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Merlin's Mirror by Andre Norton

Merlin's Mirror

by Andre Norton

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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First edition paperback, no isbn
  catlin | Jun 24, 2017 |
An interesting scifi take on the myth of Arthur and Merlin. ( )
  wealhtheowwylfing | Feb 29, 2016 |
Merlin's Mirror by Andre Norton is her science fiction spin on the Arthurian legend. Published in 1975, it's a quick read at 205 pages. I have never gotten into this particular myth. I have so far not read The Mists of Avalon or The Crystal Cave or other modern renditions of the saga, though people keep telling me I should do so. I did read the comic Camelot 3000, back in the 1980s. And someone gave me Deepak Chopra's The Sword of Merlin.

Norton's story is told entirely from Merlin's perspective, barring the initial scene that describes his conception. In effect, Merlin and Nimue are not completely human, instead having extraterrestrial blood and representing two conflicting interstellar cultures that long ago battled for men's souls on earth (another postapocalyptic story!). Merlin's apocryphal cave is in fact a secret computer installation.

It is an interesting idea, and in the end she portrays Nimue not so much as evil as just with a fundamentally different philosophy. But first she's evil. In fact, women in the story generally seem to be bad and bent on destroying men or otherwise causing their downfalls. Well, Merlin's mother wasn't evil, just shallow--as were all of the characters, really. No Lancelot in this story.

So if you like Arthurian legends, definitely give this one a try. And if you're an Andre Norton fan, this is definitely from her earlier period, which I generally like. But if I didn't already have an extensive Norton collection, I probably wouldn't keep this one. ( )
  justchris | Jan 14, 2010 |
Endowed with the power granted by an alien intelligence, Merlin--with the help of King Arthur--is charged with revitalizing the human race ( )
  nealdowns | Dec 28, 2006 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Andre Nortonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Gaughan,JackCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The beacon still called from deep within the rough-walled fastness of the cave.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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"Listen well, Merlin 
for the evil approaches and you must be armed against it.
"Two duties have you - one to bring the full power back into the Great Beacon ...
"Your second order is to provide such a leader for this land as to bring all its present quarrels to naught, and establish a time of peace in which we can come again, meeting with man and working together.
"There are what you must do, and Nimue will prevent you if she can. Be warned, Merlin, for you are our hope and the time grows short wherein this may be accomplished. Fail and the Dark shall encompass utterly your world and man shall be left to brutish life without the sun of knowledge!"
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Few authors have achieved such renown as World Fantasy Life Achievement honoree and Science Fiction Writers of America Grand Master Andre Norton. With the love of readers and the praise of critics, Norton's books have sold millions of copies worldwide. In this great science fiction novel, Andre Norton brings to new life the legendary King Arthur and the wizard Merlin in the light of modern knowledge of a lost period of history and today's understanding of science and interplanetary communication. Yet, as in all Norton's wonder novels, this is a fabulous adventure in fantasy. Here is Merlin, half star-born, gifted with the advice of an alien intelligence, given the task of renewing civilization and starting humanity again up the ladder to the stars. Here is Arthur, unaware of his stellar heritage. And here, too, is the Lady of the Lake, akin to Merlin in that she is also a listener to the music of the spheres and obedient to a celestial command post.… (more)

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