Mary Stewart Crystal Cave

ISBN 13: 9780449241110

Crystal Cave

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9780449241110: Crystal Cave

Born the bastard son of a Welsh princess, Myridden Emrys-- or as he would later be known, Merlin-- leads a perilous childhood, haunted by portents and visions. But destiny has great plans for this no-man's-son, taking him from prophesying before High King Vortigern to the crowning of Uther Pendragon -- and the conception of Arthur, king for once and always.

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Review:

Initially published nearly thirty years ago, Mary Stewart's The Crystal Cave has been spellbinding readers and converting them into serious Arthurian buffs ever since. The first in a series of four books, this novel focuses on the early life of Merlin the magician, and the political developments of fifth-century Britain. Not for the fainthearted, this verbose text pays careful attention to historical details and methodical plot development.

Merlin's childhood is formed by the absence of his reticent, convent-bound mother and his unnamed and unknown father. As the bastard grandson of a local king, Merlin is the object of both envy and ridicule. His strange powers and predictions earn him greater status as a pariah, and he leaves home as a preadolescent. Returning years later as a young man--empowered by self-knowledge and magic--Merlin finds himself caught in the currents of the shifting kingdoms.

As an established classic in this genre, and the first in a popular series, The Crystal Cave introduces this familiar character with fresh sensitivity. While readers looking for the romance of First Knight will be disappointed, those happy with tight writing and a complex story line will be satisfied. --Nancy R.E. O'Brien

From the Publisher:

If you haven't read Mary Stewart's Arthurian Saga, you don't know what you're missing. They are must reads for any romance reader, for any lover of Arthurian legend, for any history buff, for any voracious reader, and may be the books to get non-readers started. Basically, they should be read by everyone! Mary Stewart's research for these books is phenomenal. Her understanding of myth and its relationship to fact is remarkable. The books are complex, yet incredibly inviting and you will absolutely love the characters. They also weave together so beautifully that you won't be able to read only one. Two things I find particularly interesting in this series is the portrayal of Arthur and the fall of Camelot. Arthur represents all of humanity in these books as opposed to the more mythical figure you usually see. And the fall of Camelot is more internal rather than external--more about the passions and lusts in the heart rather than a more obvious loss of power. The books go in this order: The Crystal Cave, The Hollow Hills, The Last Enchantment, The Wicked Day. Shauna Summers, Senior Editor

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