Merlin Part I: The Old Magic is the first of a three-part novelization of the very successful Hallmark Entertainment Merlin miniseries starring Sam Neill, Miranda Richardson, Isabella Rossellini, and Martin Short. |
Author James Mallory has long been fascinated with the Arthurian legends and their historical development, and he greatly expands upon the TV series, adding material derived from the original Celtic mythology, together with further invention of his own. Characters not seen in the televised series include Herne The Hunter and Idath, Lord of the Wild Hunt. Mallory also provides a foundation for the later Grail Quest, which the miniseries left offscreen.
The Roman Legions are abandoning Britain, and Christianity is spreading through the land. Mab, Queen of the Old Ways, is determined to fight the new religion, first by placing her hopes in the tyrant King Vortigen and then by creating the part-man, part-elemental Merlin. As a youth, Merlin falls in love with the Lady Nimue, but as Mab's evil grows he vows to oppose her and the Old Magic.
This is an off-beat version of the early part of an oft-told tale. It works best as an introduction to the Arthurian saga for those who loved the Merlin miniseries, or for young adults unfamiliar with the legends. Adult readers, or those who know the original stories, will perhaps find more satisfying other retellings such as The Pendragon Cycle by Stephen Lawhead or Rosalind Miles's Guenevere series.
Source: Gary S. Dalkin, Amazon.co.uk.