Today I am pleased to welcome author Priya Ardis. She is the author of The My Merlin Series. A fun set of books that explore the legend of King Arthur, Merlin with a new modern twist. Priya is here to share with us her thoughts on Merlin, mermaids and more. Here is a little about Priya:
Priya Ardis loves stories of all kinds--but especially the gooey ones that make your nose leak and let your latte go cold. Her writing comes from a childhood of playing too much She-Ra and watching too much Spock. She started her first book at sixteen, writing in notebooks on long train rides during a hot summer vacation in India. A hopeless romantic, she’s a longtime member of the Romance Writer's of America.
Welcome Priya. Tell us more about Merlin and your book:
Merlin, Gargoyles, and Mermaids
In the world of My Merlin, there are several races running around today’s world. One is, of course, the regulars. Regular human beings. (I happen to like this set!) Our main character, Ryan, is a Regular. It was important for me to show in a world of supernatural creatures that a normal (albeit kinda brainy and a perfectionist) girl could hold her own.
Second, there are the Wizards. The main characters here are our heroic Merlin and his more pain-in-a-girl’s-backside brother, Vane. The wizards (much like in Harry Potter) live in secret, but the twist is that they are somewhat mercenary. For generations, they’ve been selling magic to maintain their wealth and prominence.
Third, there are the baddies—Gargoyles. They look like anyone else. Except when they turn. You got it--fangs, Cro-Magnon forehead, and super-strength. They’re a deadly clannish controlled by one gargoyle king. Oh, they’re also super-healers so they’re near impossible to kill.
Fourth, in My Merlin Awakening, you meet Triton’s children—the mermaids. Gorgeous, green-skinned, and with gills, these are not your average carefree mermaids. They are a little crazy, a little vicious, and a lot blood-thirsty. Dressed more Spartan than Disney, they make life interesting for our heroes.
More than an Arthurian series, the world My Merlin delves into the mixing of the ideas of chivalry and magic (put on your cute bunny slippers here) with more up to date supernatural creatures (wait, your cute bunny slippers has fangs! Bunnicula, anyone?)
Thank you Priya! The first two books in the series: My Boyfriend Merlin and My Merlin Awakening are out now. The third book Ever My Merlin will be out sometime this Fall.
A big thanks to Priya for being here today! She is offering up an ebook copy of the winner's choice of either My Boyfriend Merlin or My Merlin Awakening. To enter fill out the Rafflecopter. See Contest Policies for details. Good Luck!a Rafflecopter giveaway
My Boyfriend Merlin (My Merlin #1) by Priya Ardis
If you can't trust your boyfriend, who can you trust? In this modern Arthurian, 17-year-old nice girl Arriane, aka Ryan, DuLac just found out her badass biker boyfriend, Matt, is a little older than he was letting on. By a few eons. In fact, he is really Merlin--the Merlin, King Arthur's Merlin, the greatest wizard who ever lived. But Ryan's not impressed. Tired of being a relationship loser, she'd rather kick his legendary behind. Sure, the world has been crazy ever since the sword and the stone fell out of the sky like a meteor. But despite gruesome gargoyles, a new world of magic, and the guy driving her crazy, Ryan knows that family is everything. Will Merlin sacrifice hers to save the world? Will she be able to stop him? Kindle Edition, 305 pagesPublished December 1st 2011 by Ink Lion Books (first published November 21st 2011).
Ryan remembers the exact moment when her life forever changed. What starts out as an ordinary day at school quickly turns into an uproar when the world is rocked by a tremor and a stone dropping from the sky. Inside the stone is a sword: the legendary sword of King Arthur. On the way home, Ryan and her friend Matt are attacked by a shadow dragon and her life is forever altered. Ryan finds out that Matt is Merlin the Wizard of Camelot. He is hunting for candidates to train to pull the sword and Ryan just so happens to be a candidate. What follows is a whirlwind adventure filled with new friends, secrets, betrayals, magic, romance and destiny. Who will pull the sword from the stone?
