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The Crystal Cave [Paperback]

Mary Stewart
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 17.85
Price: CDN$ 14.37 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Kindle Edition --  
Library Binding CDN $26.82  
Paperback CDN $11.54  
Paperback, April 24 2003 CDN $14.37  
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Book Description

April 24 2003 The Arthurian Saga, Book 1 (Book 1)

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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From Amazon

Initially published nearly thirty years ago, Mary Stewart's The Crystal Cave has been spellbinding readers and converting them into serious Arthurian buffs ever since. The first in a series of four books, this novel focuses on the early life of Merlin the magician, and the political developments of fifth-century Britain. Not for the fainthearted, this verbose text pays careful attention to historical details and methodical plot development.

Merlin's childhood is formed by the absence of his reticent, convent-bound mother and his unnamed and unknown father. As the bastard grandson of a local king, Merlin is the object of both envy and ridicule. His strange powers and predictions earn him greater status as a pariah, and he leaves home as a preadolescent. Returning years later as a young man--empowered by self-knowledge and magic--Merlin finds himself caught in the currents of the shifting kingdoms.

As an established classic in this genre, and the first in a popular series, The Crystal Cave introduces this familiar character with fresh sensitivity. While readers looking for the romance of First Knight will be disappointed, those happy with tight writing and a complex story line will be satisfied. --Nancy R.E. O'Brien --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.


A deft colourful . . . re-creation of Merlin's early life—Sunday Times

Vivid, enthralling, absolutely first-class—Daily Mail

Mary Stewart lightens the Dark Ages with legend, pure invention and a lively sense of history.—New York Times

Mary Stewart brilliantly recreates the Britain of the fifth century—Books And Bookmen

Her style is simple yet vivid, displaying a love of words and the sounds they make, and her story is poetically imaginative—Daily Telegraph

A fascinating story which lays a firm hold on the imagination—The Scotsman --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Merlin in the real world. Oct. 3 2010
This is still one of the best retellings of the story of Merlin and Arthur. Mary Stewart opens the curtain on the real world of the time, historically researched, and richly detailed with characters that are real and emotionally true. I'm always wary of Arthurian fantasy - because so many are badly written, fluffy pieces of romantic fallacy. But these captured my historic interest as well as my imagination.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book, I really enjoyed reading it. Oct. 21 2014
By John
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed the storyline and the way the narrative is written through the eyes of Merlin. If you enjoy a good fantasy book then you will enjoy this book.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book June 17 2004
I read it for an English class in Highschool and still can't forget it.
Descriptive and captivating.
A must-read classic!!!
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful! March 31 2005
By A Customer
I've read quite a few adaptations of legends based in history, and this ranks at the top of the list. Notable were Merlin's relationships with his various father figures, his outlook towards his notoriety and his powers, and his God(s). A great read and I look forward to completing the series.
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0 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Yick. July 27 2002
By A Customer
Format:Audio Cassette
I read this book for summer reading. If I didn't HAVE to finish this book, I probably wouldn't have. It was somewhat interesting in parts, but not throughout the whole book. The beginning of the different books in The Crystal Cave were very boring, but then they would become more interesting as the chapters continued. The book is about Merlin, who is royal, but treated as a no-man's-child. His mother claims that his father is The Prince of Darkness. I really can't say more than that because there isn't much more to it. I didn't see a plot that lasted throughout this whole book. I was disappointed with it, but I will say it is readable.
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