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Grail (The Pendragon Cycle #5)

3.89  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,404 Ratings  ·  64 Reviews
The legend of King Arthur has been told many times—but never with the strength and resonance, passion and richness granted it in Stephen R. Lawhead's masterful

Pendragon Cycle

Drought, plague, and war have left the Isle of the Mighty battered and its heart, the beloved Arthur, grievously injured—until a secret relic is brought before the dying KIng; a Holy Grail that heals h
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Mass Market Paperback, 385 pages
Published June 1998 by Avon Books Inc. (first published July 1st 1997)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jessi
Dec 08, 2008 Jessi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Well, this is another book I'd put before book 3 of Arthur. Actually, I am reading the last book again. I feel that I need some sort of closure to wrap up the whole series.

I didn't really think about Gwalchavad much in the previous books, but he makes a very good narrator to this tale. I also love how Morgian's thoughts are all in italics. The best quote in the whole book, I think, is, "Forget swords and spears-children's playthings. I taught you better than that, Morgaws. I suckled you on venom
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Molly
May 15, 2016 Molly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, 5-stars
Esta é uma das sagas mais belas que tenho tido oportunidade de ler. Depois de ter lido os anteriores através da biblioteca, foi com grande prazer que descobri este exemplar na Feira do Livro de Setúbal há uns anos, sendo assim o único de seis livros fantásticos que se encontra nas prateleiras. E, depois de tanto tempo há espera, este exemplar foi lido.

Depois do quarto livro, Pendragon, e do final misterioso e um tanto atordoador, fiquei num hiatus entre a leitura desse e deste, Graal. Ainda bem
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Tara
Mar 28, 2007 Tara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Favorite Quotes

…when he smiles it is as if the sun itself has come from behind a cloud to light the dreary shadow-crowded way with dazzling warmth.

…to speak of her is to demean with words what is best expressed in a song; a wordless melody of the kind oft stroked on the harp of Myrddin's hand is the best description, I do believe, for when the harp strings sing and the heart shed's it's weariness and rises to the eternal dance, that is what it is like to behold [her].

Elegance finds its meaning i
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Laura
Jul 27, 2013 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Los dos anteriores libros de esta saga se me habían hecho bastante pesados. Batalla tras batalla interminable, siempre contra un enemigo más fuerte y numeroso que el anterior pero por suerte este fue totalmente diferente. Volvió un poco al espíritu que tenía Merlin donde la magia está presente. Morgian por fin toma protagonismo y nos muestra de lo que es capaz.
Gwalchavad me gustó como narrador, le agregó algo distinto a la saga, siendo su voz muy diferente a la de los demás narradores que tuvim
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Laurie
Jul 23, 2014 Laurie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Todd Stockslager
Jun 08, 2015 Todd Stockslager rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Book Five of The Pendragon Cycle, which fumbles to a close amidst a mumbo-jumbo of mysterious fogs, forest, and phantom fighters who attack the good guys (Arthur and Company) as they attempt to recover the stolen Grail. The Grail is the hero of the day, but with the wrap-up of the series in just a couple of pages, is curiously ignored.

I think it comes back with them to the home of the lost Atlanteans, where the story would then dovetail into the end of the third book, where Arthur is wounded in
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Randy Patton
Sep 07, 2015 Randy Patton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a pretty good conclusion to the Pendragon Cycle. In land full of pestilence and war, Arthur's posession of the Holy Grail has brought a peace to the land. Being enchanted by a mysterious woman, Arthur's champion disappears with the Grail. To keep peace within Britain, Arthur and his fellow warriors must take on his nemesis and retrieve the Grail .

This book definitely had a darker tone to it, which I could feel as I was reading it. It was well written to conclude the story without any lo
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Debra
Aug 14, 2016 Debra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I just finished (mostly on audiobook) the five-book Pendragon series by Stephen Lawhead. (These were all "Rex Quondam"--he's apparently done a "Rex Futurus," Avalon," semi-detached from the series, but I haven't read it yet.)

