Sunday, May 29, 2011

Book 17 – The Crystal Cave

By Mary Stewart

A few 50-bookers have already reviewed this classic tale about Merlin the magician. Le Braconnier, Print Is Dead and Olman did such a wonderful job describing what is basically a coming-of-age adventure tale with a bit of fantasy and historical epic thrown in, that I’m happy to have some respite in having to write about it myself.

I went through a brief Arthurian phase as a teenager, reading the Mists of Avalon, the Rosemary Sutcliff books, and even catching the 1981 flick Excalibur when it played on television. But somehow I missed out on The Crystal Cave. Any spin on the Arthurian legends is subject to interpretation, really, and Mary Stewart distinguishes herself in providing some geographical and historical oomph to her take on the story of Merlin and Uther Pendragon, as well as good old fashioned quality prose that is engaging and descriptive but not at all flowery.

Although I very much enjoyed TCC (which is the first of a quartet), I don’t think I’ll seek out the other books… unless it falls upon my lap like it did for me and Olman.

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