Painter Laura Matthews has moved to the Welsh countryside from the busy city of London in the hope that a new setting might help her. After years of infertility, the one thing that Laura desperately wants is a child with her husband Dan. But this is made harder as Dan is working in London during the week and only in Wales on the weekend. She meets Rhys, a loner obsessed with Merlin and they have a brief affair. Laura’s story is interwoven with that of the magician Merlin and the short time he spent in the area with a young woman named Megan, who is the nursemaid to the children of a local evil nobleman named Lord Geraint. Laura has glimpsed a man and his wolf in the forest, but he never speaks to her and always disappears before she can reach him. Could this be Merlin or just her mind playing tricks on her? Is Rhys Merlin? Will she ever be able to have the baby she so desperately wants? To find out, read this intriguing take on Merlin. 3 stars.
First off, the cover was gorgeous. That originally drew me in to the book, then the possibility of a Merlin retelling of the classic legend was another draw. I, for the most part, liked Laura’s character (especially because she was an artist), despite her weakness. Because what woman hasn’t felt neglected at one time or another and then flattered when a good-looking mysterious guy pays attention to you? But then, her inability to get rid of Rhys drove me nuts, especially after she knew something wasn’t quite right with him, not to mention the whole cheating on your husband thing. At first, I was convinced that Rhys was Merlin (how badass would that be!), but then he turned out to be a creepy psycho. My biggest issue with this book was the jumping back and forth between Laura and Megan’s story. I felt like the author should’ve either divided the books into more chapters (like one for every switch of character/time period) or at least put one of those “~” marks in-between, so you could differentiate between the two. I sometimes got lost.
Disclaimer: I received this advanced reader’s copy book from St. Martins Press on Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.