Before talking about the actual story itself, I want to highlight the main character, Ian. Ian is introduced as a very down to earth person, with a love for his family. I find that an important character trait in any character, especially the protagonist, is to be family oriented. The relationship between him and his grandfather is precious, and the care of Ian’s mother is lovely put.
Other characteristics I instantly picked up about Ian included his lighthearted and kind personality, his consistent need for observation of his surroundings, and his dedication to family like mentioned before.
With the story being introduced, I always analyze how an author unfolds the plot and main complex of the storyline. Author Bell does this in a timely and efficient manner which I appreciated. He created a sense of knowing for the audience through a letter, which was read by the main character and the audience both for the first time, creating the fantastical illusion that you are a part of the journey just as much as the protagonist.
After Ian read the letter and learned about the legacy and legend his grandfather left behind, the story moved a little faster, which is completely ok. The reimbursement of Kate and Ian was a good way to balance out all of the information given at high speed in the letter.
I appreciate that as much his grandfather’s personality, past, and previous environment is explained, it all relates back to Ian and how in compare and contrast they align. It made sure the protagonist never lost the title of being the protagonist.
Being a Merlinian and part of the Order of Merlin is sought out to be a dynamic group with layers and depths of understanding, and the author does a great job in introducing the main concepts and important people early on in the novel. It is important to also distinguish the Merlinians, the protagonist team, with the Morganians, followers of the antagonist Morgana. It is clear that we should be frightened of Morgana, and the author does a great job in insisting that her levels of evil are superior to all.
Isabella, a friend of Ian’s grandfather and a Merlinian, quickly became my favorite character. Her mental strength and intellectual charm was enticing and had me interested in knowing more of her story.
When it comes to the setting of the story, I enjoyed the compilation of real destinations with fantastical motives. In short, using Montreal as the main city in the story where magic leads helped me personally to visualize the scenes much easier.
Overall, I really appreciate that the main character was learning about this new hidden world as the reader learned as well. I mentioned this technique before, but it truly enhanced the overall effect of feeling in the moment with the characters.