Child of the Dark Prophecy (The Great Tree of Avalon, Book 1)

by T. A. Barron

Hardcover, 2004


Checked out
Due Dec 19, 2023

Local notes

Fic Bar




Philomel (2004), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 432 pages


In accordance with prophecy, Avalon's existence is threatened in the year that stars stop shining and at the time when both the dark child and Merlin's heir are to be revealed.

Original publication date


Physical description

432 p.; 9.3 inches

User reviews

LibraryThing member bookworm11
A great book, filled with very interesting characters. This is a story filled with adventure, love, excitment, and challenges. Was a good story, and loved the fact that there was some comedy in it. I also liked how there was some old mythology in the story, such as merlin. I had always found the
Show More
King Arthur mytholgy interesting. The book was good, and I liked it a lot.
Show Less
LibraryThing member justablondemoment
A highly rich fantasy novel that I adored and was happy to have found it..and looked forward to the rest of the series. Old and young can find themselves immersed in the tale and the world. Wonderful read!!
LibraryThing member Ameliaiif
This book was just beautiful – a great start to what I am confident will be an excellent series! T.A. Barron’s prose is absolutely beautiful – somewhat lofty, but more along the lines of elegant and occasionally didactic. He is still a “modern author” and you can see differences between
Show More
his style and say, the 50s-60s style of C.S. Lewis or Lloyd Alexander, but he’s pretty close. I’d say Barron and maybe Clare Dunkle come the closest to emulating that style. In other words, his writing is a long, far cry from “text speech"!- All his characters are beautifully crafted and well-rounded. The central figure, to be sure, is a young wilderness wanderer named Tamwyn, whose hidden identity is the key to a prophecy made years ago. What I like about the Avalon series – and was kind of surprised to discover – is the really large ensemble cast of characters and how big of a role they play. I was totally expecting the story to revolve almost exclusively around Tamwyn and the search for his true identity, but the perspective follows several other characters, including Scree, his adopted eagleboy brother; Elli, a fiery priestess with a sketchy past; a haughty seer-in-training named Llynia who believes herself to be the next Chosen One (note: there’s always a bloody Chosen One! Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, Anakin Skywalker…); a captured elf maiden named Brionna, and the nefarious villain of the book, a mysterious wizard known only as White Hands. - What I like about Barron, though, is how clearly defined each perspective shift is – it’s mostly switched over on a chapter-by-chapter basis, so there’s no confusion. - The only frown-worthy thing about the book has to do with the designated Prophecy (note: there’s always a bloody prophecy!). I couldn’t really understand why everybody – the other characters and myself, the reader – could figure out what the prophecy was saying but our sweet, adorable little MC Tamwyn couldn’t! It’s like, “hello, Mcfly!” (Back to the Future, anyone?) But oh well. - The number one Must, though, about writing fantasy – at least in my opinion – is Make It Believable! It’s like a deal that the reader and author enter into – in exchange for the reader’s initial suspension of disbelief, the author needs to provide a clearly-defined and clearly-written world that comes alive through the story. Barron totally succeeded. And the idea of Avalon is particularly creative: the entire world – seven realms – all stems from one Great Tree…named Avalon. Each of the seven realms: Mudroot, Woodroot, Stoneroot, Airroot, Shadowroot, Waterroot, and Fireroot, are all roots of the Great Tree. That’s an awesome concept, once you wrap your mind around it! And everything is so vivid and described in such wondrous detail, you can easily visualize this world and believe in its existence. - I will say, though: that the story develops at a pretty steady pace. Not a slow pace, mind you, but it’s about pg 150 before the true plot begins to unravel. That’s okay, I think, because Barron budgets his time wisely by going ahead and setting up the world of Avalon and its history; so many authors ignore detail and leave you feeling confused or hollow about this fantasy world…he reminds me a lot of Tolkien in the way he includes the history and the art/literature of his world. It’s even more incredible when you remind yourself that everything – every song, every story – is entirely made up. Wow! **Rating: There’s what I would call PG-level language (but it’s there, and it’s funny in my opinion – I usually never here the MC say “damn” but oh well…!) and PG-13 level violence (there’s actually quite a violent scene in the Prologue section that didn’t really surprise me per see, but seemed almost out-of-place considering this is an Intermediate-level YA… and like no sex, which is always a plus in Amelialand :) Rating: 5/5. EXCELLENT! YOU MUST READ THIS SERIES!!!
Show Less
LibraryThing member devilish2
The characters leap off the page, they're great, however, for me, the worlds Barron describes just don't seem to gel. I can cope with the idea of the separate worlds, just the connections and it all being part of a tree just doesn't do it for me. And portals is such an easy way out... Will I need
Show More
to read the rest of the series? Maybe, maybe not.
Show Less
LibraryThing member cbloky
picked up this book at a library sale and loved it. at the time i didnt know it was a series but i will be going out to buy the rest of it. the story has good character development and is an easy read for young and old




(125 ratings; 4.1)
Page: 0.2875 seconds