absolutely beautiful – somewhat lofty, but more along the lines of elegant and occasionally didactic. He is still a “modern author” and you can see differences between his style and say, the 50s-60s style of C.S. Lewis or Lloyd Alexander, but he’s pretty close. I’d say Barron and maybe Clare Dunkle come the closest to emulating that style. In other words, his writing is a long, far cry from “text speech"! - All his characters are beautifully crafted and well-rounded. The central figure, to be sure, is a young wilderness wanderer named Tamwyn, whose hidden identity is the key to a prophecy made years ago. What I like about the Avalon series – and was kind of surprised to discover – is the really large ensemble cast of characters and how big of a role they play. I was totally expecting the story to revolve almost exclusively around Tamwyn and the search for his true identity, but the perspective follows several other characters, including Scree, his adopted eagleboy brother; Elli, a fiery priestess with a sketchy past; a haughty seer-in-training named Llynia who believes herself to be the next Chosen One (note: there’s always a bloody Chosen One! Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, Anakin Skywalker…); a captured elf maiden named Brionna, and the nefarious villain of the book, a mysterious wizard known only as White Hands. - What I like about Barron, though, is how clearly defined each perspective shift is – it’s mostly switched over on a chapter-by-chapter basis, so there’s no confusion. - The only frown-worthy thing about the book has to do with the designated Prophecy (note: there’s always a bloody prophecy!). I couldn’t really understand why everybody – the other characters and myself, the reader – could figure out what the prophecy was saying but our sweet, adorable little MC Tamwyn couldn’t! It’s like, “hello, Mcfly!” (Back to the Future, anyone?) But oh well. - The number one Must, though, about writing fantasy – at least in my opinion – is Make It Believable! It’s like a deal that the reader and author enter into – in exchange for the reader’s initial suspension of disbelief, the author needs to provide a clearly-defined and clearly-written world that comes alive through the story. Barron totally succeeded. And the idea of Avalon is particularly creative: the entire world – seven realms – all stems from one Great Tree…named Avalon. Each of the seven realms: Mudroot, Woodroot, Stoneroot, Airroot, Shadowroot, Waterroot, and Fireroot, are all roots of the Great Tree. That’s an awesome concept, once you wrap your mind around it! And everything is so vivid and described in such wondrous detail, you can easily visualize this world and believe in its existence. - I will say that the story develops at a pretty steady pace. Not a slow pace, mind you, but it’s about pg 150 before the true plot begins to unravel. That’s okay, I think, because Barron budgets his time wisely by going ahead and setting up the world of Avalon and its history; so many authors ignore detail and leave you feeling confused or hollow about this fantasy world…he reminds me a lot of Tolkien in the way he includes the history and the art/literature of his world. It’s even more incredible when you remind yourself that everything – every song, every story – is entirely made up. Wow! Rating: 5/5. EXCELLENT! YOU MUST READ THIS SERIES!!!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Heather

    I read one of T.A. Barron's books when I was younger, and it was one of my favorites. When I found this series, I was excited to dive right in. That said, for some reason, it was a slow start for me. It took me 269 pages to get into it, but once I did, I couldn't put it down. I think I didn't really connect with the characters at first, and there were too many story lines being introduced to really hold my attention. But once you get all the characters straight, and their stories start convergin I read one of T.A. Barron's books when I was younger, and it was one of my favorites. When I found this series, I was excited to dive right in. That said, for some reason, it was a slow start for me. It took me 269 pages to get into it, but once I did, I couldn't put it down. I think I didn't really connect with the characters at first, and there were too many story lines being introduced to really hold my attention. But once you get all the characters straight, and their stories start converging, it a very good read. I can't wait to read the other books in the series.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Crys Ganatra

    The Great Tree of Avalon: Child of the Dark Prophecy was an incredible read. The cover it truly intriguing, in a simple kind of way. The cover is simply an old tree against a brilliant blue sky with stars. In front of the tree, the title and the author's name are a gleaming gold. I loved every moment of the book, every word. Tamwyn, Elli, Brionna, and Scree were amazing characters and I enjoyed learning all about them as they searched for Merlin's staff. This magical story is indeed one I would The Great Tree of Avalon: Child of the Dark Prophecy was an incredible read. The cover it truly intriguing, in a simple kind of way. The cover is simply an old tree against a brilliant blue sky with stars. In front of the tree, the title and the author's name are a gleaming gold. I loved every moment of the book, every word. Tamwyn, Elli, Brionna, and Scree were amazing characters and I enjoyed learning all about them as they searched for Merlin's staff. This magical story is indeed one I would recommend to all and one I have given five stars.

