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The Hollow Hills (Merlin, Book 2) Mass Market Paperback – July 12, 1984

52 customer reviews

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Mass Market Paperback, July 12, 1984
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Editorial Reviews


A real spell-binder Sunday Telegraph Compulsive reading ... chases, battles, thrills and entertainment all the way Daily Mirror A fascinating re-creation of the King Arthur legend Newsweek It goes without saying that Mrs Stewart tells a marvellous story. The Times Superb and lyrical. Washington Times --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Publisher

If you haven't read Mary Stewart's Arthurian Saga, you don't know what you're missing. They are must reads for any romance reader, for any lover of Arthurian legend, for any history buff, for any voracious reader, and may be the books to get non-readers started. Basically, they should be read by everyone! Mary Stewart's research for these books is phenomenal. Her understanding of myth and its relationship to fact is remarkable. The books are complex, yet incredibly inviting and you will absolutely love the characters. They also weave together so beautifully that you won't be able to read only one. Two things I find particularly interesting in this series is the portrayal of Arthur and the fall of Camelot. Arthur represents all of humanity in these books as opposed to the more mythical figure you usually see. And the fall of Camelot is more internal rather than external--more about the passions and lusts in the heart rather than a more obvious loss of power. The books go in this order: The Crystal Cave, The Hollow Hills, The Last Enchantment, The Wicked Day. Shauna Summers, Senior Editor --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 447 pages
  • Publisher: Fawcett (July 12, 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0449206459
  • ISBN-13: 978-0449206454
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 4.2 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,885,235 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Mart Stewart, one of the most popular novelists writing today, was born in Sunderland, County Durham, England. After boarding-school, she recieved a B.A. with first class honors in English Language and Literature from Durham University and went on for her M.A. Later she returned to her own University as a Lecturer in English. She married in 1945. Her husband is Sir Frederick Stewart, who is Chairman of the Geology Department at Edinburgh University, and a Fellow of the Royal Society.Mary Stewart's career as a novelist began in 1954 with the publication of Madam, Will You Talk? Since then she has published fifteen successful novels, including The Last Enchantment, the third book of the magical trilogy about the legendary enchanter Merlin and young Arthur. Her books for young readers, The Little Broomstick (1971) and Ludo and the Star Horse (1974), quickly met with the same success as her other novels. In 1968, she was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts. In 1971, the Scottish Chapter of the International PEN Association awarded her the Frederick Niven prize for the The Crystal Cave. In 1974, the Scottish Arts Council Award went to Ludo and the Star Horse.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 28, 1999
Format: Paperback
I started this book with the expectation that it would be equal to it's mediocre prequel. I soon found, however, that Mary Stewart's book "The Hollow Hills" far outdoes "The Crystal Cave". Though both books follow the legend of Arthur fairly well "The Hollow Hills" has more action and the ending is much more satisfying. "The Hollow Hills" continues right from where "The Crystal Cave" leaves off. The main character is the powerful and wise sorcerer, Merlin. The book follows his struggle raising the young Arthur and helping Arthur rise to the position of High King of all Britain. All throughout this there are spies and bounty hunters hired to kill Arthur before he reaches the age he can claim the crown. This book shows a unique view on the Arthurian legends. Instead of following a knight of the round table or the king himself, as in many of the books about King Arthur, it follows a character who appears in most every legend about the infamous King. This book gives Merlin's perspective on all of the events that made King Arthur's life into legend. The book follows Arthurian legend well. Of course, there can be no story that perfectly follows the legend because there are thousands and thousands of legends pertaining to King Arthur. Even though they cannot be all represented in a single interpretation, "The Hollow Hills" follows as many of them as possible without contradicting itself. I does, however, go against some of the more well known legends such as the origin of Excalibur. Mary Stewart is an incredible writer. She describes everything very well without becoming annoyingly detailed. The world that she creates for this book is beautifully sculpted with her masterfully chosen words.Read more ›
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Richard W Little on July 4, 2005
Format: Paperback
A long time ago, I read Mary Stewart's Merlin Trilogy, which consists of three books: The Crystal Cave, The Hollow Hills, and The Last Enchantment. I had last read the trilogy back in the mid-1980s, back when I was in high school. So, recently I turned back to these old favorites, and found myself enjoying the tale once again.

Here's a brief background of the story, without spoiling it too much for potential readers. England is suffering under fractured leadership following the departure of the Romans, some time before. England is broken up into several small kingdoms, with a High King to hold them all together, and to try to repell the Saxon threat already encamped on the shores. Into this time, Merlin is born, the bastard child of a local princess. The trilogy tells the tale of his life.

In the first book, Merlin is first a small boy in Wales, where he finds his tutor in magic and the gods and medicine, and is touched by the prophecy which will shape his whole life's work. He flees Wales, for his own protection, and his subsequent actions inexorably lead to the conception of a child: Arthur, the future High King.

In the second book, Merlin is charged by both the High King, Uthur, and his god to keep Arthur in his care, and to train him for his coming challenges. The story closes with Arthur assuming the mantle of leadership, following the passing of Uthur.

In the third book, Arthur and Merlin work to end the Saxon threat, found Camelot, and close with Merlin's final destiny, as he had long since foreseen...almost.

The tale is told in the first person: Merlin. In this fashion, the story feels personal in a way that few other Arthurian fantasies ever have.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Michael K. Smith TOP 1000 REVIEWER on September 6, 2006
Format: Paperback
It's not uncommon for the middle volume of a trilogy -- the "bridge" -- to be the weakest of the three, but that's certainly not the case here. The story picks up less than an hour after the end of the first volume, The Crystal Cave, with Merlin having ensured Uther's night of lust with Queen Ygraine of Cornwall and the conception of Arthur, the once and future king (i.e., the "new Ambrosius"). Much of the narrative is taken up with Merlin waiting. First, waiting for the child's birth (while being on the outs with Uther), then waiting for the beginning of his guardianship (when Uther becomes more realistic), then waiting while Arthur spends his infancy in Brittany (during which Merlin hits the road to the ancient lands of the Near East), then a long period of waiting while the boy grows up in the care of Count Ector (and he himself becomes the hermit of the Chapel in the Green). Along the way, he acquires the sword of the Emperor Maximus and tucks it away on a sacred island in a lake, knowing Arthur will recover it himself in good time. And, of course, the waiting ends with Arthur being hailed as High King at age fourteen, minutes after his presentation to the lesser kings and his father's sudden death at a victory dinner. The pacing is a bit slower, but there's a strong sense of inevitability, both for Merlin and for the reader. Stewart's amazingly sensitive and evocative descriptive powers are strong as ever. One of my favorite lines, on why you should never take the favor of the gods for granted: "The gods like the taste of salt; the sweat of human effort is the savour of their sacrifices." Marvelous stuff.
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