The Merlin Trilogy is Mary Stewart's take on the Arthurian legend in three books: The Crystal Cave, The Hollow Hills, and The Last Enchantment. These books have Merlin, Arthur's wizard mentor, as their focal point, and the result is a charming, engrossing tale providing a unique perspective on a familiar tale. Her history is superb and richly detailed, her characterizations are masterful, and her plotting is perfect. You'll be entranced by this magical story.|
he Crystal Cave
The Hollow Hills
The Last Enchantment
The prophetic voice of Merlin, the mysterious enchanter of Arthurian legend, has completeted his story. Written over a period of ten years, Mary Stewart's three best-selling novels now stand together in one volume -- the finest work of her distinguished career.
Hers is the most extended portrait in all literature of this compelling figure of Dark Age myth and history. Merlin, the protector and tutor of Arthur, has usually been protrayed as an old man. But The Crystal Cave begins the trilogy with the story fo his perilous childhood as the bastard son of a Welsh king's daughter and the secret discovery of the magic arts that will set him apart from other men.
With the birth of Arthur, Merlin's guardianship began and the ancient legend continues in The Hollow Hills with the dramatic immediacy that is Mary Stewart's special gift. Arthur grew to young manhood, ignorant of his royal parentage, in the deep and dangerous forests of fifth-century England and Wales, where no law was stable and fierce battle rages amongst the brooding mountains. When, in due course, Merlin guided him to the sword that tested his claim to power and the crown, Arthur became king by right, and soon Merlin, his adviser, was to emerge, however obscurely, as the architect of the first United Britain.
King Arthur plunged instantly into violent warfare against the Saxons. But in The Last Enchantment there are also more dangerous and subtle enemies ranged against him: Mortgause, half-sister and seductress of Arthur; their child, Mordred; the friends and kin who will betray him. Merlin's darkest prophecies were realized one by one, yet his bright vision of the future kingdom did prevail, and he foresaw the mystic power that would be at the King's service as long as Arthur lived.
The imaginative brilliance of the Merlin Trilogy completes the life and character of Merlin which are left untold in the early legends. At the end of each of the novels, Mary Stewart has set down the substance of the original legends and with it the sources of her own variations. Her portrait of Merlin is a new legend in itself.