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The Prince and the Pilgrim (Arthurian Saga #5)

3.63  ·  Rating Details ·  1,385 Ratings  ·  86 Reviews
The bestselling author of the acclaimed Merlin Trilogy returns to the magical world of King Arthur and Camelot--to tell a story of daring adventure, unexpected love, and unsurpassed enchantment. . . .ALEXANDER THE FATHERLESS

Eager, burning, and young, Alexander has come of age to take vengeance on the treacherous King of Cornwall who murdered his father. He sets off toward
Paperback, 320 pages
Published March 2nd 1997 by Ivy Books (first published January 1st 1995)
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Jean It can be read as a stand-alone book. Events in the other books are mentioned, but are not really integral to the understanding of this one.

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This was a light, enjoyable finish to Mary Stewart’s Merlin and King Arthur series – a series which I just discovered this past year and eagerly consumed. It does not hold up to the outstanding level of the other four books, three of which now adorn my favorites-of-all-time bookshelf, but that is okay.

Rather than it being a continuation of the series, The Prince and the Pilgrim is really a separate story. We don’t visit with my treasured Merlin; there are no encounters with the celebrated King
Sara Steger
Sep 26, 2016 Sara Steger rated it liked it
If you are expecting to re-enter the world of Merlin and Arthur that Mary Stewart gave us in the Merlin Trilogy, you will be disappointed in The Prince and the Pilgrim. It is a sweet little tale. Sort of like reading a myth or a fairytale for me. I enjoyed it, but I saw it as an after-thought. Mary Stewart said she had wanted to include it as part of the Merlin stories but there was no logical place to put it, so it got a book of its own. She was 80 years old when she wrote it, and by that time ...more
Three and a half stars out of five. Review to follow.
Julie Bozza
Feb 20, 2013 Julie Bozza rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arthurian, fiction
I really enjoyed this novel. It's rather shorter and lighter than Stewart's other Arthurian novels, but that's no bad thing in itself. It also takes place elsewhere in Arthurian Britain (as well as on pilgrimage to Jerusalem and Tours), so is somewhat tangential to the core legends.

The novel tells the tales of Alice the Pretty Pilgrim and Alexander the Fatherless. The two characters and their stories can be found in Malory, but Stewart has woven a full novel from such brief allusive origins.

Camille Siddartha
Jan 14, 2016 Camille Siddartha rated it it was amazing
I liked how the story went actually. Normally I do not and have to suffer through it all...Good read.
Suz Thackston
Dec 05, 2016 Suz Thackston rated it it was ok
First and only Mary Stewart book I've ever put down due to lack of interest. I didn't think it was possible. I don't believe she really wrote it- I think someone found the notes in her office after she died and 'finished' it for her.
Oct 08, 2016 Patricia rated it liked it
This is more YA than actual adult reading. If I was a YA reader I would give this a 4 or 5 star rating. Mary Stewart has taken the story of Alice la Beale Pilgrim and Sir Alisander Le Orphelin from Thomas Malory and turned it into a very readable novel with attractive and convincing characters and believable settings. The young man Alexander rides out on a quest to avenge the murder of his father and the young girl Alice travels to the pilgrimage sites of Jerusalem and Tours with her father. At ...more
Elaine Cougler
Oct 01, 2016 Elaine Cougler rated it really liked it
The Prince and the Pilgrim by Mary Stewart is another Arthurian-type myth novel in Stewart's tradition. It is somewhat predictable but a good read nevertheless.
Simon Mcleish
Jan 14, 2013 Simon Mcleish rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
Originally published on my blog here in January 2002.

When I first read this novel, quite soon after it was published, I thought it was the poorest that Stewart had written. On re-reading it, I have modified my opinion, and new feel that it is not actually too bad, even if not among her best.

The story is an adaptation from the tale of Alisander le Orphelin and Alice la Beale Pilgrim from the Morte d'Arthur, shorn of the late-medieval knight errantry so that it can be fitted into the sixth century
Dec 09, 2012 Amelmag rated it liked it
This story may not burn with the white radiance of Stewart's Merlin trilogy, but it is, nevertheless, a joy to be allowed to re-inhabit ancient Britain, if only for a while.

A sweetly told story, though there is little here by way of a driving force of plot or action. It is, in some ways, the equivalent of one of her 'modern' mysteries, transplanted into Arthurian legend.

Stewart's writing, on the whole, also lacks the radiance I remember, though I begin to wonder if it was ever truly present. Is
Sep 27, 2007 Lissa rated it it was ok
Mary Stewart is fairly well known for her retelling of the myths of King Arthur. I picked up this book up quite some time ago. It is the retelling of two less known characters in the king Arthur myth - Alisander the Orphan and Alice the pilgrim. In Thomas Mallory's book, these two characters occupy a few pages of one of the books in his novel. Thus, Stewart did not have too much to work with in her expansion and retelling of the story. It's quite easy to see this in the book.

