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The Crystal Cave (1970)

by Mary Stewart

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Arthurian Merlin Saga (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
5,409991,575 (4.05)2 / 359
Born the bastard son of a Welsh princess, Myridden Emrys -- or as he would later be known, Merlin -- leads a perilous childhood, 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 Uther Pendragon ... and the conception of Arthur -- king for once and always.… (more)
  1. 40
    Assassin's Apprentice by Robin Hobb (LiddyGally)
    LiddyGally: Both "autobiograhical" accounts of the life of a man with powers of a magical kind, told from boyhood to manhood. Compelling writing makes for a great read and memorable story!
  2. 30
    Twilight of Avalon by Anna Elliott (Kasthu)
  3. 30
    Idylls of the King by Alfred Tennyson (myshelves)
    myshelves: Tennyson's classic rendering of the Arthurian legends in verse.
  4. 74
    The Once and Future King by T. H. White (myshelves)
    myshelves: Basis for the play/movie Camelot.
  5. 20
    Sword at Sunset by Rosemary Sutcliff (Anonymous user)
  6. 10
    Storyteller by G. R. Grove (Rowntree)
    Rowntree: Adventures in Britain a generation after King Arthur.
  7. 10
    The Last Legion by Valerio Massimo Manfredi (Bookshop_Lady)
    Bookshop_Lady: Mary Stuart ties the Arthur legend to Rome through Ambrosius and his brother Uther. Valerio Massimo takes a slightly different turn to the story: The Last Legion is the story of the last Roman emperor, who fled to England searching for the last legion of Roman soldiers, hoping they would still be loyal to him. This last emperor, a youth of about 13 when he attains the throne, will grow up to become Uther Pendragon. Fan's of Mary Stuart's trilogy will appreciate Massimo's interpretation of the Arthur legend.… (more)
  8. 10
    A Traveller's Guide to the Kingdoms of Arthur by Neil Fairbairn (myshelves)
    myshelves: Non-fiction guide to traditional Authurian sites.
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» See also 359 mentions

English (97)  French (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (99)
Showing 1-5 of 97 (next | show all)
Thoroughly enjoyed this book focused on Merlin in the time of King Arthur. It was a nice change of pace to read a novel about this time frame from a different perspective, and Mary Stewart's writing was intelligent and fast paced. ( )
  julieandbeli | Jun 7, 2022 |
Þetta er fyrsta bókin af þremur þar sem Stewart tæklar goðsögnina um Arthúr konung. Þessi saga fjallar um fyrstu ár Merlins allt fram að fæðingu Arthúrs. Bretland er um þetta leyti undirlagt hernaði smákónga og áhrif rómverskrar menningar eru enn sterk enda skammt síðan þeir yfirgáfu eyjarnar. Heillandi saga og hreif mig sannarlega þegar ég las hana á íslensku sem unglingur. Gaman að kynnast tökum Stewarts á sögunum um Arthúr konung. ( )
  SkuliSael | Apr 28, 2022 |
Read as a kid. I think I read the series.
  Ccyynn | Feb 15, 2022 |
I knew nothing about the book prior to picking it up except it was about Merlin. I went in expecting Merlin would learn some cool powers but as I proceeded through this book I was bummed that all he had was foresight. However, despite this disappointment, this book had me hooked. The book was so well written and the story itself made me feel as though I was there with Merlin and Cadal. The authors note at the end made me appreciate her inspiration for the book rather than being salty about no fancy magic. I plan on finishing the remainder of the series but I might have to turn somewhere else for a cool wizard book (that’s NOT Harry Potter). ( )
1 vote Bandit_ | Jan 15, 2022 |
Though we often think of Arthurian legend as focusing on Arthur himself, in this first novel in her trilogy Stewart focuses almost exclusively on how "Myriddn Emrys" became Merlin, from his childhood as an illegitimate grandson of the King of Wales and discovering his true paternity, to becoming a trusted advisor to several legendary kings battling for power in the British Isles.

This was definitely a palate-cleanser for me. I found the writing captivating and stayed up far too late on more than one evening, not wanting to put it down. The plot did not always play out as this seasoned reader was expecting, so it scores higher for its unpredictability. I had some trouble initially keeping straight allegiances with similar names, but ultimately it was enough to be aware of the opposing factions, even if I couldn't always remember who was aligned with whom. Looking forward to the next in the series. ( )
  ryner | Oct 28, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 97 (next | show all)
Eerste deel van een trilogie over het leven van de legendarische tovenaar en helderziende Merlijn. Hij leefde in het Brittannië van de vijfde eeuw en was in zijn latere leven de opvoeder en raadgever van de grote koning Arthur. Dit eerste deel omvat het verhaal over zijn geboorte en eerste levensjaren, doorgebracht aan het hof van zijn grootvader, de koning van Zuid-Wales. Verder: de ontdekking van de glazen grot en zijn opleiding bij de ziener Galapas. Het boek eindigt met de geboorte van koning Arthur. Een boeiend verhaal over deze magiër; door haar levende verbeelding en vlotte schrijftrant weet de schrijfster de lezer van begin tot eind te boeien. Wordt vervolgd door: "De holle heuvels". Normale druk, volle bladspiegel.
(Biblion recensie, J. v. Leeuwen-v.d. Tempel.)
added by karnoefel | editNBD/Biblion (via BOL.com)
 

» Add other authors (33 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Stewart, Maryprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Fishman, MarcIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hämäläinen, InkeriTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lundgren, ElseTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Perkins, DerekNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ratzkin, LawrenceCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thorne, StephenNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
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,
Burst through the gates of history,
And hang the apple on the tree?
Will your sorcery ever show
The sleeping bride shut in her bower,
The day wreathed in its mound of snow,
And Time locked in his tower?
----Edwin Muir
Dedication
To the Memory
of Mollie Craig
with my love
First words
PROLOGUE: The Prince of Darkness

I am an old man now, but then I was really past my prime when Arthur was crowned King.
BOOK I: The Dove

The day my uncle Camlach came home, I was just six years old.
BOOK II: The Falcon

The first I knew of our coming to shore was being roused, still heavy with that exhausted sleep, by voices talking over me.
BOOK III: The Wolf

I was five years with Ambrosius in Brittany.
BOOK IV: The Red Dragon

The way the chronicles tell it, you would think it took Ambrosius two months to get himself crowned King and pacify Britain.
Quotations
"Mithras, Apollo, Arthur, Christ -- call him what you will," I said. "What does it matter what men call the light? It is the same light, and men must live by it or die. I only know that God is the source of all the light which has lit the world, and that his purpose runs through the world and past each one of us like a great river, and we cannot check or turn it, but can only drink from it while living, and commit our bodies to it when we die." -- Merlin
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Publisher's editors
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Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Born the bastard son of a Welsh princess, Myridden Emrys -- or as he would later be known, Merlin -- leads a perilous childhood, 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 Uther Pendragon ... and the conception of Arthur -- king for once and always.

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Book description
WHO WAS MERLIN?

Was the famed magician of Camelot and King Arthur's court really a sinister, all-powerful being from another world? Was he truly a Prince of Darkness? Or was he a man with the passions of other mortals? A man with unique intelligence and unusual gifts? Why was he so feared? How did he come by his occult powers? Why was the crystal cave so important to him?

Fifth century Britain is a country of chaos and division after the Roman withdrawal. Born the bastard son of a Welsh princess who will not reveal to her son his father's true identity, Myridden Emrys -- or as he would later be known, Merlin -- leads a perilous childhood, 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 Uther Pendragon ... and the conception of Arthur -- king for once and always.
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