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

4.05 of 5 stars 4.05  ·  rating details  ·  5,682 ratings  ·  147 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
14th out of 311 books — 1,037 voters
The Orb of Truth by Brae WyckoffThe Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. TolkienThe Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. LewisThe Magician's Nephew by C.S. LewisThe Last Battle by C.S. Lewis
Best Christian Sci-Fi/Fantasy
54th out of 294 books — 362 voters


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Community Reviews

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Angie
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
Laurie
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Bianca
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.. :)
Robin
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.
Bob
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...more
Abigail
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...more
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
Melissa
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...more
Maria
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...more
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...more
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...more
Diane
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...more
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...more
Elise
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...more
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,...more
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...more
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.
Rusty
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
Somnite
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...more
Jeanne
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...more
Brian
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
Parisa
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...more
Adam
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...more
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 van Ness
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Toby Brennen
An incredible telling of the beginning of the Merlin legend. This 2nd book of The Pendragon Cycle by Stephen Lawhead was as energetic and inspiring as the first, Taliesin. While Taliesin is slightly edged with the lost 'sciences' of Atlantis, Merlin is strongly steeped in mysticism and mythology. Lawhead seamlessly integrates the various stories we all have heard of Merlin into a complex vision of the druid/bard king; incredibly human, divinely touched; passionate, yet passionless. Merlin's tale...more
Jennifer
Oct 13, 2011 Jennifer rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Jennifer by: Colie Gotcha
I'm gonna like this, i think, Merlin is a pompous little thing. Only on page 21 so far, but he seems awfully full of himself. Also,I like the fact this book is in the first person. I wonder why the switch? The last book, was written from the third person's point of view, and at the last moment, switched to first person, I won't say whom, no spoilers, here. I think I'm really going to enjoy this series... Kind of reminds me of "Mists of Avalon" which I thoroughly enjoyed, even reading it 3 or 4 t...more
Jeffrey Weir
I think that this book contained some of the most intense pages of content that I've read in a while. I've always grown up with the Disney perception of Merlin from "The Sword in the Stone," but Lawhead added so many more dimensions to this character. I like how Merlin is not a static character, focused only on what he can foresee, but he is dynamic and his struggles are brought to the forefront through the author's use of first person narrative. 5 stars was not enough for this book as it was ty...more
Cindy
Slow start with thisbook, but it ended with a bang. It was about Merlin's life and how he was constantly trying to protect Britian and its people. This book ends when High King Uther has died and there is fighting among the lesser kings for the title of High King. Merln is given the opportunity to become High King, but instead tells of the coming of the greatest King Britian has and will ever know. Merlin pledges his oath to this future king, who is only a baby at the time. This book also has pa...more
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This book isn't merlin, need to know what it's called? 1 12 Jun 02, 2013 01:03PM  
how is christianity portrayed in this book? 3 38 Jun 19, 2011 04:15PM  
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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...more
More about Stephen R. Lawhead...
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” 31 likes
“Humility, if it comes at all, almost always comes too late.” 23 likes
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