The Merlin Trilogy

Front Cover
Harper Collins, Dec 1, 1980 - Fiction - 928 pages
93 Reviews

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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I liked the flow of Merlin's story telling. - Goodreads
I loved the portrayal of the battles and the scheming. - Goodreads
The plot moves along nicely and it's easy to visualize. - Goodreads

Review: Mary Stewart's Merlin Trilogy (Arthurian Saga #1-3)

User Review  - AJ McMahon - Goodreads

The trilogy tells the story of Merlin, the wizard who was King Arthur's mentor. The story telling is first rate, the portrayals of all the characters is convincing and the reader is just swept along by the tale. Read full review

Review: Mary Stewart's Merlin Trilogy (Arthurian Saga #1-3)

User Review  - Danielle - Goodreads

This is one of those books that I am extremely biased in my opinions for. I read the Crystal Cave and the Hollow Hills when I was in 8th grade, (and honestly I don't know how I got through it, it's ... Read full review

All 19 reviews »


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Page 916 - Guinevere, according to the mediaeval legends, suffered abduction from time to time as a matter of course, and equally as a matter of course was rescued by Lancelot. A modern reader can see how the stories rose around "the much-abducted queen." Mediaeval singers found in "King Arthur and his Court...
Page 309 - Know ye not what it is that doth hinder the foundation being laid of this tower? Ye have given counsel that the mortar thereof should be slacked of my blood, that so the tower should stand forthwith. Now tell me, what is it that lieth hid beneath the foundation, for somewhat is there that doth not allow it to stand?
Page 237 - for," said my father to me afterwards when we were alone, "as you will find, all gods who are born of the light are brothers, and in this land, if Mithras who gives us victory is to bear the face of Christ, why, then, we worship Christ
Page 606 - We will have Arthur unto our king ; we will put him no more in delay, for we all see that it is God's will that he shall be our king, and who that holdeth against it we will slay him.
Page 7 - O Merlin in your crystal cave Deep in the diamond of the day, Will there ever be a singer Whose music will smooth away The furrow drawn by Adam's finger Across the meadow and the wave? Or a runner who'll outrun Man's long shadow driving on, Break through the gate of memory And hang the apple on the tree?
Page 805 - Does it never occur to you that they lead lives of dependence so complete as to breed uncertainty and fear? That their lives are like those of slaves, or of animals that are used by creatures stronger than themselves, and sometimes cruel? Why, even royal ladies are bought and sold, and are bred to lead their lives far from their homes and their people, as the property of men unknown to them.
Page 310 - ... Galabes that he wont to haunt, and, telling him what it was they wanted, brought him unto the King. The King received him gladly, and bade him declare the future, being fain to hear marvellous things. Unto whom Merlin: " Mysteries of such kind be in no wise to be revealed save only in sore need. For, and I were to utter them lightly or to make laughter, the spirit that teacheth me would be dumb and would forsake me in the hour of need.

About the author (1980)

Mart Stewart is one of the most widely read fiction writers of our time. The author of twenty novels, a volume of poetry, and three books for young readers, she is admired for both her contemporary stories of romantic suspense and her historical novels. Born in England, she has lived for many years in Scotland.

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