  9. 4 out of 5

    EA Solinas

    T.A. Barron created a sweeping fantasy classic in the "Lost Years of Merlin" series. Now he follows up with a brand new series, taking place eight hundred years after the creation of Avalon -- "The Great Tree of Avalon: Child of the Dark Prophecy," full of magic, chills and humor. As the book opens, legendary wizard Merlin rescues an orphaned eagleboy from a pair of mercenaries, and gives him to a flamelon woman with a half-human baby. He also leaves his staff with the eagleboy. The boys are rais T.A. Barron created a sweeping fantasy classic in the "Lost Years of Merlin" series. Now he follows up with a brand new series, taking place eight hundred years after the creation of Avalon -- "The Great Tree of Avalon: Child of the Dark Prophecy," full of magic, chills and humor. As the book opens, legendary wizard Merlin rescues an orphaned eagleboy from a pair of mercenaries, and gives him to a flamelon woman with a half-human baby. He also leaves his staff with the eagleboy. The boys are raised together, but are separated when a pack of evil creatures try to kill them. Now Tamwyn is on the hunt for his brother Scree, but is haunted by questions about his own past. There's a prophecy that that year, both Merlin's true heir (and grandson) and the Dark Child of a sinister prophecy will come of age that year. Elsewhere, a young priestess named Elli is accompanying her snobby superior to a meeting with the Lady of the Lake. They end up meeting with Tamwyn, who is beginning to believe that Scree is Merlin's heir -- and that he himself is the Dark Child. But an evil sorcerer is threatening all of Avalon, disrupting the magical waters that sustain it -- and Tamwyn, Elli and Scree may be the only ones who can save their homeland. It's hard to take the story almost a millennium forward, with an almost entirely new cast and new problems. But "Child of the Dark Prophecy" has a certain familiarity, since Barron explores themes of good, the potential for evil, doubt, power and love -- just as he did in the "Merlin" series. One thing that hasn't changed is that Barron's writing is vibrant and lush, without getting bogged down in the details. Not to mention his healthy doses of humor, such as the snotty priestess's face being turned green by her facial. There are strange creatures, ranging from little shapeshifting imps to giant mud-dwellers. The one flaw may be the villain; his motives are excellent, but they aren't even hinted at until the final showdown. But, for clarity's sake, Barron also includes a detailed timeline that explains the events of the past eight hundred years, including the marriage of Merlin and deerwoman Hallia, and the war that precedes this conflict. This is very helpful, although don't read it until the book is over. Familiar faces pop up here and there. Merlin himself appears for only a short time; the Lady of the Lake turns out to be an old friend, and half-deaf Shim shows up again (tiny once more). A familiar evil character also returns late in the book. But the book belongs to Tamwyn, nervous about his possible destiny and his growing magical powers, and fiery Elli, with her haunted past. Though initially they despise each other, their friendship starts to grow. Eagleboy Scree doesn't get as much attention -- he spends most of the book in a cave -- but he's an excellent character when he reencounters his brother. Beautifully written and full of thrills, "Child of the Dark Prophecy" is a worthy follow-up to the "Lost Years of Merlin" series, yet will leave readers longing for the next book in the series. Another triumph.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Grace

