Old-Barbarossa's Reviews > The Last Enchantment

The Last Enchantment by Mary  Stewart
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's review
Aug 26, 2008

liked it

An interesting but not entirely satisfying end to the Merlin trilogy.
I know that he’s only around at the start of many of the old Arthurian tales so it makes sense that things stop before all the big themes start (grail quest, Mordred’s rise, great deeds of Gawain etc.), and they are all hinted at, but I wanted more.
There are a couple of recurring Arthurian themes that are dealt with though and this is done well. The incident of the “May babies”, which many modern telling shy away from is handled well. Also, the whole Nimue thing.
In this book more than the others there seems to be many doubles or themes of duality: Merlin/Nimue; Nimue/Ninian; Morgan/Morgause; the 2 Caliburns; 2 capitals; Merlin’s 2 “homes”. All old vs new? The passing of the old and the spring shoots of the new?
Also touched on rather well is the Lance/Gwen/Arthur thing.
But for the final part in a trilogy it seems to just lay the groundwork for another pile of books. Also, there is much of the tale that the narrator tells 2nd hand as having been told it or had a vision of it...and some of these are big themes in Arthurian lit, but only touched on as peripheral to Merlin...this is fair I suppose as it’s Merlin’s tale, but I wanted more.
Will now have to read The Wicked Day to see if it all comes together in a way that makes the journey worthwhile.

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