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The Lost Years of Merlin
by T.A. Barron
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1.The author says, "Every detail, every element of an imaginary world must be believable." Is this true for this story? Why or why not?
2.Merlin is really anxious to find his "home." What does "home" mean to you? Is it always the place where you live?
3.With very little to take with him, Emrys left his home on a quest to find out who he was. Could you imagine such a journey? What would you take with you? Or what should Emrys have taken with him?
4.Why do you think Emrys was so certain Branwen was not his real mother?
5.Early on young Merlin defends a Jewish boy from being taunted. Why do you think the other kids picked on the Jewish boy? What does it mean to respect someone?
6.Why on earth did Merlin dive into the fire to save the village bully?
7.What do you think happened to Dinatius, the bully who tried to kill Branwen?
8.Merlin has a very close relationship with nature. Can he also talk to trees and animals? Can YOU? If you could, what would you say?
9.The poet, Cairpre, is also like a librarian, with his underground collection of books. Why do you think Emrys is so interested in the script on the walls of Arbassa, the great tree where Rhia lives, and in the many books Cairpre has?
10.The characters of the Grand Elusa (the spider) and Domnu (the game player) seem both good and evil at the same time. What did you think about these characters?
11.Emrys had to sacrifice what he thought was his greatest treasure, the Galator, in a wager with Domnu. Did you think he would not succeed without it? And do you think he will somehow get it back?
12.Even before Emrys reached the magical land of Fincayra, he started to realize some of his powers. Would you like to have any of his powers? Why or why not?
13.Do you think Emrys should have used his magical powers sooner?
14.If you could have one powerful magic ability but had to lose some ability you have now, what would you do? What would you want to be able to do?
15.Emrys lost the use of his eyes. What sense (sight, hearing, taste, touch, smell) do you think it would be hardest to live without? Why?
16.Even though Emrys lost the use of his eyes, he was given the gift of "second sight." Would you like to have this gift? Why or why not?
17.Is second sight any better than first sight? Why or why not?
18.Rhia took Emrys's place in the goblins sack, even though she probably knew it would mean she would be killed. Can you tell us about anything you ever did for a friend that you knew might get you in trouble? Was it worth doing anyway?
19.When King Stangmar was first wounded with the great sword Deepercut, he tells Emrys his story. Do you think Stangmar did the right thing to make the promise to the evil spirit Rhita Gawr to kill his own son to save his wife? Why or why not?
20.Why do you think the evil king wanted all of Fincayra to be destroyed?
21.What, if anything, surprised you most in the story?
22.What did you think about the cover of this book?
23.Do you want to read at least one of the sequels? What is one thing that you think might happen in the next book in the series?
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