Once I settled into the conventions of the sarky, sparky teen dialogue and the many anachronisms, I enjoyed The Other Merlin a lot. Schneider has been working on this world for a long time, and I appreciated the twists she's given to the conventional cast and plot. There are many familiar figures in slightly unexpected guises -- Guinevere doesn't want to marry Arthur any more than Arthur wants to marry her, Arthur and Emry Merlin feel an irresistible attraction to each other, Emry becomes trapped 'in the stone' when a portal opens to another, more magical world. It's pacy and engaging, though I'm not sure if readers who aren't already familiar with the legends will react. I did enjoy Emry working on special effects in a theatre, producing magical storms and pools of blood at will, and the hints that Arthur's strength will be his people skills rather than the way he handles a sword.
There are sequels to come...
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