Madam, want to talk about author Mary Stewart? discussion

The Last Enchantment (Arthurian Saga, #3)
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Mary's Arthurian Series > The Last Enchantment - Book I (Dunpeldyr)

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message 1: by Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽, Moderator (new)

Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽ | 1084 comments And we're off! Please use spoiler tags where appropriate. It's helpful if you note the chapter that the spoiler is in so others know whether it's safe for them to open. Thanks!


Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 271 comments Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽ wrote: "And we're off! Please use spoiler tags where appropriate. It's helpful if you note the chapter that the spoiler is in so others know whether it's safe for them to open. Thanks!"

Thanks Tadiana - I hope to start in a couple of days.


Hana | 316 comments Thanks, Tadiana. I just finished re-reading The Hollow Hills, which was wonderful. I'm going to collect my thoughts and maybe add a few posts to the earlier discussion thread. I'll probably start The Last Enchantment tomorrow.

Debbie, Tadiana and Carol, I'm so looking forward to reading this with you :)


Hana | 316 comments Dunpeldyr: is it a place? Probably. I'm guessing it was J.K. Rowling's inspiration for Professor Dumbledore's name. There seem to be some parallels between Mary Stewart's rendering of the early Merlin-Arthur story and Dumbledore-Harry Potter in the early part of the Rowling's series.


Bobbie | 181 comments I started this today and am so looking forward to this one.


Hana | 316 comments Me, too, Bobbie. I'm sure I've read it but it's been at least thirty years!


debbicat *made of stardust* (cr8zycat) | 428 comments When is most everyone starting The Last Enchantment? I have a book to finish up. Looking forward to it. I read the first two maybe two years ago, but didn’t get to finish the series. While I have read many other Mary Stewarts in between, I always keep thinking I need to go back and finish the Merlin one. Oh, yall started today? Bobbie and Hana?


debbicat *made of stardust* (cr8zycat) | 428 comments Ok..I see tomorrow. I will try to start then as well. Squee!


message 10: by Hana (new) - rated it 3 stars

Hana | 316 comments I haven't started today (It's 11 pm Boston MA time). So, no pressure debbiecat ;)


debbicat *made of stardust* (cr8zycat) | 428 comments An hrs difference. It’s only 10 here! But I just got sucked into a NetGalley book I’m dying to read. It happens!


message 13: by Hana (new) - rated it 3 stars

Hana | 316 comments Enjoy and see you soon.


debbicat *made of stardust* (cr8zycat) | 428 comments I will start enchantment tomorrow regardless. Looking forward to the rest of the story. Night all . Zzzzz


Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 271 comments I've uploaded my copy on to Goodreads & I'm just about to start!


debbicat *made of stardust* (cr8zycat) | 428 comments What does that mean Carol? Upload on to GR?


Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 271 comments Enchantress debbicat ☮ wrote: "What does that mean Carol? Upload on to GR?"

I'm a librarian on GR so I have added my own copy.

There is already an incorrect copy on GR, but past experience tells me it is very difficult to get copies with wrong info removed, so I just uploaded a correct one. :)


debbicat *made of stardust* (cr8zycat) | 428 comments Oh yay! Cool then. ;)


message 19: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 1107 comments So, I'm at Chapter 7, and already the book seems cooler in tone, probably because although not much time has actually passed, Merlin has definitely aged. Cooler, that is, except for the paragraphs detailing his "dream" about Morgause and Lot. I had heard that there was some sensuality in this one, and as a prude of the first water, I admit to really not liking this passage. I understand that Morgause's evil is something that the reader needs to see, but I would have preferred less description and more inference...


debbicat *made of stardust* (cr8zycat) | 428 comments I still need to start this. I want to finish up a NG book today hopefully. THen start. I heard about that dream. Interesting. Will chime in soon!


message 21: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 1107 comments Just when I was debating looking
through the previous books for Ulfin, Merlin reminds us of who he is at the beginning of Chapter 9. So many people to keep track of! Also, as a person who simply has to know where she's going, I really appreciate the map of Merlin's Journeys so I can follow along.


Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 271 comments Karlyne wrote: "Just when I was debating looking
through the previous books for Ulfin, Merlin reminds us of who he is at the beginning of Chapter 9. So many people to keep track of! Also, as a person who simply h..."


Oh good, I'm glad I'm not the only one with a map!

Great beginning to this book!


debbicat *made of stardust* (cr8zycat) | 428 comments I have started. I do like the refresher at the beginning. It’s been awhile since I read the second book. I do now remember most of those details.


message 24: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 1107 comments What a chilling ending to Book 1...


message 25: by Hana (new) - rated it 3 stars

Hana | 316 comments Ch. 1 "Fool, I told myself, fool. He is about his own business now. You loosed him, and lost him; that is one hawk who will never be hooded again. Stay back in the shadows, king's profit; see your visions and dream your dreams. Leave life to him, and wait for his need." Merlin's role and relationship with Arthur has changed and there is a sadness to the moment of triumph.


message 26: by Hana (new) - rated it 3 stars

Hana | 316 comments Ch. 4 "Where the ferry crosses, the Severn estuary is wide, with big tides that come up fast over thick red mud. Boys watch the cattle night and day, for a whole herd can sink in the tidal mud and be lost. And when the spring and autumn tides meet the river's flow a wave builds up like the wave I once saw in Pergamum after the earthquake."

