The Last Enchantment (Merlin, #3) (Arthurian Saga #3)
Arthur Pendragon is King! Unchallenged on the battlefield, he melds the country together in a time of promise. But sinister powers plot to destroy Camelot, and when the witch-queen Morgause Arthur's own half sister ensnares him in an incestuous liaison, a fatal web of love, betrayal, and bloody vengeance is woven....more
The first three stories in this series are told from Merlin's perspective. Although Merlin cares about the outcome of the battles, his powers let him know that they will turn out alright. He's also not worried ab ...more
I read the original Merlin trilogy pretty much when it came out...I was 10 when I read The Crystal Cave and The Hollow Hills, and had to wait until I was 16 before Mary Stewart put out this book, the final book of the (then) trilogy. And what I remember was being disappointed in The Last Enchantment. It seemed like an afterthought, and a muddled one at that.
So, okay, fast forward--I couldn't sleep a couple of nights ago, and I wolfed down The Crystal Cave and The Hollow Hil ...more
In these, I learned to love Merlin. The wars, "history" of England, and the ultimate rise of Arthur were merely background for Merlin. **spoiler alert** And in this book, Merlin was waxing old, by his standards. I imagine he ...more
I’ve been fascinated by Arthurian Legend for a long time and have read a number of versions of the story. This trilogy is one of the most popular versions and I enjoyed it, but with some reservations. I liked getting the story from Merlin’s point of view. One of the most exciting things about these books is the way that magic and the mundane coexist. Merlin does possess real magic, but he’ ...more
In s ...more
The Last Enchantment is perhaps slightly less interesting than the previous two books; all the big events have already happened, and Stewart has less legend to draw on. But there ...more
Stuart makes the Legend of King Arthur come alive again in her telling of the tale through Merlins eyes. The third book of the Arthurian Saga is enjoyable to read, splendidly written, and an inescapable pleasure. The most climatic book of the saga yet. I found this book so wonderfully ...more
Let me start by saying that there are definitely some things I like about The Last Enchantment – the writing is clear and engaging, for starters, and I continue to appr ...more
I've had THE LAST ENCHANTMENT since 1983, and am glad that I finally bit off this piece of the series. VERY satisfying. I will take a short break, then move on to the WICKED DAY (which I've only had since 1984).
I can remember enjoying Books I and II when I read them in the 70s, but can't remembe ...more
The first book "The Crystal Cave" was wonderful and Mary Stewart's characterization of Merlin is masterful. He is an instantly likeable hero and her language is descriptive and beautiful. The way she tells of the plot to arrange Arthur's birth was particularly clever.
Then comes "The Hollow Hills". Still going strong she further develops the characters of Arthur and Merlin. The part at the end was a little icky for me the first time but it was important to t ...more
I always find that Arthur stories are weaker once Arthur becomes king. Stewart's series is no exception. The first two books were a really enjoyable buildup of Merlin's character, but once Arthur is king, time speeds ahead, Merlin's role fades, and the plot fractures into multiple somewhat-resolved threads.
What was odd about Stewart's take on Arthur's reign was how many elements of the legendary story are very different in her version. I know this is probably because her version is based on trad...more
This is an excellent ending to a great story about Merlin. I loved seeing Merlin age by comparing him to the boy he was in the beginning. It was a great life to wander through. Merlin's friendship with Arthur never failed; very touching.
Stewart gives reason and life to the fantastical stories ...more
on the whole, anyway. I really enjoyed this, as I did the first two books, which I read ages ago as they were early editions found on my parents' shelves. I don't remember finding this third book, or even knowing of its existence, so I was pleased to discover it recently.
The writing style is slower and more sumptuous than modern popular fantasy/historical fiction. The story too is slower, particularly in this third book where, if you were to write a synops ...more
But there you have it.
The Last Enchantment is the third installment in Mary Stewart's Arthurian saga about her hero, Merlin. I'm sad to say that it very seldom shows that wonderful poetry that her writing did in the previous volumes, especially in The Crystal Cave.
So what sort of story is t ...more
Yes, I had to start by thanking the author because this Trilogy (Merlin's) is by far the best recreation of the story/legend we know through fiction writers, and dare I say, through pseudo-historians.
It's not through the story in itself, but through its characters that we live it in Stewart's creation. We visit the places and we inhabit them, not in simple passing, but in the way we inhabit places in our own life. Each place, each object, each character breathes its own a ...more
Many modern adaptations of the Arthurian legends have a tendency to flag and fade as they move towards their end. The reason that this happens, I suspect, is connected to the current fashion for putting Merlin at the centre of the story, when his place in the legends is virtually over with Arthur's accession of the throne. Then, the initiative shifts, and considerable changes would be needed to make him remain the most interesting hero. He is ...more
Lady Mary Stewart was a popular English novelist, and taught at the school of John Norquay elementary for 30 to 35 years.
She was one of the most widely read fiction writers of our time. The author of twenty novels, a volume of poetry, and three books for young readers, she ...more