Merlin stories abound. Seriously! I did a quick bit of research to see if I could find out just about how many Merlin stories there were and just listed on Wikipedia I found 32 movies, 11 video games, 7 musicals, 87 tv shows and many, many books and short stories.
So who is this wizard who enthralls us so?
Well, according to various legends, he was a Welsh boy who went by the name Emrys or Ambrosius (in Latin). His mother was an ordinary woman; his father an incubus (which is how he gets his powers) or a demon. He might have also been the son of king in Southern Wales (according to Geoffrey of Monmouth. The paradox about Merlin is that even though he was the son of a demon or the devil, he was also a servant of God.
With loads of political intrigue (brothers fighting each other for the throne; a divided country needing unification) the tales of Merlin and his great prophecies abound. He worked tirelessly to see the Great Britain united—eventually under the reign of King Arthur, who Merlin taught and then brought to power.
The wonderful thing about Merlin is the scope for story within the mythology. Today, I’d like to tell you about one such story – Rolf’s Quest, one of the short stories in the new anthology (in which I’ve got a story as well) Love Least Expected.
The anthology is filled with wonderful stories which span all of romance from historical to contemporary, paranormal and non. But this is the one which, I have to say, I love the most.
It tells the tale of a young man (Rolf) who is a descendent of Merlin. In this version of the tale, Merlin has been trapped into a tree by a spurned lover. Cursing him, she determined that Merlin would live in the tree until a descendent of his was able to have a woman fall in love him (the descendent, not Merlin) without the aid of magic. Enter Rolf.
He’s been trained to be a great magician. One day he spies the beautiful Melissa on her way to London to meet the king, Henry II and his queen, Eleanor of Aquitaine. Her father has arranged a marriage for her that can only proceed with the blessing of the royal pair. Rolf knows that Melissa is the woman he is destined to marry and becomes determined to make her fall in love with him and thus break the spell holding his esteemed ancestor prisoner.
The story takes you through the medieval king’s court, the beautiful romance between Henry and Eleanor, parents trying to do the right thing and a nasty villain. The characters are beautifully developed despite the shortness of the story, and by the end when (I don’t think I’m giving anything away here) Melissa does fall in love with Rolf, you begin to wonder whether freeing Merlin is such a good idea after all. But that is a story Aubrey Wynne, the author, will be telling us some time in the future. I can’t wait!!
To pre-order your copy of Love Least Expected and/or find out more about the stories in it and authors who wrote them click here. And to see the gorgeous book trailer created by Kris Calvert just click here.