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The Hollow Hills Mass Market Paperback – 1974


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback
  • Publisher: Fawcett (1974)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0449206459
  • ISBN-13: 978-0449206454
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 10.8 x 17.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 249 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Format: Hardcover
The second volume of what later became Mary Stewart's Arthurian saga. The story, as before narrated by Merlin, begins exactly where “The Crystal Cave” ended, the morning after Arthur's conception, and follows his infancy in hiding, his early training and education until the age of 14 against the background of Uther's competent but uneasy reign. Although the petty kings are united under the High King's leadership, the constant Saxon threat erodes loyalties and breeds treachery and intrigue. The narrative brings to life this dark period in Britain's history with tremendous skill and the story-teller flair for which Lady Stewart is justly famous. These ancient characters become current and vital and acquire a presence that makes me feel like I am watching a film.

Everything that was exceptional about “The Crystal Cave” is present in this sequel: terrific sense of place and time, great character development, many fascinating players and sub-plots, the twists and turns of fate that still lead Merlin unerringly to the desired outcome, a generous sprinkling of magic that could be read as divine intervention or the serendipitous combination of a highly intelligent and accomplished man and the superstitious mentality of the times. Merlin's character is further developed almost as an anti-hero, with the gallant and impetuous young Arthur as a clear counterpoint, making them two of the most likeable fictional characters I have ever encountered.

At the end, Lady Stewart has added the legend (as recounted by Geoffrey of Monmouth) and brief Author's Notes explaining how she built on what sparse and confused records remain, linking some facts and making plausible assumptions about others and, even more interestingly, what part of the story she has completely invented.
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By A Customer on May 22 2005
Format: Paperback
I find Arthurian lit comes in two categories: generic or so far from the legend it's painful.
In this book, Stewart stays faithful to the Arthurian myth while taking what she needs from history and her own imagination. I was particularly impressed with the way she handled the sword issue -- though not entirely faithful to the legend it's all there, sword in the stone and Excalibur, all tying into her own mythology perfectly. As with "The Crystal Cave" I particularly enjoyed the aspects of pagan mythology that tied into the whole story alongside of the Christian aspect.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The plot is well thought out and there are enough references to things un history that make it almost believe able.
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