While this book is easily compared to the Mary Stewart Merlin series (“The Crystal Cave,”
etc.), Ann Chamberlin's “The Merlin of St. Gilles' Well” is an exciting new historical
fantasy fiction entry. And it is a welcomed one! It is the story of young Yann, who is
wounded by an arrow from Gilles de Rais. Yann, infected, begins to have fits and see
visions--among them the prophecy that a young Joan of Arc will deliver France's salvation.
This is a story that combines the social, political, and religious struggles of early 15th
century France, and Chamberlin, while taking liberties (after all, it is historical fantasy!),
creates an intriguing read. Gilles himself is destined to become the infamous Bluebeard;
and Yann, naturally, will grow up--but in a later book, of course--to accompany the Maid
of Orleans on her own Quest. An exciting read!
This report prepared by Bill Hobbs