The Merlin Effect

The Merlin Effect by T. A. BarronKate Gordon travels to a remote lagoon in Baja California, hoping to help her father discover a sunken Spanish galleon that disappeared centuries ago.

In time, she learns that the ship may have carried something far more valuable than all the gold and silver aboard — a mysterious drinking horn out of Arthurian legend, which may have led to the demise of the wizard Merlin.

As she explores alone in her sea kayak, Kate encounters several pieces of the puzzle: a terrible whirlpool, a group of ever-singing whales, a seemingly ageless fish, and a prophecy that, under certain conditions, the ancient ship may rise and sail again.

She plunges into an undersea world of bizarre creatures and terrifying foes. But to save the life of her father, she must find some way to regain her own free will, and to succeed where even Merlin failed.

This remarkable tale, part of the Adventures of Kate series and companion to Heartlight and The Ancient One, weaves together mystery and fact, history and myth, science and faith, all in the course of a compelling adventure.

Hardback ISBN: 0-399-22689-3
Paperback ISBN: 0-441-01222-1

More about this book:

Read an excerpt from the book.

Download the discussion guide for The Merlin Effect (PDF).

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View awards The Merlin Effect has received.


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“The greatest wizard of them all continues to inspire…It’s great.”
Los Angeles Times

“Blending Arthurian legend and modern oceanography, Barron’s lively tale boasts finely developed characters as well as fast-moving adventure… Well drawn and touching.”
Publishers Weekly

“Here is a story to celebrate! Like the heroine, I was instantly pulled under the waves and swallowed by a great whirlpool. Like the heroine, I discovered that the power to choose — and, yes, to create — lies within us all. Readers young and old will savor this tale.”
— Madeleine L’Engle

“T.A. Barron has written yet another wonderful fantasy novel… A delightful, exceptionally compelling story with the depth and mythic quality we have come to expect from his writing.”
Chinaberry Book Review

“Another remarkable achievement.”
— Natalie Babbitt

“Barron has another winner here. An action-filled yet thoughtful and alluring book.”
The Atlanta Journal Constitution

“A spellbinding novel…an intriguing blend of fantasy and science fiction.”
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

“Tom Barron keeps adding exciting dimensions of creativity and imagination to his work. Here in The Merlin Effect , he explores fascinating new profundities, literally and figuratively; and his admirable Kate undergoes a remarkable sea change. The adventure becomes all the richer through its combination of Arthurian myth, genetics, and oceanography. As a result, the Heartlight sequence gains still greater heart and brighter light.”
— Lloyd Alexander

“Barron so successfully blends reality with fantasy that readers will find little difficulty in suspending their disbelief. Although Kate is a well-drawn personage, other human characters seem merely one-dimensional backdrops to the action. The strongly affirmative tone and the rapid momentum of the plot give this book universal appeal transcending all age barriers.”
Rocky Mountain News

“Like Heartlight and The Ancient One, The Merlin Effect has many facets—science and faith, history and myth, with lots of pure adventure to enjoy. At times Barron uses our language with an elegance seldom seen.”
Signal Journal


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