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Preview — The Hollow Hills by Mary Stewart
The Hollow Hills (Arthurian Saga #2)
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I want to call this 'old school' fantasy. There is no graphic sex, violence, or even any flashy magic, but there is an aura of mystery & pomp that permeates the entire story. There is a hard core of realism tempered by spirituality that defines the world & the magic. The descriptions are lyric, too. A fantastic break from the current style of writing & yet not boring at all. In ...more
387. "Everyone knows the King's unchancy to cross. But you just looked cold as ice, as if you expected him to do what you wanted, just as everyone does! You, afraid? You're not afraid of anything that's real."
"That's what I mean," I said. "I'm not sure how much courage is needed to face human enemies- ...more
Mryddin first having a treasure hunt to find a long lost sword from Maximus, having found it hides it again in a place where Arthur would find it later. There was no Lady of the Lake figure, but with Myrddin hiding it on an island in the midde of a lake gave the story it's necessary mystery with Arthur discov ...more
Which is the primary problem. We can't engage with either the chief character of the novel or with his ostensible ward. We ...more
Before the Lord of the Rings, there was Arthur—Arthur and Merlin, Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, Arthur and Camelot. I had seen the movies Sword in the Stone and Camelot, read T. H. White’s Once and Future King, and other accounts of Arthur and the Knights, including translations of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight—but my very favorite of all these stories ...more
Stewart conducts a razor dance of intention and fate and volit ...more
Like the first, it has a distant, poetic view, that somehow (don't ask me how) manages to bring the characters closer to the reader, instead of the other way around. I keep being astounded at how effortlessly she makes these literary paintings of man, nature, kingdoms where an ever-present spirituality weaves through it all.
I have always had a problem ...more
First, I must say that this doesn't really qualify as historical fiction since Stwart states that she used a notoriously unreliable resource for entertainment value. And it even strays from what I know of the legend from other "entertaining" sources (T.H. White and Sir Thomas Malory). BUT, where Stewart really excells is taking the legend and puting it into a frame that is explainable w ...more
Though this series is about the life of Merlin, Stewart doesn't exactly give Merlin the most exciting life imaginable. Though he does travel, he also spends a good deal of time on his own, in his cave or living as a he ...more
One of the things I like about this version of the legend being told from Merlin's point-of-view is the su ...more
"Through a man's life there are milestones, things he remembers even into the hour of his de ...more
The Hollow Hills is the second volume of her Merlin series, the first of which, The Crystal Cave, being set prior to the birth of Arthur. Like the Cave, however, this novel is primarily about Merlin, Arthur being just a boy.
One of the things I've li ...more
1.) The Crystal Cave (1970)
2.) The Hollow Hills (1973)
3.) The Last Enchantment (1979)
The only distinct impression I have after reading The Hollow ...more
This series focuses on Merlin, making him quite a sympathetic character. It departs in places from the canonical storyline of Arthur (if there is one,) but the changes make sense in the context of Merlin's POV.
The Crystal Cave was a bit of a slow start for me, but by the end I was very eager to start Book 2, The Hollow Hills. It was fun to see that the second book picks up just moments after the first book finishes (though with some rather clunky exposition to give "the story up to now," which I guess is unavoidable). I found The Hollow Hills to be a really great story. In The Crystal Cave I was surprised by the nonliteral dragons under Vortigern's fortress, and in The Hollow Hills I was surprised by...more
In addition, much of the story was not all that relevant. There were times where I would skip entire pages that went on an on about political unrest with so and so in such and such a place. ...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