The final release date for T. A. Barron‘s latest book has been announced (in the author’s email newsletter). Merlin’s Dragon, the first in a new trilogy set between The Lost Years of Merlin and The Great Tree of Avalon. The book will be released on September 18, 2008.

An excerpt from the book jacket:

Long ago, at the dawn of Merlin’s world, a strange little creature appeared. Part lizard, part bat, his eyes glowed with mysterious light. Meet Basil—someone very small in size but very large in destiny.

When Basil discovers a terrible new threat to his world and the great wizard Merlin, he begins an epic journey that takes him from the Great Tree of Avalon to the outermost edge of the spirit realm. But his boldest journey by far will be to face his own deepest fears. Only if he survives will he be able to save Merlin—and find a future as great as his heart.

In other news, the Lost Years of Merlin movie is definitely happening now. The last we had heard T. A. Barron had pitched the film to Paramount. According to Barron, the film has been picked up, and the film will happen. Barron says that he can’t give specifics yet, but he will “do everything [he] can to make this a film worthy of Merlin.”