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El Ultimo Encantamient...
Mary Stewart
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El Ultimo Encantamiento (Merlin, #3) (Arthurian Saga #3)

4.13 of 5 stars 4.13  ·  rating details  ·  10,658 ratings  ·  254 reviews
Arthur is King! But while he is unchallenged on the battlefield, sinister powers plot to destroy him in his own Camelot. When the rose-gold witch Morgause, Arthur's half-sister, ensnares him into an incestuous liason—and bears his son, Mordred, to use to her own evil ends—a fatal web of love, betrayal and vengeance begins…

Seen through the eyes of Arthur's prophetic protect
651 pages
Published (first published 1979)
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I've been reading this King Arthur series over and over since I was a teenager. I love it so much, I have a hard time reading any other version of the King Arthur tale. The series is written from the viewpoint of Merlin.
I have to disagree with Landon's review of this novel, as I think it misses the point. This is not a series that's particularly interested in the great doings of Arthur and his knights. It is interested in depicting the way people relate to each other within a framework set by prophecy.

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
Benjamin Thomas
This third book of Mary Stewart's "Merlin Trilogy", The Last Enchantment has proven to be my favorite of the set. I tend to judge the books I read by the style of book it is and how well it meets my expectations for the genre. For example, a really good adventure/thriller novel makes me want to keep reading faster and faster to get to the, hopefully, satisfying conclusion. A good mystery may make me read a bit slower to make sure I'm not missing some vital clue along the way. The Last Enchantmen ...more
John Porter
And now a happy story.

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
I don't think this is the correct edition. Mine isn't abridged, but I didn't see the correct one. I think the reader is correct & very good. An excellent end to the trilogy. I know Stewart added another book years later & while I have read it once, I don't really want to listen to it. This is plenty.
Jul 18, 2008 Alyson rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Alyson by: Deann Morin
Shelves: fiction, 2008
This book is definitely my least favorite of the three Merlin books in this series by Mary Stewart. I've not read much at all of Arthurian legend, and aside from this trilogy the only other was YA lit The Squire's Tale and its sequel. In those I learned to love Sir Gawain.

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
Aug 10, 2012 Terence rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Arthurian fiction
The Last Enchantment covers the first decade or so of Arthur’s reign. While I found myself enjoying it more than The Hollow Hills, it suffered from the same flaws I found in that book – namely, the second-hand nature of much of the narrative. Nearly everything is related to Merlin by a third party with the exception of Melwas’ abduction of Guinevere and Merlin’s tutelage of Nimuë, whom he believes is a boy in the beginning. Yet even in the latter episode, Merlin spends much of the time in a drea ...more
Shelby *wants some flying monkeys*
Not bad. Stewart makes her characters likeable even the baddies. Merlin is telling the story and so he lets you see every side of the story. I think these books were written in the 70's, however they don't seem dated and I really enjoyed my time with them.
The third installment of the Arthurian Saga tracks the beginning of Arthur’s reign as king and the ending years of Merlin. The pace is quite different than the first two, and the story is sort of away from most of the action going on in Britain. This is due to the fact that Merlin is our main character, and it is told from his perspective, and Arthur is the one going off and making things happen, and while Arthur tells Merlin what is going on when he comes back, we are no longer there first hand ...more
Andrea Paterson
This review is for the entire Merlin Trilogy (The Crystal Cave, The Hollow Hills, and The Last Enchantment):

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’
I had a harder time getting through this book than I did the earlier two books on Merlin. Stewart switches gears in this book, and makes it just on Mordred, the bastard son of ARthur and Morgana who was to become Arthur's bane. The book is very good, and the plot is much better than any I've read on Mordred...he isn't a bad man, he doesn't 'plan' Arthur's demise or to betray his's just that fate and mistakes of man have made it so the two men are destined to destroy one another.