Most of the book is
Mary Stewart has long been a favorite of mine but as happens I moved onto other authors. I have read quite a few of her books.......I believe I read her Merlin Trilogy twice as I am a fan of Merlin and King Arthur.

Now I have found her again and with good reason.

Alexander is a prince without a kingdom as his father was ruthlessly murdered by King March of Cornwall. His mother only just escaped with Alexander to her family home in Rheged to hide. When Alexander comes of age he leaves Rheged to see
Jul 21, 2016 Jean rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wanted to finish Stewart's Arthurian books, so I broke down and bought the hardback. I'm glad that I did, because I will probably re-read this in the future. It was my "take to appointments" book for several months. That book has to hold my interest over time and be memorable enough that I can set it down and easily resume it a few weeks later.

This is one of the background stories in the Arthurian legends and Mary Stewart has fleshed it out with richly drawn characters. I liked the main chara
Mar 15, 2011 Phoebe rated it liked it
Shelves: historical, adult, fantasy
Prince Alexander is born into a dangerous world, since his father is brother to the volatile, unpopular March, King of Cornwall. March murders his brother, leaving widowed Princess Anna and young Alexander vulnerable and fleeing for their lives. Years pass and just before Alexander turns 18 his mother shares the truth of his past with him and taxes him with the quest to avenge his father. Alexander falls into the hands of Morgan, who of course enchants and seduces him, before he at last finds hi ...more
Jul 18, 2011 Cassandra rated it liked it
A sweet, if a bit rambling, love story. The five-star system doesn't really work for me; I can better sum up my opinion by saying that, in the scheme of Mary Stewart's works, this didn't come close to the scope of the Merlin trilogy (still my favorite), but better than The Wicked Day. I was unfamiliar with this thread of the Arthurian legend, so spent much of the book wondering where it all was going. But after reading the "original" in the afterward, I have to admire the way Stewart was able to ...more
This was short, sweet, fairly predictable but still utterly delightful tale based on a brief passage in Malory's L'Morte D'Arthur about Sir Alisander and Alice la Beale Pilgrim.

I think my only complaint is the slightly uneven tone--the juxtaposition of scenes of fairly shocking violence within the rest of the fairly cheerful, buoyant narrative didn't quite fit; in my opinion, the characters reacted/reflected/adjusted/moved on far too quickly to be believable, sort of killing any realism gained
Jul 04, 2011 Caryn rated it liked it
I was pleased and surprised to come upon this late addition to Mary Stewart's Merlin books. Those are some of the best-researched historical fiction I've ever read, and I was glad to have another one to read. This book is set in that universe, but very few of the characters from the Merlin books appear in it. It takes place during Arthur's reign, probably around the same time period as The Wicked Day, and tells the story of Alexander and Alice, a prince whose father was killed when he was a baby ...more
Jan 03, 2016 Susan rated it liked it
Shelves: 2013books, 2016books
Eager, burning, and young, Alexander has come of age to take vengeance on the treacherous King of Cornwall who murdered his father. He sets off toward Camelot to seek justice from King Arthur, only to be diverted by the beautiful and sensual Morgan le Fay, Arthur's sister. Using her wiles and her enchantments, Morgan persuades the young prince to attempt a theft of the Holy Grail. He is unaware her motives are of the darkest nature. . . .