    This book has such a high rating that I'm simultaneously intimidated and confused. The writing is kind of old-fashioned, which is fine, and makes me think that perhaps it's some kind of foundational fantasy classic that I've just never heard of for some unearthly reason? Yes? Maybe? No? I had high hopes for The Great Tree of Avalon because it has Avalon in the title, and features mythos based on Arthurian figures like Merlin and the Lady of the Lake - just my type of thing. However, I finished it This book has such a high rating that I'm simultaneously intimidated and confused. The writing is kind of old-fashioned, which is fine, and makes me think that perhaps it's some kind of foundational fantasy classic that I've just never heard of for some unearthly reason? Yes? Maybe? No? I had high hopes for The Great Tree of Avalon because it has Avalon in the title, and features mythos based on Arthurian figures like Merlin and the Lady of the Lake - just my type of thing. However, I finished it in a day and when I set it down my overall impression was of a plodding story set in a world far too complex for the cookie-cutter characters and plotline. It's kind of odd. This book almost seems like a watered-down "young reader" version of a deeper original work. Apparently it's geared toward the middle school age range, which is strange because all the main characters are 17 years old. Why would you do that? I'm so confused? Anyway, my main complaint about this book is that the worldbuilding was detailed and interesting, while the characters were anything but. They came from intriguing backgrounds and could have had very compelling motivations and relationships but we'll never know, will we, T.A. Barron? All you really get to know about them is a few tropes that will define them for the entire book, and their dialogue which is 89% pointless squabbling and 11% infodumping. Even POV-jumping every single chapter doesn't help flesh out the characters, instead dragging the story down and making it hard to get into. There seems to have been SO much thought put into the world and the mythos, and so little into the characters. Inexcusable. What are you, J.R.R. Tolkien? Well, fine. If you're going that route, was there at least an intricate and suspenseful Tolkienesque quest plotline? No. There was not. The actual quest took half the book to get started (okay, that part is very Tolkienesque) but when it did, it was straightforward and seemed to take all of 2 days to fulfill. There wasn't even enough time for the most nascent character growth to occur. They faced 1 single dangerous setback. They barely got to know each other. Then bam. Over. I assume the quest is continued in the sequel books, but this introduction didn't really give me a lot of incentive to dig those up. Also: the bad guys were annoying. The henchman and the head wizard honcho both. So annoying. I literally do not care about the POV of this bad guy. He is annoying. That is absolutely all he has to offer the world. I hope he dies in the sequel, but I'm not sure I care enough to find out.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Lauren

    This review was also posted on my blog The Hobbit of Pemberly Place I picked up Child of the Dark Prophecy, by T.A. Barron, as a part of a project for my “Teaching Reading” class. We needed to pick several young adult books, a graphic novel, and some other texts (film, other novels, poetry, etc.) that were all based around a theme or genre. Several potential ideas bounced around in my head for a while as I went book surfing on GoodReads and Google. I eventually settled on Arthurian Legend. This bo This review was also posted on my blog The Hobbit of Pemberly Place I picked up Child of the Dark Prophecy, by T.A. Barron, as a part of a project for my “Teaching Reading” class. We needed to pick several young adult books, a graphic novel, and some other texts (film, other novels, poetry, etc.) that were all based around a theme or genre. Several potential ideas bounced around in my head for a while as I went book surfing on GoodReads and Google. I eventually settled on Arthurian Legend. This book seems to take inspiration from Arthurian Legend without directly referring to it. I was expecting it to involve King Arthur, Camelot, and the Knights of the Round Table. Instead, it followed the journey of several young people—Elli, a young priestess, Scree, an Eagleman, and Tamwyn, his adoptive brother as they journey through the root realms of Avalon, a mystical tree planted by the wizard Merlin. Mysterious droughts and attacks drive them to seek for Merlin’s true heir, who has been prophesized to come and save Avalon and restore order. Barron does a pretty good job establishing his characters with different personalities and backgrounds. I was able to relate to most of them and enjoyed getting into their heads as the story progressed. The story started a little slow, but I enjoyed it once things got moving. The world Barron has built is clearly well thought-out and pretty well executed. The main issue I had with the novel was Barron’s tendency to just tell us what’s happening instead of showing it. I’m trying to avoid giving spoilers, but there were several events that happened “off screen,” so to speak, that were important. We don’t find out the events that resulted in Scree and Tamwyn being separated until about three quarters of the way through the book. Another character just drops out of the story entirely about three quarters of the way through the story. The other characters mention her once or twice, but she does not make another appearance. Since this is the first book in a series, I know that she’ll probably reappear in the next book, but it still leaves me wondering. If she didn’t really do anything useful in this book and disappeared towards the end, why is she even in the story in the first place? Even though it had a rather slow start, I enjoyed Child of the Dark Prophecy overall. By the end, I was enjoying the characters and looking forward to reading the rest of the series. Due to the things I mentioned above, I gave this three stars. It was a fun read, but not my favorite book.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Nix