In s
I love this trilogy. I knew a lot about the Arthur myths before reading, and I liked that she tried to get as close to the truth of the myth as possible, even by excluding some characters that we know had been invented later for the sake of adapting the Arthur myth to that current audiences' taste. I loved Merlin's character, and that he was not all powerful, or all knowing, but vulnerable and human. I loved the ending she gave to Merlin, I'm so happy she didn't give him a shameful end, by being ...more
I must say, I do like series books where the next book picks up a heartbeat after the last book ended. As The Lsat Enchantment opens, Arthur has just been crowned, and Merlin is deputed to deal with Morgause's incestuous pregnancy with Mordred, Arthur's bastard son/nephew, who will ultimately bring about Arthur's death.

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
Rachel Marie
In the third book of Mary Stuart's Arthurian Saga we go into more detail of King Arthur's struggle with making Britain whole and safe, keeping his enemies at bay, and dealing with the enemies within his own family.

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
Stace Dumoski
To say that I was unenthusiastic when I started reading the third book in Mary Stewart’s Merlin trilogy would not be an understatement. It is also true to state that I was largely unenthusiastic when I finished reading the book, too, proven by the fact that it’s taken me about two weeks to get around to writing this post about it.

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
I liked this one less than the other two in the series, possibly because there's so much time passing, and possibly because Merlin's fading. Either way, it just wasn't as enjoyable as the first two books. I also realized that, if you wanted to, you could read this one as a stand-alone. There's an awful lot of exposition -- which if you've read all three books, is tiresome -- that makes the other two (mostly) unnecessary. That said, I think Stewart's books are an important part of Arthurian lore.
Michael Stewart
Book III of the "Merlin" trilogy, or Book IV of the "Arthurian" series, if you include THE WICKED DAY. (DAY is more King Arthur without Merlin, who has presumably moved on to another post-earthly realm.)

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
A terrible ending to a nice beginning.
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
Mark ~ Sinfully All Male Romance
Not a lot more to add from what I said before about the previous two book. A superbly written and well conceived tale of Arthur. Really liked the twist in the story with Guinevere and two scheming and treacherous sisters spelling double trouble for Arthur. Looking forward to the fourth book now.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This was always my favorite book in the series. I love arthurian legend, and reading about the legend from the perspective of Merlin always fascinated me. The plot really picks up the pace in this book, and it is a wonderful classic.
Neil Coulter

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

I put off reading this one for so long, because it is the last of the trilogy, and I thought I knew how it would end. But my fears were unfounded, and I want to read the trilogy again.
The first two books of the trilogy were engaging if a little heavy, but this one. Mercy. 4 weeks later I was only a third of the way through the book. I gave it up.
I thought I had read this way back when because I had read the previous two in this series. Apparently I never got to this one. It came out after I had read the first two and I didn't pick it up at the time.

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
My thoughts on The Last Enchantment are in the same vein as the thoughts I had about the preceding titles in the series (for my reviews of those, see The Crystal Cave and The Hollow Hills). Those thoughts are: "slow", "anti-women", and "shoulda read it as a kid". The idea of a retelling of the Arthur myth through the lens of Merlin's perspective intrigued me, but I was left thinking that I've read so much more challenging material to find Mary Stewart's version anything but simply adequate. But, ...more
They don't write them like this anymore.

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
Janne Varvára
So here's the deal: I probably wouldn't have rated this book so low if it hadn't been such a great disappointment after the two previous ones in the series, the first of which nearly made me fall off my chair.
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
Thank you, Mary Stewart.

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
Simon Mcleish
Originally published on my blog here in November 2001.

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
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

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 about Mary Stewart...

Other Books in the Series

Arthurian Saga (5 books)
  • The Crystal Cave (Arthurian Saga, #1)
  • The Hollow Hills (Arthurian Saga, #2)
  • The Wicked Day (Arthurian Saga, #4)
  • The Prince and the Pilgrim (Arthurian Saga, #5)
The Crystal Cave (Arthurian Saga, #1) The Hollow Hills (Arthurian Saga, #2) The Wicked Day (Arthurian Saga, #4) Nine Coaches Waiting The Moonspinners

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