Monday, January 25, 2010

The Crystal Cave

Author: Mary Stewart
Title: The Crystal Cave1
Series: Merlin trilogy (book 1)
Number of Pages: 494
Publication Date: 1970
Genre: Fantasy
Synopsis: "Born the bastard son of a Welsh princess, Myridden Emrys — or as he would later be known, Merlin — leads a perilous childhood, haunted by portents and visions. But destiny has great plans for this no-man's-son, taking him from prophesying before the High King Vortigern to the crowning of Uther Pendragon . . . and the conception of Arthur — king for once and always."

The Crystal Cave is the first book by Mary Stewart that I have ever read and it was by far one of the best books based on the Arthurian legend that I have ever read2.
Out of all of the books based on the legend of King Arthur that I have read, I have never read one that was about Merlin and his beginning. Which I think is what made this book so enjoyable to read because you got a glimpse of how the story actually started way before Arthur was ever born.
It also gave me a different view on Merlin, where as before in previous books I’ve read I didn’t really like him at all. Now he doesn’t seem like such a bad character.
One of the things I enjoyed the most about The Crystal Cave was Mary Stewart's writing; it completely drew me in from the very first page and left me reading deep into the night.
It's hard to say what my favorite part of the book was, because there is just so much going on. But there's not so much that it’s hard to follow the storyline. though one of my favorite things in the book would have be when Merlin is trying prevent himself from being sacrificed; along with how he became both feared and respected for his power as a seerer.
There's just too much content in the book to truly peg what made it so good.
It also reminded me of The Mists of Avalon by Marian Zimmer Bradley, which I absolutely loved when I read it a couple of years ago. In that they were both long page wise, yet written in an easily readable style.
I actually don't have a least favorite part of this book. Shocking isn't it?
I would definitely recommend The Crystal Cave to those who enjoy reading about the legends of King Arthur and Merlin.

The Crystal Cave earns 5 out of 5 pineapples.
1. The Crystal Cave was borroweed from the library.
2. I have actually read quite a few different books based on King Arthur.  


  1. Have you read The Once and Future King by TH White. It's fairly excellent Arthurian fiction. :-)

    I have the Crystal Cave waiting to be read. :-) Great review, if I didn't have a million books on the TBR this would shoot to the top.

    Also, love that you mentioned Mists of Avalon!

  2. I don't really like Arturian Legends in their original version but I do like retellings :-)

  3. Hi there,
    I'm not sure if you'll see this (just found your blog through the Hop)...but this is one of the first really great books I read about Arthurian mythology and I was thought this book was amazing and the other 3 follow up books too. I also loved Mists of Avalon. There quite a few really great Arthurian books out there. I love finding them!

  4. April: No, I haven't read The Once and Feature King, yet that is. Will definitely look into it. ^_^

    Midnyte Reader: Thanks for stopping by. Glad to hear that the rest of the series is good; I really need to finish two books one day. ^_^


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