    By the end of this book, I rather liked it, though I dislike books written for a younger reading level than the main characters. For example, I would dislike a book if the issues dealt with are clearly 17-year-old issues, but it's written to an audience of 12 year olds. Clearly, the three main characters here are all 17, but the writing was very juvenile. It would fit better in Children's than in Young Adult. This is not to say that 12 year olds should not read about mature problems like politic By the end of this book, I rather liked it, though I dislike books written for a younger reading level than the main characters. For example, I would dislike a book if the issues dealt with are clearly 17-year-old issues, but it's written to an audience of 12 year olds. Clearly, the three main characters here are all 17, but the writing was very juvenile. It would fit better in Children's than in Young Adult. This is not to say that 12 year olds should not read about mature problems like politics or betrayals or crime. That's great. As long as these topics are written about in a manner befitting the subject. If the 12 year old can handle such topics, he does not need to be coddled. This is not only an issue of writing style. The characters themselves seemed very young and juvenile at times. I was often tempted to throw the book across the room in frustration due to the extreme thick-headedness of the characters. When the characters actually did seem to know things, (view spoiler)[like when Elli knew the Lady of the Lake was Rhiannon and Tamwyn was both the heir and child of the Dark Prophecy (hide spoiler)] I didn't at all see how they had figured it out. What led them to these conclusions? Where was the logic? If they have special magic powers of deduction, then it would be nice if that had been made much clearer. Something along the lines of "And then Tamwyn had a sudden revelation. He didn't know how he knew, but he just knew. And he knew he was right. The answer was 42." That, even, might have been believable. So maybe he has special powers that we don't quite know about yet, but he'll discover them in a later book or something. But these characters are totally ignorant, like young kids, and then somehow become brilliant at deduction, like Holmes but without the same credibility. So that pulled my head out of the story pretty quickly and fairly often. I won't be reading the other books in the series unless I find myself desperate for reading material.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Robyn

    This is one of those books I wish I read as a child. Although T.A Barron creates a fascinating and colorful world, it's obvious that this book was geared towards those a bit younger than myself. The Good: This book is about the land of Avalon, envisioned by Barron to be a giant tree with seven realms. Each realm has a special characteristic (woods, water etc.). It's a place that I would certainly like to visit. Each region is unique and vividly described. The characters are interesting, if a bi This is one of those books I wish I read as a child. Although T.A Barron creates a fascinating and colorful world, it's obvious that this book was geared towards those a bit younger than myself. The Good: This book is about the land of Avalon, envisioned by Barron to be a giant tree with seven realms. Each realm has a special characteristic (woods, water etc.). It's a place that I would certainly like to visit. Each region is unique and vividly described. The characters are interesting, if a bit undeveloped. Everyone knows a Llynia, and we've all teased a boy like Tam. Nuic *might* be my favorite out of the bunch. Basically, this book is at its best when it isn't trying to be "Harry Potter" meets "Lord of the Rings" The Bad: Similar to the problem I had with Eragon, the plot is predictable and a bit cliched. It relies on standard conventions of fantasy story telling (quest to find answers, whiny brat, heroic maiden, clumsy boy, evil wizard etc.) The writer obviously has an environmental agenda. That's fine, except that it can distract from the plot at times. In summary, this book is a fun story based in an enjoyable setting. It's good filler, but it doesn't have the level of meat to it that more mature readers may require.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Aelvana

