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Arthurian Saga Books In Order

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Publication Order of Arthurian Saga Books

The Crystal Cave (1970)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Hollow Hills (1973)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Last Enchantment (1979)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Wicked Day (1983)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Prince and the Pilgrim (1995)Description / Buy at Amazon

Mary Stewart was born on September 17 1916. She was a British author who was famously known for the Arthurian saga series and the Merlin book series. She was the daughter of Edith Mathews and Fredrick Rainbow. Stewart had always wanted to be a professor, however this was derailed especially due to job scarcity. Mary Stewart completed a degree in teaching which she used to secure a job in one of the local primary school. After the war had ended, Mary was awarded with her master’s degree where she became a Literature professor within the University. While in Durban, Mary met Fredrick Stewart, who became her husband three months down the line after they met.

Most readers are quite familiar with the Arthurian tale in one way or another and in each of these tales; we the readers had an idea of Merlin’s role, the most revered wizard who was a personal guide to King Arthur. Very few readers have ever stopped to ask themselves who exactly Merlin was as a person, and not as the great wizard. In this installment, Merlin Steward has provided the readers with the answers to the questions that have been escaping the readers mind for a very long time. Mary Stewart begins the story in the early days when Merlin was still a small boy. Merlin was a bastard who was born to a Welsh princess, Niniane.

Due to his ignoble birth together with the impending threat of his unidentified heritage, Merlin is not only ignored but also mistreated or feared, thus becomes he becomes introverted. If he was a simple boy, then he would have never survived the harsh conditions of his early childhood days. Nonetheless, like his mother, Merlin is blesses or cursed with sight, an ability to know much more than what his five sense would tell him. Through a bit of fate and a number of unique circumstances, Merlin ends up being an assistant to a great king, Ambrosius. Furthermore, he ends up having an intimidate contact with the extremely volatile and Callous, Uther Pendadragon, a man whom according to destiny was to become his Arthur’s father.

The author Mary Stewart takes the reader to an exceedingly fascinating and believable journey, which is magical though it has very little to do with real magic. Stewart brings all the characters in the book to life, not only the protagonist Merlin, but also King Ambrosius, King Uther, Cadal and Cerdic. Furthermore, there is not any character, irrespective of how small he or she is that does not serve their role in the story. It is quite easy to tell that Stewart has a great understanding of history judging by how she presents it. Stewart also has an exceedingly fresh writing style, which will put you the reader right there in history.

The author also has a deep understanding of what it really means to be both mortal and exceptional, and thus we are able to understand Merlin in the human and exceptional levels. With that said, this book is not only captivating but also fast paced and by the end of the book, you will want to read even more.

The Last Enchantment

The Last Enchantment is the third book in the Arthurian saga series. The book begins as Arthur has been just made king and has already started to put in work to ensure that Camelot becomes the center of authority and government. As the newly appointed King of Britain, Arthur must tackle all the obstacles which have now become a part of his life. Merlin must assist Arthur to fight the danger that Morgause possess. Merlin not only experiences love but also betrayal together with the weakening of his powers. The perception of Merlin as a human being and not as a wizard is the main strength of this installment. He is used as a tool by the gods thus he himself is not a god.

The author has managed to carry this theme up to the end and in a way she will make you to sympathize for Merlin. She also allows the reader to share Merlin’s accomplishments and his sorrows as well. The love that Merlin inspires and also feels for Arthur is intense. His lack of understanding women together with their needs is exceedingly clear, especially when he deals with important female characters who will eventually become significant in Merlin’s final days. At some point, Merlin appoints Niniane, a female apprentice.

When Niniane was introduced in the storyline, she was disguised as a small boy. Merlin had previously selected another child, but the child had died unexpectedly. Niniane does not possess the powers that Merlin has, however, Merlin teaches Niniane everything that he knows about his line of work. Irrespective of the age differences between the two, they become lovers. As Merlin was teaching Niniane, he was on the other hand losing his abilities and also how to control those powers. In a depleted state, Merlin falls ill and eventually falls into a comma. Many people believed that Merlin had died, thus Niniane buried Merlin within a crystal cave. Later on, Merlin awakens from his deep sleep.

Merlin manages to successfully escape and through ingenious planning and little bit of luck, he travels to inform Arthur that he had not died. Niniane is promoted to the court wizard while Merlin retired and moved back to the crystal cave. Like all the previous book in the Arthurian saga series, the Last Enchantment is narrated using Merlin’s voice. According to Merlin, Arthur is not only virtuous but is also memorable, noble and magnanimous. Furthermore, all the men in Merlin’s circle are also righteous as well.

Hollow Hills

Hollow Hills is the second book in the Arthurian Saga series by Mary Stewart. In this book we meet Merlin once again as he is bleeding on the other side of the road. We get to watch Arthur’s journey from a small boy into one of the greatest kings of all time. Merlin’s duty is to be the bridge between Arthur and Ambrosius. With that said, the character Merlin is going to appeal to you the reader, because of his humanity. Nonetheless, Merlin still pays a high price for his unique powers. Since these powers were granted at the determination and whim of his gods, Merlin does not have absolute control over these powers. Furthermore he neither chooses history nor controls events. His main work is to execute plans, which were clearly formulated in the heavens.

Book Series In Order » Characters » Arthurian Saga

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