The Young Merlin Trilogy: Passager, Hobby, and Merlin

by Jane Yolen

Paperback, 2004



Call number

PB Yol

Call number

PB Yol

Local notes

PB Yol




Sandpiper (2004), Edition: First, 276 pages


Tells the story of the wizard Merlin from his abandonment at the age of eight until, at twelve, he begins to understand the scope of his powers.


Original language


Original publication date

2004 (collection)
1996 (Passager)
1996 (Hobby)
1997 (Merlin)

Physical description

276 p.; 5 inches

User reviews

LibraryThing member rainpebble
The Young Merlin Trilogy by Jane Yolen

This is a nice set of Y/A books about Merlin's youth.

As a child he is abandoned by his family. The book intimates that it is because of something different about him that would make them vulnerable if found out. So he is forced to live as a feral child in the
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woods until he is befriended by a kindly farmer. This first book tells of him being reintroduced to a domestic life, learning to trust again, farm & to work with birds of prey.

The second book tells of Merlin falling in with a traveling magician & his wife who eventually abandon him because they come to fear his dreams, the fist signs of his magic. He goes back to the forest where he feels safe and comes upon wild people who live a transient life in the woods, always moving to remain safe from people who would harm them. He remains with them for a time and when he leaves one of the small boys follows him.

The only hints of the young Merlin's magic in these books are the dreams which foretell the future. But they don't clearly tell the future. For as Merlin himself notes: they have to be read on the slant.

I wish that Yolen had continued this series for I enjoyed it a great deal and recommend it to young and old alike.
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LibraryThing member Crowyhead
This is really three books in one, but they're such short YA books that I don't feel right counting this volume as three. Yolen offers a unique perspective on the Arthurian legend, with this tale of Merlin's origins. Yolen's writing is lovely, as usual, but overall this felt kind of slight and I
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really wished that the book was longer and more in-depth. It ends up feeling more like the taste of a story instead of like three novels.
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LibraryThing member sara_k
This slim volume contains the three stories Passager, Hobby, and Merlin about a young abandoned boy who become the wizard mage Merlin. An admittedly vocacious reader who is 9 years old read this book in two days and it took me 2-3 hours of sitting around and waiting time.

Jane Yolen does her usual
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wonderful job of story telling. The characters are real, the dirt and thorns have an impact, and the stories flow into each other. The mysteries of Merlin are not revealed but the impact of those mysteries on his daily life are explored.

Two thumbs up. Several third graders swarmed over this book and they were fighting over it when I left. It was equally appealing to boys and girls. I also recommend Boots and the Seven Leaguers by Jane Yolen. I think I read it before I started this blog but it is a great book which generated a lot of excitement in a 1-3rd grade classroom among both boys and girls.
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LibraryThing member wordpath
This book contains the trilogy of Passage, Hobby and Merlin - three names for a hawk in different stages of being - following the young Merlin's evolution from the time he was abandoned in the woods at age 8 until he formed a bond with a young Arthur at age 12. It's a well-told tale, and a great
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read for young adult and middle school aged children. Yolen adeptly combines imagination with what can be gleaned of quasi-historic writings about the youth of Merlin to come up with a compelling story. The harsh realities of early Medieval times are an informative background.
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½ (25 ratings; 3.6)
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