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Mary Stewart's Merlin Trilogy

von Mary Stewart

Reihen: The Arthurian Merlin Saga (Omnibus 1-3)

MitgliederRezensionenBeliebtheitDurchschnittliche BewertungDiskussionen
8131420,721 (4.35)25
The Arthurian legend is one of the most enduring and powerful of myths, and Mary Stewart's classic The Merlin Trilogy is one of its most beloved and acclaimed retellings. In prose that is as vividly, achingly real as it is poetic, New York Times bestselling author Mary Stewart brings to life the man behind the myth: Myrddin Emrys ... Merlinus Ambrosius ... Merlin. The Crystal Cave The Hollow Hills The Last Enchantment Born the bastard son of a Welsh princess, Myrddin Emrys -- or, as he would later be known, Merlin -- leads a perilous childhood in The Crystal Cave, haunted by portents and visions. But destiny has great plans for this no-man's-son, taking him from prophesying before the High King Vortigern to the crowning of UtherPendragon ... and the conception of Arthur -- king for once and always. Keeping watch over the young Arthur Pendragon in The Hollow Hills, the prince and prophet Merlin Ambrosius is haunted by dreams of the magical sword Caliburn, hidden for centuries. When Uther Pendragon is killed in battle, the time of destiny is at hand, and Arthur must claim the fabled sword to become the true High King of Britain. In The Last Enchantment, Arthur Pendragon is king at last. Unchallenged on the battlefield, he melds the country together in a time of promise as Merlin works to keep safe the once and future king. But sinister powers plot to destroy Camelot, and when the witch-queen Morgause -- Arthur's own half sister -- ensnares him in an incestuous liaison, a fatal web of love, betrayal, and bloody vengeance is woven. Extensively researched and beautifully written, The Merlin Trilogy is the epic culmination of an acclaimed career, a legend in and of itself.… (mehr)
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I loved this as a young teen! And it was how I learned the word catamite. Bonus! ( )
  barrettlucero | Aug 23, 2019 |
I read this as a child in three separate volumes and it was always a favourite, so I was pleased to receive a copy of the trilogy all together as a gift a few years back. Glad I finally found time to re-read it too. As always I think the first volume is my favourite, and the last my least, but I enjoyed all three right to the end. Would recommend especially to anyone who is at all fond of the Arthur story as this is a fascinating perspective on Merlin. A nice glimpse at the end of Roman Britain too. ( )
  lnr_blair | Jan 15, 2018 |
This is one of my favorite Arthurian legend books because it tells the story from Merlin's point of view instead of from Arthur's. It's a refreshing change after reading so many other Arthur stories. ( )
  AmandaL. | Jan 16, 2016 |
This is, rather surprisingly, a book that is most definitely better than the sum of its parts. In fact, looking at any one area would garner a mediocre review. The characterization is mostly bland, especially since most of the people Merlin meets serve a single purpose and then disappear (sometimes, though, they do reappear). Even Merlin himself is almost one-dimensional -- we know of all of his journeys through these three books, but only at the end do we get a general feeling about him. The plot is plodding and rarely seems to be going anywhere. Some of the more "traditional" parts of the Arthurian legends are left out, so it sometimes surprised me when we finally got past a particular moment (like the sword from the stone, or Merlin's final fate).

Yet this is unmistakeably one of the best retellings of the Arthurian legends, even though we pass the entire first book (The Crystal Cave) without him. Stewart draws on Geoffrey of Monmouth's cryptic (and probably fictitious) and terse description of a young Merlin, who barely uses "magic" here (he can see the future, but that's his only supernatural power; everything else is generally explainable). In the second book (The Hollow Hills), which starts minutes after the first book ends, Arthur is finally born, and then immediately hidden. Unfortunately, the book then loses a little steam as we wander around with Merlin just waiting for the boy to grow up. I think the series hits its best point as Arthur comes to the attention of all England, and is recognized as the heir to the throne. The final book (The Last Enchantment) was a big shock to me -- I thought I had read much about Arthur, but I guess I had only been exposed to the Disneyfied versions. There's the Herodian killing-of-the-innocents, and then one of Arthur's sisters steals his sword for power -- but by this point in this trilogy, those are mostly told as recollections, as Merlin has now found an apprentice and slowly moves towards the curse he knows awaits him.

I've been reading a lot of long books this year in the hopes of moving them on to better homes, but this is one I may keep and return to. It's a bit of work, only because of the long paragraphs about the flowers blooming or the description of the road to another tiny Welsh town, but it's an interesting -- at times funny, at times exciting, even though the battle scenes are somewhat a muddle -- take on how a mythical and mystical Merlin could have truly existed.

------------------
LT Haiku:

The myths of Arthur,
told in great detail by the
man who served him well. ( )
  legallypuzzled | May 10, 2015 |
I have just finished reading Book 3 of this wonderful trilogy and feel totally exhilarated. Many years ago I read The Crystal Cave (Book 1) and The Hollow Hills (Book 2) but was unable to get The Last Enchantment (Book 3) but now I have and what a joy. If only I could write as Mary Stewart does. Her descriptions make places and people seem as real as if you were seeing them in front of you.

So what is the trilogy about? It is the story, in his own words, of Merlin the Enchanter, from boyhood to old age. You could call it an Arthurian legend, but Arthur does not enter the story until the end of Book 2. Mary Stewart has set the book just after the fall of the Roman Empire, and makes our hero a latter-day Roman himself. While Merlin is the King's Prophet, there is little magic in the story other than the magic of the author's own words. Merlin is totally believable, even during his fight at Tintagel when Arthur is conceived. Merlin is not portrayed as a superhuman, but just as an ordinary man with an extraordinary story. What romance there is comes across very well, and Merlin lives wonderfully through the story.

Please read these three books. You will surely enjoy them as much as I.
  pjbram | Dec 8, 2011 |
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Wikipedia auf Englisch (1)

The Arthurian legend is one of the most enduring and powerful of myths, and Mary Stewart's classic The Merlin Trilogy is one of its most beloved and acclaimed retellings. In prose that is as vividly, achingly real as it is poetic, New York Times bestselling author Mary Stewart brings to life the man behind the myth: Myrddin Emrys ... Merlinus Ambrosius ... Merlin. The Crystal Cave The Hollow Hills The Last Enchantment Born the bastard son of a Welsh princess, Myrddin Emrys -- or, as he would later be known, Merlin -- leads a perilous childhood in The Crystal Cave, haunted by portents and visions. But destiny has great plans for this no-man's-son, taking him from prophesying before the High King Vortigern to the crowning of UtherPendragon ... and the conception of Arthur -- king for once and always. Keeping watch over the young Arthur Pendragon in The Hollow Hills, the prince and prophet Merlin Ambrosius is haunted by dreams of the magical sword Caliburn, hidden for centuries. When Uther Pendragon is killed in battle, the time of destiny is at hand, and Arthur must claim the fabled sword to become the true High King of Britain. In The Last Enchantment, Arthur Pendragon is king at last. Unchallenged on the battlefield, he melds the country together in a time of promise as Merlin works to keep safe the once and future king. But sinister powers plot to destroy Camelot, and when the witch-queen Morgause -- Arthur's own half sister -- ensnares him in an incestuous liaison, a fatal web of love, betrayal, and bloody vengeance is woven. Extensively researched and beautifully written, The Merlin Trilogy is the epic culmination of an acclaimed career, a legend in and of itself.

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