If The Eye of the World were written by an Irish author, it would look like this. Maerlin's Storm is a coming-of-age, Celtic fantasy about a young girl who's been labeled a witch among her small mountain village. And when a healer takes Maerlin away to cure her, Maerlin finds herself on a greater adventure than she could ever have imagined. (full synopsis available here)
Although the plot may not be all that creative, I rarely count that against a book. It was approached in a different way, and the characters are all new. For the most part, I enjoyed reading this book. I appreciated and was fascinated by the Celtic mythology woven in, and wish I knew more about it so as to better understand some of the connections. A lack of knowledge of this topic does not detract at all from the book, however.
Another plus: this is a very realistic fantasy, if I may pair those two words in a single sentence (this wouldn't be the first time). For example, the youngest characters are coming-of-age, which means while maturing, they are still kids and will revert to childish bickering when tired and provoked.
Maerlin's Storm is very plot-driven. I had a difficult time associating with any of the characters, as they seemed a bit two-dimensional and lacking in many emotions. In addition, it seemed that when the author bored of a conversation, he would abruptly state something like, "and then they continued chatting and giggling about various topics," and move on.
Despite being a coming-of-age story, this book is not designed for young minds. There are some rather graphic scenes and a few instances of nudity sprinkled throughout, though I have read much worse. I do not recommend this book for anyone under 16.
(Thanks to author Nav Logan for sending me a free e-copy of his book in exchange for an honest review!)