No Ordinary Boy

Sweet Cherry. (Legends of King Arthur: Merlin, Magic, and Dragons: Bk. 1). Sept. 2020. 96p. pap. $6.95. ISBN 9781782267324.
Gr 2-4–With short chapters and large black-and-white illustrations, this series makes a traditional tale accessible for a young audience by organizing events from Arthurian legend into short episodes. The narrative employs dialogue and a fast pace to further engage readers. Eight-year-old Merlin, drawn as a white boy with short brown hair, is an orphan abandoned by his human mother and demon father. Although young, he already possesses healing and prophetic powers. Unexpectedly, he is summoned by King Vortigern. As a group of knights escorts Merlin on his journey, he wishes he could be loved and admired like them, rather than judged with fear and suspicion. He soon meets Magan, the king’s advisor, who is a druid with magical abilities. The king wants to build a tower, but his efforts are repeatedly ruined as the earth rumbles and the tower collapses. Magan says the sacrifice of Merlin’s blood will solve the problem. Merlin’s vision, however, tells him that two dragons living in a lake beneath the mountain are what is making the tower fall. When the king drains the lake, the dragons come out and fight each other. One dragon dies, and several people are killed in the conflict as well. Magan acknowledges Merlin’s capabilities and wants to take him to Avalon to train with the druids. At the book’s conclusion, Merlin foresees that King Vortigern will not defeat his enemies, but the ruler who comes after him will—a boy named Arthur Pendragon.
VERDICT This transitional chapter book may open a door for readers and invite them to tackle more complex versions of the classic legend.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing