This is my stop during the blog tour for the Merlin’s Shakespeare series by Carol Anne Douglas. This blog tour is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours. The blog tour runs from 3 till 16 September. See the tour schedule here: http://www.lolasblogtours.net/blog-tour-merlins-shakespeare-by-carol-anne-douglas
Book and Author Details:
Merlin’s Shakespeare (Merlin’s Shakespeare #1)
By Carol Anne Douglas
Genre: Fantasy/ Time Travel
Age category: Young Adult
Beth loves Shakespeare’s plays, but does she want risk her life for them?
The immortal wizard Merlin transports high school actor Beth Owens to Shakespeare’s London and the worlds of Shakespeare’s characters in search of a missing play about King Arthur. Mercutio guides her and flirts with her, but Richard III threatens her sanity, her friends’ lives, and the integrity of Shakespeare’s plays.
The prizes are:
One set of paperback copies of both Merlin’s Shakespeare and The Mercuito Problem (US only)
Two winners will each win a set of e-book copies of both Merlin’s Shakespeare and The Mercuito Problem (International).
Carol Anne Douglas has loved Shakespeare since she watched A Midsummer Night’s Dream when she was a child. She identifies with the character Nick Bottom because she wants to play every part, which only a writer can do. She is an avid reader of Arthurian and Shakespearean literature. Her previous fantasy novels, Lancelot: Her Story and Lancelot and Guinevere, feature Lancelot as a woman in disguise. When Douglas isn’t reading or writing,
she spends as much time as she can in the national parks, hiking and watching wildlife. She lives in Washington, D.C.
Beth Owens put herself in the mood for playing Puck at Not Your Mama’s Ingenue Summer Theater Camp.Merlin’s Shakespeare by Carol Anne Douglas
When I was in high school, I was a huge Shakespeare nerd. I read and reread his plays. I watched everything and anything that even mentioned Shakespeare. My enjoyment of his work hasn’t faded as I have gotten older. I am also a massive fan of Canterlot. So when I read the blurb and saw that Merlin’s Shakespeare contained both, I knew that I had to read this book.
I felt divided about this book. I loved that the author was able to bring Shakespeare, Oberon, Titiana, Richard III, Lady Macbeth, Mercutio, and other characters to life. Each character was how I pictured them to be, and it made that aspect of the book enjoyable to read. But there were parts that I didn’t like about the book. I felt that the non-Shakespearean characters lacked depth. I didn’t like how Merlin was portrayed. And the ending didn’t jive with me (even knowing that there was going to be a book two).
I did like Beth and felt for her. She was picked to do something that other people couldn’t. But I had questions about her. I wanted to know how she got her magic. Was it inherited? Did her unnamed father have it? I would have loved to see more focus on that. I also wanted to see more of her out of non-Shakespeare relationships. It bothered me that they were shoved to the back burner for almost the whole book.
I did not like Merlin. He rubbed me the wrong way the entire book. He appeared whenever he felt like it. He came across as surly and grumpy for the whole book. I didn’t like him.
I did like how the author entwined Shakespeare and the legend of Camelot together in the book. To have King Richard III be based on Mordred was fascinating. There were similarities there.
Speaking of King Richard III, I loved his character. Go figure, liking a villain. He was sneaky, charming, and ruthless. He was the perfect villain.
There were some wanna be romances in the book. Romeo trying to woo Lady Macbeth was hilarious. The attraction that Beth had for Mercutio was cute. But nothing took off, which made what happened at the end of the book interesting.
The end of Merlin’s Shakespeare was exciting. I can’t get into it because of spoilers, but a whole lot of craziness went down. Individual storylines were ended, and certain storylines were left open. I am interested to see where book 2 goes.
I would give Merlin’s Shakespeare a Young Teen rating. There is no sex. There is no language. There is mild violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 13 read this book.
I am on the fence if I would reread Merlin’s Shakespeare. I would recommend it to family and friends.
**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**