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Merlin (The Pendragon Cycle, #2)
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Merlin (The Pendragon Cycle #2)

4.05 of 5 stars 4.05  ·  rating details  ·  6,588 ratings  ·  164 reviews
It Is Roman Britain.Atlantis has been lost forever, and the reign of Arthur must be dreamed and fought into being.
Paperback, 484 pages
Published May 21st 1996 by Zondervan Publishing Company (first published 1987)
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The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer BradleyThe Once and Future King by T.H. WhiteMary Stewart's Merlin Trilogy by Mary StewartLe Morte d'Arthur by Thomas MaloryThe Winter King by Bernard Cornwell
Best Arthurian Fiction
11th out of 332 books — 1,177 voters
The Orb of Truth by Brae WyckoffThe Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. LewisThe Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. TolkienThe Magician's Nephew by C.S. LewisThe Last Battle by C.S. Lewis
Best Christian Sci-Fi/Fantasy
58th out of 314 books — 414 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways
Rating: 2.5* of five

The Publisher Says: He was born to greatness, the son of a druid bard and a princess of lost Atlantis. A trained warrior, blessed with the gifts of prophecy and song, he grew to manhood in a land ravaged by the brutal greed of petty chieftains and barbarian invaders.

Merlin: Respected, feared and hated by many, he was to have a higher destiny. for It was he who prepared the way for the momentous event that would unite the Island of the Mighty—the coming of Arthur Pendragon, Lo
This second book in the series takes us from Merlin's childhood to his saving baby Arthur (I don't think that's a spoiler---don't we all know he did that?). Unlike Taliesin, the narration is first person, which I think is right. I like Merlin telling his own story. I liked this one more than I liked Taliesin, but that was to be expected. Isn't Merlin everyone's favorite Arthurian character? Merlin is a character who's taken on many forms. I like the old Once and Future King/Disney Merlin (though ...more
Peter Walton-Jones
Merlin is the second book in the "Pendragon Cycle". I enjoyed the first book "Taliesin," and for me this was an even better read. The story of the ageless Merlin...bard, druid, king-maker, warrior. From his youth he is the central figure to this story of the political machinations of early Briton. The story has plenty of energy and although characters rise and fall, come and go, with great regularity it does not fail to drag the reader in all the way to the proverbial sword-in-the-stone-moment a ...more
Soooo.... Merlin was not nearly as good as Taliesin. I gave Taliesin 4 stars; I think Merlin will only get 3. It's far from being a bad book, but I may not be the right audience. Like Taliesin, it's epic fantasy and I am just not the biggest epic fantasy fan. But WOW-the writing! Lawhead is definitely a talented writer, and I can see why the hubby reads all his books.

Merlin is the second book in the Pendragon books by Stephen Lawhead, so there may be spoilers for Taliesin below.

This is the Goodr
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
the second book of the cycle, but the first book of the cycle that i read.. :p
all i can say is, this book made me love merlin even more.. ^_^
a must read for those of you who loves arthurian legend.. there's a bit of religious stuff in all of stephen r. lawhead's books, which is fine with me.. :)
I always love stories of Merlin and Arthur and this series has been good so far, however it is disturbing to me that Merlin is Christian in these books.
Rather to my surprise (considering I gave Taliesin a 3-star rating), I'm giving this one a 5-star rating. It didn't keep my spellbound throughout, and in the middle I felt it dragging several times, but really, now that I'm finished with it, I found myself rather impressed, indeed.

The first person perspective works much better in this one than the third-person perspective of Taliesin. Reading it is like seeing out of the eyes of a strange, crotchety, yet impressive and ageless old man, which is
The story of Merlin before Arthur. His journey to becoming the wise man who orchestrates the creation of the fabled Kingdom of Summer. He has much to do and learn before he can become the man Britain needs.

I always like reading about Merlin's early life and this was especially well explored here. Merlin can be a bit shadowy in many Arthur-legends and Lawhead gives us insight by having Merlin narrate the book. He is looking back on his life, but he does not shy away from the painful and his own m
Brad McKenna
There was so much potential for this book to be great, but it only succeeded in being good. It opens with his getting ready to take and hide the infant Arthur before taking a step back and detailing Merlin's own history. Because of this it seemed to act as a bridge between the first book in the series (Taliesin) and the next book (Arthur). I understand the plot device, by starting in medias res, you pull the reader in promptly. However, in this case it strips something from the book by making me ...more
The second book in Stephen Lawhead's Pendragon Cycle, Merlin continues the story where Taliesin left off. However, this book could be read as a stand alone and as such, it is not necessary to read Taliesin (the story of Merlin's parents) before reading this book.