    The book was nothing like I thought it would be from the cover, which was nice because the cover blurb sounded too clichè. If you liked anything else by T.A. Barron, either the Seven Songs of Merlin quintet, Heartlight, etc, this is a no-brainer. If you've never heard of him... Two brothers were born in the same year, a year a prophecy says two children will be born: the heir to Merlin, and the Dark Child who will destroy the world. Needless to say, people born in that year tended to get killed The book was nothing like I thought it would be from the cover, which was nice because the cover blurb sounded too clichè. If you liked anything else by T.A. Barron, either the Seven Songs of Merlin quintet, Heartlight, etc, this is a no-brainer. If you've never heard of him... Two brothers were born in the same year, a year a prophecy says two children will be born: the heir to Merlin, and the Dark Child who will destroy the world. Needless to say, people born in that year tended to get killed pretty quickly. I liked how Barron played on the prophecy and twisted it around, neatly avoiding a standard ending. This is something of a sequel to the Seven Songs series, but it doesn't assume you've read them, so it's easy enough to pick up on its own. The ending's a bit open, but the sequel comes out in October, so I suppose that's okay. Speaking of endings, I was really laughing at the trick Elli plays on poor Tam.... He never would've done it if he had time to think about it. Here's hoping the book hits softcover or used book fairs soon, because I am definitely picking it up. Highly recommended.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Bryce

    Child of the Dark Prophecy is all about the backstory of Merlin, the wizard. The story is Merlin lives in a place called Avalon but has never been seen since he last left. One thing that Merlin left was his staff and only the true heir of Merlin can hold the power. There are hidden symbols on the staff and when the true heir holds it, the symbols will light. The problem is that a dark prophecy was told that a child born in the darkest year of Avalon will soon destroy it. A group of people, Tamwy Child of the Dark Prophecy is all about the backstory of Merlin, the wizard. The story is Merlin lives in a place called Avalon but has never been seen since he last left. One thing that Merlin left was his staff and only the true heir of Merlin can hold the power. There are hidden symbols on the staff and when the true heir holds it, the symbols will light. The problem is that a dark prophecy was told that a child born in the darkest year of Avalon will soon destroy it. A group of people, Tamwyn, Elli, Nuic, and Henni are on a quest to find the staff, and kill the child of the dark prophecy. This adventure is an eye gluing story which you have to finish in one day and then move on to the next book in the series. T.A. Barron brings the story to life in front of you. The story is perfectly weaved into a tense story with a great ending. If you love fantasy, magic, and a good story, this is a book for you.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Neil Hepworth

    I read 180 out of the 400 pages. What on earth do people see in this book? How does it have such a high rating? I did read that some of the reviewers found the characters to be two-dimensional --understatement of the year. The characters are flat, boring, and spout dialogue fit for a toddler. The plot, what little was divulged in 200 pages, was equally cliched and uber tree-huggery. I just ain't gonna waste any more time. I read 180 out of the 400 pages. What on earth do people see in this book? How does it have such a high rating? I did read that some of the reviewers found the characters to be two-dimensional --understatement of the year. The characters are flat, boring, and spout dialogue fit for a toddler. The plot, what little was divulged in 200 pages, was equally cliched and uber tree-huggery. I just ain't gonna waste any more time.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Ashlin Fletcher

    It quenched my thirst for fantasy, with a dash of old myths, and a little bit of magic. This beautifully written and elegantly spun tale was worth every page of paper it was written on.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Matthew Miller

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. The fantasy novel "The Great Tree of Avalon," by T.A. Barron is a highly creative novel with many memorable characters and exciting storylines that the reader will enjoy piecing together as they read. This book takes place in a time of great change for the magical land of Avalon where all creatures from earth, the spirit world, and more have lived in something very near to peace for the past 3 centuries. Many mysterious things begin to occur in the seventeenth year since the child of the dark pr The fantasy novel "The Great Tree of Avalon," by T.A. Barron is a highly creative novel with many memorable characters and exciting storylines that the reader will enjoy piecing together as they read. This book takes place in a time of great change for the magical land of Avalon where all creatures from earth, the spirit world, and more have lived in something very near to peace for the past 3 centuries. Many mysterious things begin to occur in the seventeenth year since the child of the dark prophecy was born. It is said that this child will spell the end to Avalon's peace that may never be regained afterward. This causes a council to called by the Society of The Whole, the society that has brought peace and prosperity to the lands of Avalon in the past centuries and whose philosophy is one of love and freedom for all living things. They set a quest to find the heir of the great wizard, Merlin, who is said to be the only one who can stop the child. Meanwhile a dark sorcerer in the north searches for the same person, although he searches for a rather different purpose. This sorcerer will stop at nothing for power, and will do great injustices for the evil gods he worships. As you weave through the tangles of this story and begin to connect the different storylines, you will be left in amazement of the creativity of this world and the amount of thought and detail put in to every description. That being said, the storyline, although unlike many books I have read before is somewhat dry at points. This is not because of the lack of things going on, but for the lack of suspense and speed of plot. There are rarely times when you are on the edge of your seat hoping something happens or a detail falls into place to complete a story point. Everything seems so fall into place so perfectly and so easily sometimes that it just doesn't even seem like a challenge. You can almost completely predict the next turn of events quite easily because of this. You are also sometimes left indifferent about a characters emotions and not really caring about them too much. Despite these occurrences, the characters are at times very memorable and say quite unexpected things. They all show hugely different morals and character types and their own ways of thinking about a certain situation. This is also helped by the fact that the author switches from one character to another characters point of view and switches between storylines so you can see the situation from many different angles, while the characters are still ignorant to the effects of what they see happening and to what others see happening.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Silvio Curtis

