What was the legendary Merlin doing when he wasn’t serving in King Arthur’s court? That’s what the historical fantasy Merlin Parnassus by Honeysuckle Pear imagines.
The novel, told in first person, is best described as a memoir. I reviewed the Smashwords edition of the novel.
The novel begins in ancient Greece where Merlin is born. His birth mother soon dies, and he is adopted by a woman named Sybil who educates him to become a teacher and apothecary [the modern profession of pharmacist]. Merlin, however, is not destined to have a normal life. He cursed with an extraordinarily long life and outlives his loved ones by centuries.
After Christianity is made the state religion of the Roman Empire, Merlin and some of his students flee Greece to Britain.