We are shown Merlin as a young child, his teaching from the kindly druid Hafgan and the priest Dafyd, then to his capture by a small tribe and his years in imprisonment, to his adult life. His adult life is where most of the actions take
Este é o segundo livro do Ciclo Pendragon, de Stephen R. Lawhead. Depois de ter lido "Taliesin", foi com grande interesse que me debrucei sobre "Merlim".

Bem, não tenho nada a apontar em termos de negativo. Este é um excelente livro, com uma história muito bem escrita, cheia de detalhes e de beleza. A narrativa de Merlim (narrador presente)é resplandecente de beleza e magia. É muito interessante o facto de ele ir fazendo pequenos comentários ou mesmo interjeições sobre assuntos que mais à frente
Simon Mcleish
Originally published on my blog here in October 2001.

The second of the novels in Lawhead's Arthurian series is written from the point of view of Merlin, who is made a descendant of the Atlanteans who settled in Britain in the first novel about Merlin's father Taliesyn. The plot will be familiar - the traditional build-up to the accession o Arthur as king: the madness of Merlin, Vortigern inviting the Saxons to come to Britain as mercenaries, Ambrosius and Uther, the conception and hidden childho
Tori Wade
As the second book in the trilogy, I am suprised to say that I preferred it to the first. I enjoyed the character of Merlin more than his father, and I was glad to see Charis remained in the tale. Lawhead's choice of first person narration was a good one, even though the style was a bit rough at times.

This section of the tale had a bit more buy in from me, as I began readign with a greater appreciation for Merlin's role in uniting Britain. Additionally, the events unfolded in a less predictable
This second book in the Pendragon series tells the story of the magical and kingly Merlin.

The first part of the novel deals with Merlin’s childhood, his training in magic and in warfare, his marriage, and the winning of his kingdom. There follows a long period of seclusion and madness, after which Merlin re-enters the political life of Britain and dedicates himself to protecting the bloodline of Britain’s former emperor. The novel ends with the sword of Britain being embedded in the stone where
Paul 'Pezski' Perry
Rarely have I had such a strong negative reaction to a book. I hated it. And part of the reason, I think, I that the first volume, Taliesin, was superb. But while in Taliesin Lawhead spun an intriguing tale that treated the source material with respect, Merlin quickly becomes a religious tract proclaiming how superior christianity is to the pagan religions that it displaces.

For me, Lawhead did two unforgivable things in this book. First, he makes Merlin a christian and a missionary. Yes, of cou
Humility, if it comes at all, almost always comes too late.

This book follows the life of Merlin from childhood to Arthur's birth. Merlin is my favourite character from Arthurian legend so I was super excited to start reading this book and it didn't disappoint me!

I loved reading about Merlin as a young boy because he was so full of wonder and curiosity. A quote that I LOVE is the one from when he first uses his powers.

In the centre of the grove stood a small stone circle. The moment I set foot
Lydia Presley
I struggled with Merlin. While I loved Taliesin there were aspects of that book as well that I struggled with, mostly the names and places. I took my time reading it and then I took my time reading Merlin and with Merlin, I just ended up feeling completely out of my depths.

I felt while I was reading this story, that I should have come into it knowing a little more about the history. As it was, I was surrounded by names and places that I couldn't pronounce and a story that I just couldn't follow,
Vesta Hermione Phoenix Pimentel
Stephen Lawhead really quenched my thirst of ow this beloved character came to legend. I like how he portrayed Merlin's lineage, how he spent his young life learning the craft and how he came to be the original sorcerer in fiction who is still a household name till now.

It's more of the Harry Potter book 1-7 compressed in a single book, from an earlier century.