These days the boys surf the awesome Severn bore wave: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IKA39...


message 27: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 1107 comments Hana wrote: "Ch. 4 "Where the ferry crosses, the Severn estuary is wide, with big tides that come up fast over thick red mud. Boys watch the cattle night and day, for a whole herd can sink in the tidal mud and ..."

Incredible! How did you know about it, Hana?!?


message 28: by Hana (new) - rated it 3 stars

Hana | 316 comments I just did a search based on Merlin's description and the video came right up on the first page.


message 29: by Hana (new) - rated it 3 stars

Hana | 316 comments Karlyne wrote: "So, I'm at Chapter 7, and already the book seems cooler in tone, probably because although not much time has actually passed, Merlin has definitely aged. Cooler, that is, except for the paragraphs ..." True! Though I understand why MS included that since it gives an excellent sense, both of Morgeuse's character and of her relationship with Lot.


message 30: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 1107 comments Hana wrote: "I just did a search based on Merlin's description and the video came right up on the first page."

Google really is wonderful! I'd never heard of it before!


message 31: by Julie (new)

Julie Kelleher | 86 comments Hana wrote: "Ch. 1 "Fool, I told myself, fool. He is about his own business now. You loosed him, and lost him; that is one hawk who will never be hooded again. Stay back in the shadows, king's profit; see your ..."

I loved that line, Hana, but then notice what happens immediately after Merlin thinks this. I'm not sure the shadows are ready for him yet!


message 32: by Julie (new)

Julie Kelleher | 86 comments "It is easier to call the storm from the empty sky than to manipulate the heart of a man; and soon, if my bones did not lie to me, I should be needing all the power I could muster, to pit against a woman; and this is harder to do than anything concerning men, as air is harder to see than a mountain."

I've always enjoyed reading this trilogy written by a woman but narrated by a man who repeatedly fails to "get" women. There are big gaps in Merlin's understanding, and passages like this one make me feel Stewart is winking at us.


message 33: by Hana (new) - rated it 3 stars

Hana | 316 comments Julie wrote: ""..I've always enjoyed reading this trilogy written by a woman but narrated by a man who repeatedly fails to "get" women. There are big gaps in Merlin's understanding, and passages like this one make me feel Stewart is winking at us.
"


I love your comment, Julie :)


Bobbie | 181 comments I'm on Chapter 4 so I am skipping some of the notes until I get further along. I actually stopped and read a novella in between but I'm back on it now. We have had a very busy week so I haven't had a lot of reading time.


message 35: by Hana (new) - rated it 3 stars

Hana | 316 comments I found the first few chapters a bit slow but the pace really picks up, Bobbie. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts.


Bobbie | 181 comments On chapter 11 now, and yes, it has been a little slow but getting better. I have just had a lot going on so not much time to read until bedtime and then very tired. It just seems it is still dwelling on Merlin's doings and I am ready to get on with Arthur's tale.


message 37: by Julie (new)

Julie Kelleher | 86 comments It is all Merlin, but I kind of like the idea of a book from the point of view of the power behind the throne. It's compelling to see Merlin struggling with the idea that now the story isn't really his any more, even though I'm not sure how right he is about that.


message 38: by Julie (new)

Julie Kelleher | 86 comments What I did find kind of rough was having the book start--from the very first sentence!--with a massacre of children. This seemed like an odd choice for Stewart to make, though I guess there's nowhere to go from there but up.


message 39: by Hana (new) - rated it 3 stars

Hana | 316 comments That was an odd choice. I finished the book this morning and the reasons for her choice still are not clear to me. I'll have to go back over the incident and see if I can come up with an explanation for the spoiler thread.


message 40: by Hana (new) - rated it 3 stars

Hana | 316 comments This really is Merlin's story--the whole trilogy is. For Arthur's story it's hard to beat The Once and Future King, thoughT.H. White interprets the legend rather differently.


debbicat *made of stardust* (cr8zycat) | 428 comments just finished this section. I'll catch up on the thread now. :-)


Bobbie | 181 comments Hana wrote: "This really is Merlin's story--the whole trilogy is. For Arthur's story it's hard to beat The Once and Future King, thoughT.H. White interprets the legend rather differ..."

I am in the next book now and getting into it a bit more. I read The Once and Future King awhile back but had some problem with that one too. I found the changing into beast & bird part very boring so probably won't read that again. I did read The Road to Avalon by Joan Wolf in 2006 and really enjoyed that one. I might want to reread that one at some point.


message 43: by Hana (new) - rated it 3 stars

Hana | 316 comments Hi Debbie and Bobbie! I'm glad you're still reading. I love The Sword in the Stone, my favorite of the T.H. White Arthurian saga. I loved the transformations and the one with Arthur being transformed into a Merlin began something of a lifelong fascination with raptors. I've been watching a group of young Red Tailed Hawks and almost every one in the online group chatting about them remember that book and that specific scene from childhood reading. Some went on to become austringers and hawk rescuers. T.H. White would have been pleased.


message 44: by Hana (new) - rated it 3 stars

Hana | 316 comments I'll have to try The Road to Avalon--thanks for the tip, Bobbie.


message 45: by Julie (new)

Julie Kelleher | 86 comments Hana wrote: "Hi Debbie and Bobbie! I'm glad you're still reading. I love The Sword in the Stone, my favorite of the T.H. White Arthurian saga. I loved the transformations and the o..."

I still think of that book often when I see geese.


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