If you enjoy reading tales of Camelot, the Arthurian legend and the sorcery of Merlin, then this is the book for you! The incomparable Mary Stewart brings to vibrant life one of the world's great legends and sheds a fascinating new light on the turbulence and mystery of fifth-century Britain.
Stewart's tale about Merlin adds to the many that have been written about Merlin, Arthur and others of the era, increasing the lore and love of those who lived during that time. It's well done. The Merlin and Ambrosius connection is the author's, derived from a statement by a ninth century historian named Nennius who relates the story of the dragons in the pool. That incident is later mentioned by Gregory of Monmouth who called his profit Ambrosius. To true historians, however, Gregory's work about Britain's kings is unacceptable. Stewart notes this fact and states that she pulled much of her plot from his work, emphasizing that the tale is indeed fiction. The places used in the novel exist except for Merlin's cave which is the author's creation. Beginning with Merlin's youth, the author traces his life up until the time Arthur is conceived. It's action packed with excellent character development. So if you are gathering tales written by Merlin, Arthur and other check this one out. The series is cherished by many.
This is my favorite book (or the following book in the series.)
This is the book that begins the Merlin trilogy. It follows Merlin from his childhood and explains his growing into his power. The book is absolutely ingenious. I am floored by Stewart's ability to look at the old story of Arthur and flesh out the details with such charm and imagination. It is simply written well and is lovely to read. I absolutely love it. I will continue to re-read it over the years.
I'm a huge Arthur/Merlin fan & this book (& the rest of the series) is IMHO the best out there. But, it you are looking for "real" magic this may not be the book for you. Stewart shows how Merlin dazzled everyone with his amazing accomplishments in mostly an explainable way. There is some minor magic, but most of it is skill. I highly recommend Stewart's trilogy (the last book on Mordrid is not so good) to anyone who loves adventure, romance & just all-around great fiction.
Gaye M. reviewed The Crystal Cave (Merlin, Bk 1) on
I just re-read the books in this Authurian series by Mary Stewart and they're just as good as I remembered them to be. This is pure fiction of course, but an excellent rendition of the myths of Merlin and Arthur, with very real characters and explanations for much of the "magic". I love every one of these books.
The first of Mary Stewart's Arthurian Saga, the Crystal Cave is about Merlin, from childhood to young man, the beginnings of his life as a prophet/magician. An incredibly good book, the first in a series with a very different spin on the story of King Arthur.f
If you are a classic King Arthur fan, this is a must read.
The first book of the Arthurian Saga. I read the trilogy years ago and enjoyed them a great deal. I got them for my youngest daughter and reread them myself. It was like meeting an old friend and they were just as good the second time around and now a favorite of my daughter who has fallen in love with them also. Not your typical Arthurian book which makes it even more enjoyable to read. You won't be sorry if you order this book.
This book is GREAT. I love the Merlin series, of which this is the first volume. When I first read it I didn't get to sleep until 3 in the morning (and this was during a time when I usually went to bed at 7:00) because I was so wrapped up in the book.
Monica R. reviewed The Crystal Cave (Merlin, Bk 1) on
This is probably the third time I have read this series..I just love it! I love everything about it, the period, the writing style and placing Arthurian legend more correctly in the 500 AD period. The book starts out as the story of Merlin and his lineage..It just fascinates me and it is hard to put down..
"Who was Merlin? Was the famed magician of Camelot and King Arthur's court really a sinester, all-powerful being from another world? Ws he truly a Prince of Darkness? How did he come to his occult powers? Why was the crystal cave so important to him?"
This is Book 1 in the amazing Merlin Trilogy! This trilogy shows the classic Arthurian legend through the eyes of his trusted wizard, Merlin. In this book, Merlin is just learning of his origins and his abilities.
This is a spellbinding historical fantasy story, focusing on the early life of Merlin the magician and the political developments of fifth-century Britain. With wonderful discriptions of the Welsh countryside, you are transported to another time and place. Reading this novel is like "time traveling" at it's best!
"The magnificent Arthurian legend. Who was Merlin? Mary Stewart's novel brings to vibrant life one of the world's greatest legends and sheds a fascinating new light on the turbulence and mystery of fifth-century Britain."
Stewart's first book in the Arthurian Saga presents a Merlin from his childhood as the spat upon bastard of his Welsh princess mother and an unnamed father to a young man who becomes respected and feared. Told in the first person narrative of Merlin looking back on his life, we see a Merlin who from a rather young age is driven by visions and curiosity. The story is part diary, part adventure, part fantasy. At times it is gripping, and we see how slowly Merlin becomes the person of legend, but still very human.
Book 1 of the Arthurian saga; focuses on the boyhood of Merlin the wizard.Very good book! The magnificent Arthurian legend as told by Mary Stewart; this novel brings to vibrant life one of the world's great legends and sheds a fascinating new light on the turbulence and mystery of fifth-century Britain.
First of Stewart's Arthurian cycle, concentrating on the youth of Merlin and his involvement in Arthur's conception. Drags a bit, and Stewart can't seem to decide if Merlin was a wizard and she's writing high fantasy, or if he was a mortal man whose logical and scientific actions were simply taken as magic by his peers.