A little downside though, I hope he expounded more on what happened to Atlantis. I can not find good enough books for that tale. +.+

Oh we
Stephen Jolly
MERLIN is definitely my FAVOURITE book in the Pendragon Cycle. In fact if I remember right I read it before Taliesin, because the Library did not have it at the time. But it mattered little, because Merlin got me hooked on Stephen Lawhead and I then read Taliesin, Arthur, Pendragon, Grail and Avalon. Have read all his books since and before.
Katie Varga
I can't decide which book was better so far. Maybe this one was a bit more exciting. There was a part around the middle of the story which was so cruel that I just wanted to tear apart or burn the book, apart from this I really loved it. And it was great to meet some people from the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles in this book.
Gabriel Wallis
Sep 23, 2014 Gabriel Wallis rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Verity Wallis
Recommended to Gabriel by: Rick C. Leiviska
Shelves: favorites, 2014
Merlin was one of the best books I've read in a while. It was better than book one in the Pendragon Cycle, Taliesin. The book, as the title suggests, is about Myrddin, which is another name for Merlin. It's about his discovery of God. Stephen R. Lawhead, the author of Merlin, did such an excellent job bringing God into the Authurian legend and showing God's characteristics through the multiple stories going on throughout the book, that anyone walking away from the book without knowing God must b ...more
Merlin tells his own story in this novel, the second in the Pendragon series. I loved the tale which begins with Merlin's musings about his life, his various educational experiences, his chosen isolation in the wilderness after the murder of his beautiful wife and child and his recovery from his grief to become a force in his world. Lawhead writes so well as Merlin that the transitions from one portion of the novel to another flow effortlessly and keep one turning page after page. When he saves ...more
What a book!

The second installment in the Pendragon Cycle left me just as eager for more as the last one did. Carrying on Lawhead's standards of vivid descriptions and British heritage, Merlin focused on the life of Merlin Ambrosius and his preparation for the coming of the Pendragon.

Lawhead skillfully kept his books consistent in histories, leaving a reader feeling as if this could have indeed happened. I loved the fact that there was no outright magic/spellcasting battles between Merlin and Mo
Merlin starts off quite closely to where Taliesin leaves off. It follows the life of Merlin; his growing up, his time as a warrior and King, and finally as a protector and advisor of Arthur.

I vastly preferred this over the first book. Reading from Merlin's point of view was much more exciting than Charis, or Taliesin himself. The book itself can still be quite preachy - people who are not religious may find it a bit much at times, however if you can get passed it you are in for a real treat. Law
I continued my Arthurian travails with The Pendragon Cycle series. This is a modern sci-fi / fantasy take on the Arthurian legends. The first book started off as an interesting fantasy take on Arthur with some Atlantis thrown in. I thought it was pretty original and easy reading at first. However, the characters were pretty weak and didn't keep me totally engaged. As the series progressed, it dragged more and became a lot more preachy and the characters were just too shallow. The prose was overl ...more
If only you could do partial stars on goodreads, but you can't. I would give this book 3.5 stars, I think. It was pretty good. Way better than Taliesin (book 1 in this series), in my opinion. Things that were confusing and unexplained in Taliesin founds their explanation in Merlin. Unlike Taliesin, Merlin was written in first person, which allowed us to know Merlin's character and relate to him somewhat.
I thought this book highly entertaining, though a little preachy at times. I tried not to le
All in all it's not bad. I was really skeptical of the concept of Merlin being a Christian. Arthur, I have no problem being a Christian King, that's part of who he's always been. But Merlin always struck me as a tie to the paganism of old. However, Lawhead seemed to pull it off. I was entertained at the very least.

Beyond the christian aspects there was a nice blend of myth and history. I get annoyed when someone tries to tell an overly realistic Arthurian legend or one that seems it might as we
Tristan Berrell
This book had one of the best fight scenes I've ever read, and it remains vivid in my memory to this day, even though I read this many years ago. This was easily my favourite book of the series.
Mara Ness
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This book isn't merlin, need to know what it's called? 1 17 Jun 02, 2013 09:03PM  
how is christianity portrayed in this book? 3 43 Jun 20, 2011 12:15AM  
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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:

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

Other Books in the Series

The Pendragon Cycle (6 books)
  • Taliesin (The Pendragon Cycle #1)
  • Arthur (The Pendragon Cycle #3)
  • Pendragon (The Pendragon Cycle, #4)
  • Grail (The Pendragon Cycle, #5)
  • Avalon: The Return of King Arthur (The Pendragon Cycle, #6)
Taliesin (The Pendragon Cycle #1) Hood (King Raven, #1) Arthur (The Pendragon Cycle #3) Scarlet (King Raven, #2) The Paradise War (The Song of Albion, #1)

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“Perhaps it is how we are made; perhaps words of truth reach us best through the heart, and stories and songs are the language of the heart” 33 likes
“Humility, if it comes at all, almost always comes too late.” 25 likes
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