What I Liked:
- I have always had an interest in King Arthur, Merlin, Camelot and the Knights of the Round Table. I enjoyed the revamp of this legendary story with an updated setting, new characters blended with old, and an exciting adventure.
- I liked that the main character of this book is a female, Ryan, and she exhibits tremendous courage and growth as the story progresses. She is also determined and willing to take a stand either for herself or on the behalf of someone else. She does this numerous times throughout the book, especially at the end with her tremendous sacrifice. I loved this altruistic side of her personality.
- I was pleasantly surprised by the eventual formation of a friendship between Ryan and Gia. When Gia first appears I was afraid she was going to fill the role of the antagonistic mean girl, however, the girls end up forming a bond and eventually become friends. I really enjoyed this development.
- The romance in this one took me by surprise. I won't say much, but I was shocked and excited by Ryan's choice.
- Vane, Merlin's brother, caught me off guard. Af the first introduction, he appears to be cocky, difficult, and ready to cause trouble. I was sure I was going to hate him, but as time goes on he evolves and changes, and by the end I loved him. He is a bad boy full of mischief, and he speaks his mind, and he and Merlin do not get along. I loved that he changed my mind about him.
- This book draws to a satisfying ending and avoids the cliffhanger. I love when books in a series reach a solid end.
And The Not So Much:
- It seems that lately I have been complaining about books that move at a slow pace, this one is the opposite. It moves fast and furious, so much so that at times I felt it moved too quickly. The speedy progression meant that some things were not fully fleshed out and explained in detail. I felt like the glossing over caused the book to lack depth. For instance in the first couple of chapters, there is an attack and a death of someone close to Ryan. The storyline moves over this death so quickly that I felt like it didn't properly convey the appropriate amount of emotion. Later that night, Ryan is thinking lusty thoughts about Merlin, which didn't seem right considering she should be devastated by the loss. Further in the story, the details are revealed about how Merlin and Vane arrived in modern day times. The revelation is quick and lacked a thorough and satisfying explanation. While I appreciated the quick movement, I felt like at certain points the story would benefit by slowing things down and providing more detail.
- I wanted to know the back story behind why Merlin and Vane were always fighting and at odds. I kept expecting to learn why there was so much animosity in their relationship, but it was never revealed. I was happy to see by the end the two put their differences aside and worked together.
- I was disappointed that Merlin's character lacked some depth. I just never felt like I got the full picture when it came to him. I was expecting more from him, especially considering the title. On the other hand, I did like that I got the depth from Vane, which I wasn't expecting.
- This book does have a bit of a love triangle, but it really wasn't obnoxious and I honestly didn't mind it.
- This book at times lacked originality. You have a teenage girl orphaned who finds out she has some abilities and unique heritage and she is whisked off to England to attend a wizarding school. If this is ringing some bells, you are right. Obviously, the author was well aware of this as well because she throws in numerous Harry Potter references that made it funny.
- I wish that I had a better grasp on the gargoyles. You hear the term gargoyle and you immediately think of the ugly stone statues perched on buildings. In this book, they are shapeshifting creatures who can appear human and then turn into a dragon like creature bent on destroying the wizards. I never felt like I had a complete understanding of the species. I am hopeful that the next book will provide more information.
If you are a fan of King Arthur and Merlin, you should definitely pick up this book. Ms. Ardis takes an old legend, brushes it off and refashions it for modern times. Merlin returns along with his brother Vane to lead an aspiring candidate to hopefully bring about a new Camelot in today's time. This is an action packed read with a surprisingly fun romance. Get your copy today.
" The deep pool in his eyes stretched into infinity....or a thousand years or so."
"It is more important to be knowledgeable than powerful."
"Do I look like I want to be involved in your teen love saga? Ask someone who cares."
"I'm struggling every day, every minute, not to reach for what I want."
I purchased a copy of this book, and received no compensation for my review.