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The Merlin of St. Gilles' Well by Ann…

The Merlin of St. Gilles' Well

by Ann Chamberlin

Other authors: Romas Kukalis (Cover artist)

Series: Joan of Arc Tapestries (1)

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ann Chamberlinprimary authorall editionscalculated
Kukalis, RomasCover artistsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Again for Natalia, good editor and best friend, because it was her idea
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Fire girdles the wicker bars of the cage, wind-whipped ribbons of crimson and coquelicot twining in a woman's hair.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0312865511, Hardcover)

The Merlin of St. Gilles' Well is Book One of the Joan of Arc Tapestries--a new series in what you'd think would be a crowded fantasy subgenre. Surprisingly, fantastic treatments of this famous historical figure are pretty much confined to film. And Joan of Arc isn't actually a character in this book. The Merlin of St. Gilles' Well is a St. Joan novel in the same sense that Mary Stewart's classic The Crystal Cave is an Arthurian novel: both depict the early lives of the men and women (mostly men) who will foretell, instruct, and inspire the pivotal character appearing later in the series. Both novels also draw on Breton elements of the Arthurian mythos.

Set in the early 1400s, The Merlin of St. Gilles' Well portrays the origins of Jean Le Drapier, a maimed Breton with powers that may rival Merlin's, and Gilles de Rais, the French nobleman who will one day fight heroically beside Joan and commit the sadistic murders that spawned the Bluebeard legend. The Merlin of St. Gilles' Well also depicts the deadly political struggles between the king and lords of France and (with far less historical basis) between the powerful Christian church and a coexisting underground Celtic paganism. This novel may annoy historical-fiction readers who demand characters with pure period mindsets, but it will please many fans of high fantasy, historical fantasy, alternate history, secret history, and Arthurian fiction. --Cynthia Ward

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:31 -0400)

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Opening volume in a trilogy on Joan of Arc who is portrayed as a pagan. The setting is 15th century France, where pagans survive in a sea of Christianity. One of them, a boy in training to be a magician, predicts her coming.

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