Published Categories


   Your manuscript edited by professionals

Merlin's Crystal - Frances Pawley


in UK

in USA

The Complete Trilogy

Merlin's Crystal
Complete Trilogy

by Frances Pawley

UK price: £11.99     US price: $16.99
Format: Paperback
Size : 22.9 x 15.2 x 2.3 cm
Pages: 412
ISBN: 978-0956239273
Published: 11 August-2009


"It dropped from the wall like a giant fireside pussycat, but this was no pussycat, this was a black panther.  Its nose lifted upward, sniffing the air.  Stealthily the animal walked towards her following her scent, its powerful legs covering the ground in seconds.

Knowing there was no escape, her instinct was to run.  Sylvie turned and with her best efforts she ran...."

Book Description

Based in Cornwall in 1999, Merlin’s Crystal tells the story of Sylvie (12) and her brother Josh (13) who go to spend the school holidays with their aunt and uncle at their Manor House in Cornwall.  They take along their best friend Tom (14).

The Manor House is called Manor Parsley and there are strange goings on right from the start. A portrait changes, a tunnel, a cave, mysterious keys, a secret passage, unexplained noises and happenings and a jewel encrusted book that nobody can read.

The Beast of the Moor is sighted and it’s looking for someone special to take charge of the Crystal it protects.  What are the secrets of the Crystal, the house and its previous occupants; the disabled boy and his spiteful sister?

At the total eclipse, four people stand like statues on the beach, each blessed by the wishes of the Crystal… and a special child is born exactly nine months later during a Grand Planetary Alignment, on the darkest night in living memory.

Who is the occupant of the grave on the land?

Who was the occupant of the locked room?

Who is the aged Professor who seeks Sylvie out in order to show her the way?

Who does the bejewelled gauntlet belong to?

A little girl lies dying in a hospital bed; her dearest wish to see snow for the first time in her life.  Will her dream come true?

Does the long dead Captain return for the woman he loved, on the night of the New Year’s Ball?

And ghostly horseman arrive through the mists of time, from the sea, onto the beach; carrying the red dragon banner of King Arthur’s Court!


Frances Pawley was born in Leicester in 1948, and writing from an early age.  Her first payment for writing came at 13 when she received the princely sum of 10/- (50p) for a short story.  Although winning a number of competitions she was never able to get into the ‘adult’ market with a novel.

In 1998 she entered a writing competition run by the Academy of Children's Writers with a story called ‘Tommy's Magic Plot’, about three children who devise a way of growing square tomatoes.  She won Third Prize for that story, out of nearly 3,000 entries, and then decided that the children’s market might just be the genre for her. 

Using the same three characters and increasing their ages, she decided to write Merlin's Crystal in 1999/2000.  She then went on to write Secrets of Manor Parsley in 2001/2 and Old Ghosts of Manor Parsley in 2006.

All three of these books are combined into this one book to tell the complete story.

Frances previously lived in Wiltshire, Germany and Cornwall and now lives in a beautiful area of Leicestershire which she describes as ‘Paradise’, with her husband Andrew and dog Tess.

Available from the following on-line bookstores:


Independent Book Review:


Merlin's Crystal by Frances Pawley is a complete children’s trilogy of magic and charm. Written by Frances Pawley, this mystical work took me back a few (okay, quite a few) years to the innocence and creativity of childhood. 

Sylvie, Josh and Tom are spending the school holidays with their aunt and uncle in Cornwall. In a house named Manor Parsley, the children quickly determine that this house is more than meets the eye. Strange occurrences pique their interest in the past as the children discover traditional oddities: a secret passageway, an unreadable book encrusted with precious stones and a changing portrait. Meet Manor Parsley:

Twelve-year-old Sylvie stood on the gravel beside her Uncle Bernard’s car, looking up. The house was just as she had seen it in her dreams—dreams she could not understand. Night after night for several weeks she had seen the house, with its vast expanse of garden and trees, the large greenhouse on the right and the beach and the sea on the left, exactly as she was seeing it now. Well, almost exactly, but not quite. She hadn’t seen the new windows. Everything had appeared wild and deserted, locked in dreams of yesterday.

Her thoughts were broken by Josh, her year older brother. “Manor Parsley,” he announced, reading the name carved in the stonework above the front door.

 “Funny name for a house,” he muttered.

 “I would have thought Parsley Manor,” his best friend Tom said, as he helped Bernard empty the four-wheel-drive of its luggage. Tom was Josh’s best friend and they always did everything together. Yesterday had been Tom’s fourteenth birthday and he regarded this trip to Cornwall as a special treat.

 “I think its lovely whatever it’s called,” Sylvie answered, gazing at the building in awe. She thought it a magical place, but everything to Sylvie was magic.

 “…mm, wonder how old it is?” Tom asked, heaving Sylvie’s pink bag to the ground.

 “Georgian, 1820,” replied Bernard, as he wiped his brow with the back of his hand. “We bought it at auction, thought we were getting a bargain—huh!” He shook his head slightly, and looked up at the high chimneys, shading his eyes from the sun. “Little did we know,” he added.

Upon the introduction to these children and the mystical Manor Parsley, the reader will immediately adore this little world created by Pawley. I especially loved the manner in which the children communicated with each other. The dialogue was incredibly realistic and perfect for the characters that Pawley has created. I did feel that there was a bit too much revealing, not allowing the reader to discover enough on their own. That being said, I recognize that this trilogy was intended for a much younger audience than myself, and that in this case, a little more show is preferred. Overall, Merlin’s Crystal is a great, imaginative read for children, filled with classic mysteries in a present day setting.

—Hollie Christine (www.hollychristineonline.com)

Review by Joanne Chase in Toronto: http://cuttothechasereviews.webs.com 

Merlin’s Crystal, by Frances Pawley, is a wonderful children’s story. The child in me enjoyed this book very much. Pawley wrote an imaginative, detailed story and cleverly wove old tales of Merlin, the Lady of the Lake, and Sir Launcelot into present day events.

Her cast of characters is varied and well developed; the entire book reads well. There is suspense and intrigue throughout. I couldn’t put it down. Very good work! 

merlinscrystal.co.uk         Reviewed March 28, 2010

For purchase information, please visit the Merlin’s Crystal website.
[See http://merlinscrystal.co.uk/]