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The Last Enchantment by Mary Stewart
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The Last Enchantment (original 1979; edition 1981)

by Mary Stewart

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2,814212,069 (3.99)87
Member:cerce7
Title:The Last Enchantment
Authors:Mary Stewart
Info:Fawcett (1981), Edition: First Edition, Mass Market Paperback, 480 pages
Collections:Your library, Read but unowned
Rating:*****
Tags:Arthurian Legend, Merlin, Fantasy

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The Last Enchantment by Mary Stewart (1979)

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English (19)  French (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (21)
Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
The last installment in Stewart’s Arthurian trilogy was a bit too prosaic for my taste. While some of her interpretations of the legend were very interesting, such as there being two wives named Guinevere… Dare I say it? I found the whole thing downright boring and had to force myself to finish. Marion Zimmer Bradley’s “The Mists of Avalon” is still my favorite version of the legend. ( )
  memccauley6 | May 3, 2016 |
While this isn't the last of the Arthurian series, it is the end of the Merlin trilogy. This book picks up where The Hollow Hills ends.

I liked the more human Arthur (as opposed to the shining king of legend). I also like how he matures and grows into the king Merlin believed he could be. It was nice to see that he has his own wisdom and insights.

Ah, but Merlin. When I was younger, I pitied the older Merlin. Now, I see him looking back over his life and he lived it fully. There are tears, but there is also joy.

This look at the Arthurian mythos was unique in its time. I believe it has aged well and have enjoyed re-reading it decades after I last did.

Just go ahead and get the books! ( )
1 vote Jean_Sexton | Apr 11, 2016 |
This novel covers the time from when Arthur Pendragon first becomes king to the time Merlin, now getting on in years, begins to lose his powers and becomes a sort of master spy to assist King Arthur as he begins the task of uniting all of Britain.

Arthur is now King and hard at work establishing Camelot as the center of government and authority. A few ambitious lords from other parts of Britain have designs on Arthur's throne, and Merlin is kept busy preventing them from doing so. Having unwisely taken Morgause(his half-sister) to his bed as a very young man after his first battle and victory, Arthur is now the father of Mordred. Merlin foresees that Mordred will be the cause of Arthur's death, but doesn't understand how it will happen. He spends a great deal of time traveling in disguise and observing Morgause's scheming and intrigue.

Somewhere along the line, Merlin takes on a female apprentice, Niniane. When she first appears she is disguised as a boy, and Merlin initially takes her for the reincarnation of a child he had seen some years before whom he would have chosen as apprentice, but who died unexpectedly. Niniane is not quite as gifted as Merlin himself, but he teaches her everything he knows, and they fall in love despite their age difference. As he gives her the secrets of his psychic abilities and how to control them, he seems to lose them himself. In a depleted, weakened condition, he takes ill and falls into a coma, and is believed to be dead. Niniane has him buried within the crystal cave, where he awakes some time later. He escapes after a few weeks, through a combination of chance luck and ingenious planning, and travels incognito to let Arthur know he is still around. Niniane takes Merlin's place as the court wizard-seer, while Merlin retires to the crystal cave and lives a quiet and happy life as a hermit, much like his old master in the first volume of the series.

  bostonwendym | Mar 3, 2016 |
3rd book in the Merlin trilogy - _The Crystal Cave_ being #1, _The Hollow Hills_ in the middle. Stewart has created a lovely Arhurian history of how Merlin influenced everything that happened. A unique perspective. ( )
  dbsovereign | Jan 26, 2016 |
The best in the series! ( )
  engpunk77 | Aug 10, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
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To one who was dead and is alive again, who was lost and is found.
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Not every king would care to start his reign with the wholesale massacre of children.
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Book description
Arthur is King! But while he is unchallenged on the battlfield, sinister powers plot to destroy him in his own Camelot. When the rose-gold witch Morgause, Arthur's half-sister, ensnares him into an incestuous liaison -- and bears his son, Mordred, to use to her own evil ends -- a fatal web of love, betrayal and vengeance begins....

Seen through the eyes of Arthur's prophetic protector, Merlin -- whose own mysterious powers are in dire danger -- here is a tale rich with the majesty and turbulence of the magnificent legend it tells....resplendent with Mary Stewart's own special magic.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0060548274, Paperback)

Arthur Pendragon is King! Unchallenged on the battlefield, he melds the country together in a time of promise. 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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:14 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

Arthur Pendragon is King! Unchallenged on the battlefield, he melds the country together in a time of promise. 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.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 4 descriptions

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