    This author's Lost Years of Merlin series was one I started off liking very well way back when. But that was during the early-teen nadir of the quantity and variety of my free reading, and even then I cooled off a bit on the series before I finished, so I wasn't sure what to expect from revisiting the author. Child of the Dark Prophecy starts a new series in the same universe, about a thousand years after the Lost Years books, with a new set of characters, also aimed, as far as I can tell, at th This author's Lost Years of Merlin series was one I started off liking very well way back when. But that was during the early-teen nadir of the quantity and variety of my free reading, and even then I cooled off a bit on the series before I finished, so I wasn't sure what to expect from revisiting the author. Child of the Dark Prophecy starts a new series in the same universe, about a thousand years after the Lost Years books, with a new set of characters, also aimed, as far as I can tell, at the younger end of the so-called "young adult" range. The tone reminds me a bit of what I can remember of Redwall, but a lot less consistently violent and more consistently green, and I suspect some stylistic recombination of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings is more what the author aimed for. In my opinion the biggest weakness is a fair amount of cliche and coincidence, which I'm sure put some people off. On the other hand, the plot runs along nicely and the characters' antics made me smile in a good way often enough. The timeline-appendix at the end is quite substantial and added enough important backstory to the main text to offset any complaints from me. It's set in Avalon, which is here a kind of giant island-tree, with the roots inhabited, partway between the ordinary world and the spirit world. The inhabitants are a huge variety of humans, humanoids, and other animals, living in a kind of eco-utopia at the time of the novel, but with quite a bit of war in its past. There is a prophecy about two children, one who will cause the destruction of Avalon and one who might save it. One of the protagonists, in spite of not being the least bit evil, seems to fit the signs of being the destroyer.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Matthew Robinson

    I read this book in middle school (probably the last time I read a book for fun previous to now). I remembered very little about it other than I thoroughly enjoyed it. Upon rediscovery I was incredibly concerned that this was book #9 in a series I was completely unaware of. I went ahead and read it for nostalgias sake and can gladly say there wasn't a moment that I felt lost or like I was missing pieces of the world. It did a fantastic job making you ask questions about how the world works and t I read this book in middle school (probably the last time I read a book for fun previous to now). I remembered very little about it other than I thoroughly enjoyed it. Upon rediscovery I was incredibly concerned that this was book #9 in a series I was completely unaware of. I went ahead and read it for nostalgias sake and can gladly say there wasn't a moment that I felt lost or like I was missing pieces of the world. It did a fantastic job making you ask questions about how the world works and then quickly answering them in a satisfying way. I spent over half the book mildly entertained but unconvinced by the admittedly young adult feel to the writing which is not particularly to my taste but it was not written for someone my age so I cannot discount it for that. However this moments where fleeting and by the time I started feeling disconnected from the young protagonists the exposition ended and the story swept me away. I planned on reading this book as a sort of jumping off point to get me back into reading, something light to start me back into fantasy so I could get into something meatier. I now plan on picking up the other books in the trilogy as soon as I have the chance. I cannot recommend this book enough.