Lawhead's is a strongly Celtic Christian orientation and considering that the first book, Taliesin, was published in 1987, four years after The Mists of Avalon, I can't but wonder if his series wasn't in some sense a Christian "answer" to Bradley's pro-pagan, anti-Christian
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Jodi Woody
Last book of the "Pendragon Cycle" series, "Grail" shows more of the story from the evil side of things. I feel the same way about this one as I did about "Pendragon", because they are out of sequence, and there isn't a real clear timeline, I found myself thinking, "was this before this event??" So I really liked it, though I loved Taliesein, Arthur, and Merlin. I was kind of hoping that this one would solve the mystery of what happened to Arthur, but I guess, we will never know. That is part of ...more
Anthony Zappia
Beautifully written by Lawhead, as all the books in this series (Pendragon Cycle) have been. The story is narrated largely by Gwalchavad (Galahad) and in part by Morgain (Morgan Le Fay). The Holy Grail is clearly the centre/object/quest in the novel and we see Morgain's evil at its greatest extent in the series, as she strives to take the Grail and destroy Arthur and Merlin. My only complaint with the whole series is that it's disjointed. Both the books Grail and Pendragon should have been writt ...more
Samuel Lee
Jan 29, 2016 Samuel Lee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The book is compelling in every manner. One compelling aspect lies on how the book captures our daily lives as we try to become the Light of the world in a place full of dark temptations. It is a book where we all can make a certain resemblance to as it expresses the common struggle and remedy people who live in the Light has through the main characters of the story.
With both good and evil existing in the book and adding on, a thrilling twist, the Grail is a highly recommendable book to everyon
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James Wirrell
This is the fifth installment in the Pendragon series, and like the fourth book, Pendragon, it takes place within the time period of the third book, Arthur. On reflection, I think that there are two important things to note about this series: first, I think it is targeted at young adults, and second, Lawhead seeks to give it a Mabinogian-like feel. And do, I recall reading this series as a young adult and thinking the heroes were the best. Now my impression is that while they might be stout and ...more
Molly Murphy
I have been waiting FOREVER to read Grail! The narrator, surprisingly, was Galahad (Gwalchavad in the novel), a character much less explored. Lawhead took an uncommon road in making him the brother of Gwalcmai (Gawain) rather than his brothers being Gaheris, Agravain, and Gareth. I didn't know that in some old Welsh tales, they were brothers, rather than Galahad being Lancelot's son. I would have liked to see Gwalcmai appear in the novel, since he is my favorite of the Arthurian characters, but ...more
Ashley
Jan 24, 2014 Ashley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Cheryl
Jan 20, 2014 Cheryl rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was much better written, more exciting, and with more believable sorcery from Merlin and Morgian than "Arthur". That being said, I am confused about the layout of the two books "Arthur" and "Merlin" as their timelines overlap which took away the suspense and emotion of important characters dieing when you know that they must live and be present for Arthur's final battle. Also, it did not at the end connect Llenlleawg's final fate as a banished and disgraced traitor to his status in the ...more
Rusty
Feb 05, 2012 Rusty rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Seven years of war with the Saecens are followed by an Vandali invasion while the country reels from drought and plague. Arthur's tired host defeats the Vandali but Arthur is seriously injured. The wounds are great and he is taken to Ynys Avallach where Charis, a queen of the fair folk resides. It is hoped that her nursing skill may help him. There a miracle occurs and Arthur survives. That miracle is the Grail brought from its hiding place to heal the Pendragon. Arthur realizes that the Grail i ...more
Etienne02breton
Mar 23, 2014 Etienne02breton rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Le dernier livre du cyclde de Pendragon est vraiment excellent, probablement le meilleur de la série, peut-être une fin un peu trop heureuse à mon goût, mais le côté plus fantastique que dans les autres tomes m'a bien plu. Les personnages sont pour la majorité les mêmes que dans les livres précédents et quelques nouveaux, forts intéressants, y font également leur aparition. Une très bonne fin à une incroyable série, même si quelques points demeurent sans réponse... Je la recommande fortement à t ...more
Gabor Nyiro
Jan 20, 2015 Gabor Nyiro rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Second best book in the Pendragon cycle. A little bit darker mood , but more moral questions appeared and the story deeper than the prvious books; it is not just about battles and blind faith in christianity. I like that heroic protagonists are not completely faultless, they have now wrong decisions and they have to be face to face with them.
It is specially true to Arthur, who was a flawless semi-god in the previous books, but now he has to regrets some of his reckless decisons and has to deal w
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Heather
The least favorite of the Pendragon Cycle. It was redundant and ventured too far into the mystical and unlikely. The back and forth of Arthur's men and the voice of Morgan and her henchwoman did not match up well for me. I found it less compelling than the other books, although still good.
Becky
I truely enjoyed this book, it was from a voice I wasn't expecting to hear from, but enjoyed. Gwalchavad was a great person to hear the story from especially with Morgian's veiw sporatically added in. In this series I will admit my favorites were when Emrys was the voice, but I felt Gwalchavad was a okay substitue. While it is a great story, the series as a whole still feels unfinished. Since much of the seires skipped around in time, this book really falling in the middle with Arthur being the ...more
Meghan
Not surprisingly, this is about the Arthurian legend of the search for the Holy Grail (can you believe I've never seen the Monty Python movie so named?). I'm not really familiar with the myth other than the barest of ideas, influenced mostly by Indiana Jones, but it was an interesting story. Merlin's grandfather had possession of the Grail, and when Arthur was healed from a potentially mortal wound he built a shrine to house the Grail. That pride of thinking he could venerate and protect the Gra ...more
Debbie
May 12, 2009 Debbie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I listened to the audio book edition of this story and really enjoyed it. It's hard following the names when listening, but that was the only complaint I had. The story was so different than the usual Grail sagas, I found it intriguing. Stephen Lawhead writes great characters with a lot of depth and color. His battle scenes are always very graphic, but I think pretty realistic to the ways of fighting in that age, in a word - brutal. This series of books has presented the whole Arthurian Legend i ...more
Francine
This one totally lost me. I think I know what Lawhead intended to write, but his story got so convoluted in the middle there that it was very difficult to follow. I think a lot of other readers said that this one, out of the five in the series, was the one that made them scratch their heads. I think for me, the travails of Peredur and company on their grail quest had so much potential, but, in the end, was just really very poorly written. It didn't make much sense, and if Lawhead wanted to confu ...more
Kris
May 03, 2016 Kris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Part of the long long Pendragon cycle, but if you want an Arthurian legend that'll keep you interested on every page, you've found it.
Gabriel Wallis
Oct 11, 2014 Gabriel Wallis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Gabriel by: Rick Leiviska
Shelves: 2014, favorites
Loved reading Grail! It was definitely the darkest of the Pendragon Cycle, though. As you can guess by the title, the book's about the Holy Grail.
Brad
Feb 02, 2011 Brad rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another winner. These books were really quite good, and must therefore exceed the typical 3 star max for sci-fi/fantasy. The only trouble was straightening out the chronology which suggested an artsy-fartsiness that I simply didn't expect from the fantasy genre. All said and done, I have never read another Arthur retelling that I feel like did the mystery and fun nearly so much justice. Pick it up. Love it.
JC
Oct 29, 2011 JC rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-firsttime, kindle, 2011
This was a good ending to this series and I enjoyed it. The story takes place at the dawn of the Summer Age as the Grail is put up to display the time of peace but is shortly stolen and must be recovered by Arthur and his men. This series overall was pretty good and I enjoyed it despite the fact that it is a bit of a fantasy series. Lawhead is a really good author and look forward to reading more from him.
Sonny
Mar 24, 2013 Sonny rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book makes me wish the rating system gave negative stars because I would give it a negative three if I could. I don't care for books that have characters with unpronounceable names and this book is a classic example. Llenlleawg, Gwrgan Ffrych, Cyllin ap Caradoc and Cynfarch to name (?) a few. Do me a favor and use modern names and quit ruining books that would otherwise be good reads!
Douglas Hayes
Lawhead is a Christian writer that has the ability to weave Christianity into the fabric of a story (even historical fiction) without cheapening the faith or ruining the story. This is what he has accomplished in his telling of Arthur story.

