4 out of 4 stars
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Our world is filled with various myths and legends — almost every culture has theirs. The Arthurian myth has always interested me since I watched Merlin. So, seeing a familiar name in Nimue: Freeing Merlin makes the book a necessary read. I am more intrigued by the author's new take on the myth.
Nina was a seventeen-year-old girl whose family shared a deep love for mythology. Life got more interesting when she and her mom traveled to Britain, her mom's hometown. With an old dream nagging her, she sought answers from a local healer. The answers would lead to more questions, setting up a chain of reactions involving time traveling and a discovery of her true identity. What was in store for her in 5th-century Britain? What destiny would she choose for herself when given options?
My first take would be on the level of research Ayn Cates Sullivan did before writing. It reflected on the pages in the level of detail it contained and accuracy in descriptions. The glossary was much appreciated; she used it as a medium of clarification and to link old myths to modern times. Although some of the Celtic words were tongue twisters, they were enlightening.
The images illustrated were appealing, especially the symbols drawn. I spent ample time just enjoying the artistry — not only were they aesthetically pleasing, but they also held some relevance in the pages they were shown and added a rich texture to the overall feel of the book. She spared no opportunity to showcase art, even on the cursive headers. It was a well-thought-out book.
The plot that tied the myths together was an interesting one. It started pretty simply and mundanely; then, it gradually eased into a more intricate one. There wasn't any grandiose fight or large-scale conflict. Yet, it was enrapturing. The author's storytelling was a delight and had this feminine touch that made it more emotional. It suited the first-person perspective used for our protagonist.
I loved the romance. However, I had to adjust my knowledge of what I know about Morgana, Nimue, and Emrys from Merlin. The book went deeper into the plot, and the romance between Emrys and Nimue felt larger than life. It also felt bittersweet, as most romance would tend to be.
I had a swell time when reading Nimue: Freeing Merlin; it was the right mix of everything that would make a good book. It was professionally edited with a few errors. There was nothing to dislike. Therefore, I'd give it a deserving 4 out of 4 stars. I would recommend it to lovers of mythological books. If you followed the Merlin series, you'd be better placed to understand the author's angle in deepening the original plot.
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