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Merlin (The Pendragon Cycle, Book 2) Paperback – May 21, 1996
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"A Criminal Magic" by Lee Kelly
THE NIGHT CIRCUS meets THE PEAKY BLINDERS in Lee Kelly's new magical realism, crossover novel and casts a spell of magic, high stakes and intrigue against the backdrop of a very different Roaring Twenties. Learn more
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From the Back Cover
More About the Author
Other notable works include the fantasy trilogies The Song of Albion, and the Dragon King Trilogies -- as well as the historical works Byzantium, Patrick, Avalon, and the works of science-fiction Dream Thief and Empyrion saga, and his latest, the five-book series Bright Empires. Lawhead makes his home in Oxford, England, with his wife.
You can find out more by visiting www.stephenlawhead.com
Top Customer Reviews
WHO SHOULD READ:
Readers who enjoyed Tolkien a great deal and who read Terry Brooks, Robert Jordan, and others searching for that same idealism will come closest to finding it here with Lawhead. Readers who enjoyed Marion Zimmerman Bradley's feminized version of the legend in The Mists of Avalon will find this work operating as a kind of opposite: Bradley employing the traditional pagan religious elements and feminism while re-working the French side of the myth while Lawhead invoking Christian theology and masculinity in t the Celtic side of the myth. They are very interesting to read together. These books are excellent choices for teenagers for whom idealism is second nature.Read more ›
Now that I've finished reading the cycle, I can say without a doubt that "Merlin" surpasses all others in the series. Arthur is a genius, Llenlleawg a talented warrior, Pelleas a loyal companion...but Merlin is REAL. Merlin has gifts and flaws; he has a distinct personality that makes him come to life as a flesh and bone human (however immortal). For example, I found him to be vain and more snobbish as the story progressed! He is definately one of the most well-written characters I've ever read.
After finishing this book in less than four hours, I eagerly acquired the rest of the Pendragon series, thinking that they would live up to the standard of "Merlin", if not surpass it. I should have known that such a perfect book full of plot and characterization is one of a kind. However, to my delight, Merlin's character only develops more in depth as the Pendragon series continued on. After all, Merlin's name is etched in legend...but in Lawhead's writing, he lives.
The story focuses on a time of great change in early Britain, as independent kingdoms under Roman rule vanish and become united under one High King. The transition from individual local kingdoms to one great kingdom under a great king remarkably parallels a similar transition in the Bible: from the anarchy and chaos of the Judges, to the unified rule under the Kings Saul and David. Merlin's role is much like that of the Biblical Samuel: the figure who ushers in this transition by his prophecies, wisdom and counsel. The parallels don't end there - for like Israel, early Britain is portrayed as a time of prophets (the druids), priests (the Roman Catholics) and kings.
The world of upheaval in which Merlin lives is characterized by trials, tragedy and triumphs. Much like "Taliesin", the reader is treated to a vast array of human emotions described in most vivid details - from utter joy to utmost sorrow - and is subsequently tossed from the pinnacles of happiness to the pits of despair. But Lawhead does not delight in dragging his readers through gory details of bloodshed and death - in fact killing for revenge alone is presented as murder (p.314-5). Bloodshed for the sake of justice and truth has a clear purpose: the way is being paved to the "Kingdom of Summer" ruled by King Arthur where justice, truth and right will be defended and maintained (p.108).Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I think the first book is a slow start because of the necessary temporal and character development. The story starts to sing here.Published 10 days ago by Suki
An engaging story that makes me want to learn more about Brittain's history and culture.Published 2 months ago by Happy Mom
This is a solid book. It's a must read. I can't wait for the rest of the series to unfold.Published 4 months ago by Ben
These books never fail to pull me in and immerse me in the world of Merlin. I adore them!Published 4 months ago by PenAndInk