A globe-trotting quest for the treasures of the historical Merlin.
From the Preditors and Editors Readers’ Poll Award-Winning Author Jon Black…
Carvings have been unearthed in the Middle East. They bear impossible names–Arthur and Merlin, albeit in a native transliteration. How did these names come so far? Do they imply the existence of a historical Arthur and Merlin? The scholars do what they always do. They arrange a discussion.
But scholars aren’t the only attendees. After heavily-armed mercenaries steal the stone, Dr. Vivian Cuinnsey is forced to work with Jake Booker, a self-professed treasure hunter. Can he be trusted? Or is he just one more force after Merlin’s treasure for personal profit?
From the Middle East to the caves of Israel to German record rooms to Oxford’s secret underworld, chase Vivian and Jake in their pursuit of Merlin’s greatest treasure.
Sean Michael O’Dea –
A wild romp through history and mythology! Black weaves a believable tale of the legendary wizard Merlin and his Eurasian travels in the late Classical Era after the death of his beloved king, Arthur. Black then juxtaposes Merlin’s unheralded and incredible journey with modern day treasure hunters -both academic and nefarious – competing to find the famous wizard’s grave first. All the while, Black’s characters evolve depth as they are constantly engaged in situations all over the globe that range from critical to life-threatening. What also makes the story hard to put down is Black’s ability to make high-brow, academic topics in the fields of history, geography, and linguistics easily digestible for his readers. All in all, if you were to put Guy Gavriel Kay’s first-rate exposition, Salman Rushdie’s fantastic spin on recorded history, and vivacious characters like that from an early George Lucas movie into a literary blender – you would have two things. A book that makes Dan Brown weep with jealousy. And Jon Black’s debut novel, Bel Nemeton.
Christian Worlow –
I very much enjoyed this book, and I have a more thorough review at
LOVED IT! I loved the action; I loved the archaeology; I loved the concept. Whenever I read stories connected to the Arthurian legend, I’m always most attracted to the Celtic sides of that tale. I prefer to read more about Merlin and the Lady of the Lake, so this novel presents a unique twist in the aftermath of Arthur’s reign and focuses, in particular, on what happened to Merlin. I enjoyed the thought of Merlin leaving to travel across the European continent and beyond…to countries I had never heard of before. (Which earned extra cool bonus points when I looked them up and discovered that such places actually existed. That added a nice authenticity to the novel’s premise.)
Bel Nemeton has me hooked, and I look forward to reading more from Jon Black.
Justin Farmer –
By juxtaposing a modern caper with a thoughtful, well-researched speculation about the historical character of Merlin, Black at once satisfies readers who prefer an adventurous page-turner and those who demand something meatier. Entertaining and informative, Black’s narrative comprises character-driven drama as well as historical depth, while the end-of-life musings of Merlin lend fresh perspective to a well-known (and often cliche) individual. I will surely re-read this novel, and look forward to reading more of Jon Black’s work.