Imagine beginning with the destruction of Atlantis, the conversion of the Druids and Christianization of the British Isles. A fantastic story!
Mandy
Oct 11, 2012 Mandy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, audio
Finally. I'm not sure why the two central books (3&4) that actually focus on Arthur in this Arthurian legend series were so damn boring to me, but this last one focusing on the trial of the Grail as told by Gwalchavad (Galahad) finally brought back the enjoyment I had in the first two books of the Pendragon Cycle (the ones focusing on Charis and Merlin).
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Stephen R. Lawhead is an internationally acclaimed author of mythic history and imaginative fiction. His works include Byzantium, Patrick, and the series The Pendragon Cycle, The Celtic Crusades, and The Song of Albion.

Also see his fanpage at Myspace:
http://www.myspace.com/stephenlawhead...

Stephen was born in 1950, in Nebraska in the USA. Most of his early life was spent in America where he earned
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More about Stephen R. Lawhead...

Other Books in the Series

The Pendragon Cycle (6 books)
  • Taliesin (The Pendragon Cycle, #1)
  • Merlin (The Pendragon Cycle, #2)
  • Arthur (The Pendragon Cycle, #3)
  • Pendragon (The Pendragon Cycle, #4)
  • Avalon: The Return of King Arthur (The Pendragon Cycle, #6)

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“Power as I possess is not, as many believe, given in exchange for a soul. To hear the ignorant speak, one would think it is merely a simple bargain, an exchange of vows, perhaps, and the power one seeks simply flows from the fingertips for the asking. But no, it is not so easy as that! The truly great gifts are not gifts at all, but treasures obtained after long and difficult searching, prizes won only through hard-fought victories over relentless, near-invincible adversaries. [...]
The ignorant speak of hidden arts, but they are not hidden. Indeed, there is nothing secret about them at all; they are freely open and available to any who would pursue them. Ah, but the price! The price is nothing less than the devotion of an entire life. So perhaps the simple-minded are right, after all, in thinking of the acquisition of power as a pact in which the soul is bartered. There is no other way.
- Morgian”
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