I adore the Merlin series which I first read as a teenager
Jun 17, 2009 Bunnymit rated it liked it
Mary Stewart is the author of a wonderful series of books dubbed "The Merlin Triology" and an interesting supplemental book on Mordred.
This book has nothing to do with that trilogy. It borrows one character, Morgan le Fay, who plays a decidedly secondary role.
The story is an expansion of a very brief legend translated from Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur. It is not complicated or convoluted. It contains no deep meaning and certainly doesn't enlighten or inform us about the Arthurian legend.
Jun 02, 2013 Faye rated it really liked it
I had no idea that Mary Stewart had written another book. I've read every one of hers and was pleased and encouraged to see that she wrote this one when she was about 80 years old. I've been a fan of hers since I read Madam Will You Talk which was published in 1955. Since she was one of a very few to introduce the genre of mystery-adventure- romance rolled into one - a very popular genre these days, and it seems she also spear headed the latest craze of magic with her Merlin books, I think she d ...more
Walter Conner
Jan 27, 2014 Walter Conner rated it liked it
Rather a light weight story after the initial four books in the Merlin series, but it definitely belongs in the series. Definitely would recommend reading the others before this one because of the occasional references to events in them, although she does give you a quick overview of the reference.
As usual, I stand in awe of Lady Stewart's breadth and use of vocabulary, her blending of her take on the "historical" readings (i.e. La Morte d'Arthur), and her skill in descriptive prose.
Although not
Aug 01, 2014 Karen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fifth in the series of Aurtherian Legend stories, this was not my favorite. Prince Alexander sets out for Camelot to avenge his father's death by the King of Cornwall, but is side tracked along the way by Morgan LeFay, Arthur's sister who bewitches him with drugged wine & attention. She then sends him on a quest to find the Holy Grail.
He sets off & along the way meets Alice, the motherless daughter of a royal duke who has traveled extensively with him including to Jerusalem more than o
Nancy Ellis
This is a shorter and "lighter" story than her Merlin series, but it's very enjoyable. She tells us in the Author's Note that she had wanted to insert it into the larger series, but she could never find the right place for it, so she made a separate book for it. It's based on one of Malory's tales of Alisander le Orphelin and Alice la Beale Pilgrim. Prince Alexander is on a quest to avenge the murder of his father but gets sidetracked by Queen Morgan, who then sends him off on a quest for the Gr ...more
Jul 02, 2013 Katrina rated it liked it
This book is set in the Arthurian era but is really quite different from Stewart's Merlin trilogy. She was inspired to write The Prince and the Pilgrim after reading about Alexander and Alice le Beale Pilgrim in Malory's Morte d'Arthur. When Alexander realises that his father had been murdered by his own brother, King Mark of Cornwall, Alexander sets out to get justice from Arthur at Camelot. Things don't go to plan and he is waylaid by Queen Morgan who plies Alexander with potions which keep hi ...more
Jun 19, 2012 Ria rated it it was ok
That feeling when one realises one has read someone's entire work! It was a good book, but not one of her best ones. The story is a little weak. It is based on several themes: Morgan La Fae's plots, the Golden Grail (the golden cup) and the famous Cornwall love-triangle. Tristan appears as the knight who helped the protagonist to escape, and Iseult as the new Irish queen. It is a possitive book, satisfying to those who believe in happy endings, a bit of chevalric actions and a simple love story.
More Mary Stewart in case I feel like reading.


I need to start over with The Crystal Caves and read them in order.


Not part of the Arthurian set, exactly.


Based on a Mallory story I'm not familiar with, but I thought Stewart did an excellent job of setting it into her universe of a Dark Ages Arthur. Romance, adventure, courtly danger. All well done. A most satisfying read.

Jul 14, 2011 Terri rated it really liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed returning to Mary Stewart's vision of Arthurian legend and 6th century times! This lovely romance falls in the time period between The Last Enchantment and The Wicked Day. As always, she has used Mallory's Morte d'Artur as well as historical sources as the germ of her story with delightful results. For those like me who find great pleasure in re-tellings and amplifications of the Arthurian tales, this is well worth reading. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
Andrea O'Brien
Jul 29, 2010 Andrea O'Brien rated it it was amazing
A thoroughly enjoyable twist on an old legend. I have read Mary Stewart before, primarily her Arthur series, and was delighted to find a book that took place within the same time period. Stewart writes this age with ease and her characters are always lively enough to be enjoyed the reader without being bogged down with copious detail. This was a nice easy historical fiction, heavy on the fiction, based a not-as-well-known legend.
Sep 12, 2009 Katie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This was a fairly simplistic type of story that was quite enjoyable. It ties in nicely with her earlier series that starts with the Crystal Cave. It seemed that maybe it was a fleshed out version of an old story. It is at least a bit based on Malory's "Alice la Beale Pilgrim and Alisander le Orphelin". It had a lovely nice ending. If you're looking for tense drama and dark endings...check out Sara Douglass...if you want a nice fairy tale, this is a good option.
Sep 14, 2016 Rachel rated it it was ok
I must agree with all the other reviewers. This book didn't have spark and vitality. These words here describe the ending of this book best: "...and they lived happily ever after...." so very simple. Not very dramatic. There was much to be done with this. It may have been best to arrange this into a series, instead of wrapping everything into one undescriptive book.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • Guinevere: The Legend in Autumn  (Guinevere, #3)
  • In the Shadow of the Oak King (Dragon's Heirs, #1)
  • The Coming of the King (Books of Merlin, #1)
  • The Child Queen: The Tale of Guinevere and King Arthur
  • Sword at Sunset
  • King Arthur
  • The Idylls of the Queen: A Tale of Queen Guenevere
  • Shadow of the King (Pendragon's Banner Trilogy, #3)
  • Grail (The Pendragon Cycle, #5)
  • Sons of Avalon: Merlin's Prophecy
  • Prophecy: Clash of Kings (Prophecy, #1)
  • The Child of the Holy Grail (Guenevere, #3)
  • The Fort at River's Bend (Camulod Chronicles, #5)
  • The Iron Grail (The Merlin Codex, Book 2)
  • Camelot's Blood (The Paths to Camelot, #4)
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 Last Enchantment (Arthurian Saga, #3)
  • The Wicked Day (Arthurian Saga, #4)

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