Long ago on the magical island of Fincayra, the last emperor of the dragons took revenge against the realm for the slaughter of his mate and their only offspring. Merlin's grandfather, a mighty wizard, saved the land by casting a sleeping spell over the dragon.
Young Merlin has brought new hope to Fincayra, the enchanted isle that lies between earth and sky. Having finally freed it from the terrible Blight, Merlin and the forest girl Rhia set out to heal the land using the magical Flowering Harp. But Fincayra remains in great danger still, and the first victim of the renewed tide of evil is Merlin's own mother.
"Bring back the old reader"
What is the nature of fate? Is young Merlin destined to be a powerful wizard, or does he have a choice? These are the questions Merlin must answer as he travels with the deer woman Hallia to the Haunted Marsh, where the marsh ghouls have begun a campaign of destruction. Or are the ghouls being manipulated by an even greater source of evil? An evil that seeks to destroy not the marsh, but Merlin himself.
Merlin faces the most difficult challenge of his life: to unite all the people of Fincayra against an invasion by the evil Rhita Gawr. But how can one man, in two weeks' time, gather them all - the dwarves, the canyon eagles, the walking trees, the living stones, and more - when none of them will listen? And now comes the mysterious Swordarms, who is hunting down Fincayra's children. Only if Merlin can unite the battling forces within himself, can he save the children, unify the Fincayrans, and regain the long lost wings that will enable him, and his people, to choose their true destiny.