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Merlin the Sorceror: The Battle of Dragons #1    by William P. Burch order for
Merlin the Sorceror
by William P. Burch
Order:  USA  Can
Taylor-Madison, 2004 (2004)
* *   Reviewed by Ricki Marking-Camuto

William P. Burch's Merlin the Sorcerer is a fun book. It's first in a historical speculative fiction series, The Battle of Dragons, which concerns the connections between the English King Arthur and the Mayan Kukulkán legends. Anyone with an interest in either will enjoy this story.

In the near future, a team of US archeologists travels to Central America in search of the legendary lost Mayan city from which the greatest Mayan scientists disappeared all at once. When they arrive at the spot, they discovered that the walled-city is flooded, but a tall building in the center contains a pocket of air with well-preserved books and other artifacts. One member of the team sneaks the books back to the United States to translate them and discovers that they contain the secret to time travel. The team starts conducting time travel experiments.

Upon hearing of their success, the newly crowned King of England (Prince William) brings the team to Great Britain for a special mission. In an effort to unite the English people and keep the monarchy safe, the new king has taken the name Arthur and wants to prove that his lineage dates back to the legendary King. The leader of the team, Dr. Merlin Lakin, is chosen to go back in time to discover the truth behind the legend. He finds out that not only are the stories true, but he himself is the famed Merlin of the legends.

Though Burch's writing style is somewhat undeveloped, he makes up for it with likable characters, a fast-moving story, and historical accuracy. He has put a lot of research into his story, and it shows. The historical time period is well-described and accurate: the clothing, the people, the landscape, the battle formations. This is not the romanticized England of the Middle Ages (the period where many of the Arthurian legends are set), but the gritty, bloody time after the Roman occupation when tribes were fighting for supremacy.

Merlin the Sorcerer by Willam P. Burch is a very entertaining read. Once I started it, I did not want to stop.

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