  21. 5 out of 5

    AJ Sacerich

    The book Child of a Dark Prophecy By T.A. Barron published on October 7th, 2004 is a fantasy fiction. The main character, Tamwyn, is very easily liked because he is very funny and he is an adventure guide. He believed he was the Child of the Dark Prophecy because it was said that child was the only one born on his birth year. It turns out he is actually the true heir of the great wizard Merlin. He created the Great Tree of Avalon to be a bridge between mortals and immortals, and living and dead. The book Child of a Dark Prophecy By T.A. Barron published on October 7th, 2004 is a fantasy fiction. The main character, Tamwyn, is very easily liked because he is very funny and he is an adventure guide. He believed he was the Child of the Dark Prophecy because it was said that child was the only one born on his birth year. It turns out he is actually the true heir of the great wizard Merlin. He created the Great Tree of Avalon to be a bridge between mortals and immortals, and living and dead. Tamwyn’s adventures showed him to be accident prone. Scree the eagleman was an eagle and a human. He is able to change between the two forms at will. He was very liked because he was friendly and couragous. To the average high schooler this book would be “lame” or “uncool”. If you like this, then you would probably enjoy the rest of the series and other books that have to relate to fantasy. If this book is considered boring, and you don’t like it, you might enjoy a book about sports or nonfiction.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

    The Child of The Dark prophecy is a a fantasy novel that tells the journey of Elli, LLynia, and Tamwyn's to save the the wizard staff of Merlin. Tamwyn and his brother Scree are both born on a prophesized year where Merlin's heir will be born and so will his nemesis, the child of the dark prophecy. Scree becomes the protector of the wizard staff of Merlin untill it gets stolen from him. Tamwyn, Elli, and Llynia travel across Avalon to retrieve the staff and save Avalon from an evil sorcerer and The Child of The Dark prophecy is a a fantasy novel that tells the journey of Elli, LLynia, and Tamwyn's to save the the wizard staff of Merlin. Tamwyn and his brother Scree are both born on a prophesized year where Merlin's heir will be born and so will his nemesis, the child of the dark prophecy. Scree becomes the protector of the wizard staff of Merlin untill it gets stolen from him. Tamwyn, Elli, and Llynia travel across Avalon to retrieve the staff and save Avalon from an evil sorcerer and on their journey, Tamwyn realizes that he is probably the dark child that will bring upon the destruction of Avalon. Barron is really descriptive with his imagery but the book did feel quite slow, espacially at the beginning. Some characters like the hoolah, the mischieveous cresture, and Nuic, the sarcastic familiar, were enjoyable but many of the characters were pretty cliché. The story was good at the end but it would have been nice to make more conflict considering the journey itself was too easy and expected.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Brooke

    I think I might have enjoyed this in my middle school years but my tastes have matured and the tone of this was decidedly... immature. The world seemed interesting but the characters within it just weren't. They all struck me as way too immature for being in their mid to late teens and they lacked the depth I normally desire in my MC's. The pacing overall was slow and the big bad villain dude was very 'rubs his hands together and laughs an evil MWAHAHA while explaining his Eeeevil plans' and th I think I might have enjoyed this in my middle school years but my tastes have matured and the tone of this was decidedly... immature. The world seemed interesting but the characters within it just weren't. They all struck me as way too immature for being in their mid to late teens and they lacked the depth I normally desire in my MC's. The pacing overall was slow and the big bad villain dude was very 'rubs his hands together and laughs an evil MWAHAHA while explaining his Eeeevil plans' and that was So annoying to me. It wasn't horrible, just boring and when I put it down for a few days I never really had the urge to pick it back up and find out what happens... and that was around 6 months ago. I kept thinking I would pick it back up eventually but I finally concede to the fact that that's not going to happen and happily, finally, add this one to my DNFed list.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Hadiqa

    For some reasons, I had high expectations from this book, but my expectations were bound to be... DOOMED! I picked up the book, say, some years ago. That time I didn't like it and thought I would read it some other time. After all those years I picked it up again, few days ago, but oh man! I'm really sorry to say that I couldn't finish it till the end. It felt more like a middle grade than a YA. And too much extra details. The book needn't to be hefty. Could've finished in 200 some pages if it wa For some reasons, I had high expectations from this book, but my expectations were bound to be... DOOMED! I picked up the book, say, some years ago. That time I didn't like it and thought I would read it some other time. After all those years I picked it up again, few days ago, but oh man! I'm really sorry to say that I couldn't finish it till the end. It felt more like a middle grade than a YA. And too much extra details. The book needn't to be hefty. Could've finished in 200 some pages if it wasn't dragged. Honestly, I really wanted to go till the end but... T_T! I chose to read the plot summary instead. The story is really good but the writings is a bit boring. I enjoyed the non-human character's conversation and found Hoolah and Shim funny :D.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Teagan P

    I loved this book! I liked how there was a lot of fantasy and the big adventure that this book features. I think it was really cool that even when the characters split up, none of them were just sitting and doing nothing, and the book switched perspectives so that you could see what all of the main characters were seeing. If I could change one thing about this book it would be that there would be a little more description because sometimes it would change perspectives of people and I wouldn't re I loved this book! I liked how there was a lot of fantasy and the big adventure that this book features. I think it was really cool that even when the characters split up, none of them were just sitting and doing nothing, and the book switched perspectives so that you could see what all of the main characters were seeing. If I could change one thing about this book it would be that there would be a little more description because sometimes it would change perspectives of people and I wouldn't realize at first but then it wouldn't make sense, so I had to go back and reread to understand. I would totally recommend this book because it was very exciting! 10/10 recommend.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Briana

    Avalon is a place built into the roots of a magical tree. It is home to ever animal on earth or mystical. The tell starts out slow following 3 different character on 3 different paths. It was slow going at first and there was so much to take in I didn’t know if I was going to like it or not. **minor spoiler** But the pace picked up as the characters came together on a valiant quest to find Merlin’s staff. I would very much compare this story and this authors style of riding to Lord of the Rings. Avalon is a place built into the roots of a magical tree. It is home to ever animal on earth or mystical. The tell starts out slow following 3 different character on 3 different paths. It was slow going at first and there was so much to take in I didn’t know if I was going to like it or not. **minor spoiler** But the pace picked up as the characters came together on a valiant quest to find Merlin’s staff. I would very much compare this story and this authors style of riding to Lord of the Rings. I think this book is well written with a well though out lore but it really wasn’t my style of favorite book.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Nate :)

    The great tree of Avalon is one of the best books I have read.T.A Barron has made a breathtaking plot and story of magic,love,loss,and comedy that will take you in and you won’t be able to stop reading until you have finished all three books.This book is a very easy read and there won’t be many phrases that might fly over your head.I suggest this book to people 6th grade and up.You must read this book and it’s other series like Lost Years of Merlin and Merlin’s Dragon.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Ranger Fiercestar The Falcon

    Well, This book was great, but not five stars. Anyways, it is amazingly awesome, but has a few bits of boredom. In this book, I did not like Elli. In book 10&11 she got interesting but not in this one. A runaway slave just is not that exciting, not until the real quest, to save Avalon, starts. Forgive me if I put a spoiler or two, but I tried not to let the spoilers spill out of me. TYSVM for reading, and I hope you read this book!!!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Alanna

    Excellent young adult novel! Loved the characters, and if the final reveal at the end was a little obvious, that didn't detract from the enjoyment of reading it. I'm not going to actively search for the next book in the series (hence the 4 stars vs 5), but if I happen to see it in a used book store or library it will absolutely come home with me. Excellent young adult novel! Loved the characters, and if the final reveal at the end was a little obvious, that didn't detract from the enjoyment of reading it. I'm not going to actively search for the next book in the series (hence the 4 stars vs 5), but if I happen to see it in a used book store or library it will absolutely come home with me.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Chris Seltzer

    I think it's natural for an author to have the desire to expand the world they've created. I wish this book was a stand-alone novel or the start of a new series rather than being connected to the two arcs that came before it. It's too different to fit the narrative of the others seamlessly but it is a good read in its own right. I think it's natural for an author to have the desire to expand the world they've created. I wish this book was a stand-alone novel or the start of a new series rather than being connected to the two arcs that came before it. It's too different to fit the narrative of the others seamlessly but it is a good read in its own right.

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