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text 2016-11-20 16:54
Reading progress update: I've read 340 out of 928 pages.
Merlin Trilogy - Mary Stewart
The Crystal Cave - Mary Stewart
The Hollow Hills - Mary Stewart

 

(Page numbers are for the omnibus edition.)

 

Well, I finished The Crystal Cave (a while ago in fact) and have now moved on to The Hollow Hills, which picks up right where the first book of the trilogy ends.  Merlin is still rather unlike the wise old wizard as whom I'd so far seen him and is becoming ever closer to what I'd so far imagined young Arthur to have been ... but I'm still enjoying the read as such.

 

For those who care, I thought I'd share a couple of photos from the location of the final chapters of The Crystal Cave and the first chapters of The Hollow Hills, Tintagel, where legend has it that King Arthur was conceived ... or, well, photos of what's left of the Tintagel castle ruins (which incidentally date from the 12th, not from the 6th century), as well as the paths that Merlin and Uther would have had to climb, first down to the beach and then back up along the face of the cliff, to get to the castle high up on the promontory:

 




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review 2016-11-07 22:50
Reading progress update: I've read 249 out of 928 pages.
Merlin Trilogy - Mary Stewart
The Crystal Cave - Mary Stewart

 

(Note: the page number is for the trilogy's omnibus edition, which is the book I'm actually reading.)

 

"Thanks" to having contracted some sort of cold or flu bug and having been out of commission for pretty much all other purposes over the weekend, I've progressed fairly well with this book -- well there has to be at least one upside to fever, perpetually running nose and clinging headache, I suppose.

 

Anyway, I'm enjoying this enormously, and I'm so glad I joined this buddy read, so a big thank you to Moonlight Reader for setting this up!

 

I confess I'm not, or perhaps just "not yet" reading Merlin as the same person as the old wizard known from most other incarnations of the Arthurian saga, though.  It actually struck me, especially in Part 1, how similar this trilogy's young Merlin is to the young Arthur of some of the other narratives -- a misfit and a loner, the kid that nobody really knows where and how to place him, entirely too bright for his own good, and intensely interested in books and learning (even though that doesn't mean he wants to be shut up behind the walls of a monastery),

 

And in Parts 3 and 4 we're now getting the one thing that I sorely miss in accounts like T.H. White's Once and Future King, great series though that is in all other respects ... a glimpse of our hero's coming of age and (with apologies to James Joyce) a Portrait Our Hero as a Young Man.  So, yey for that, too!  The magic stuff starts when he's still a boy, but he's learning more about his own magical powers as we go along now, too, as well as how to deal with other people's expectations of him (well, that's bound to happen, I suppose, especially looking at Stewart's source material and the story -- or throw-away line -- that she herself says inspired the whole trilogy).

 

A great read so far, in any event; here's hoping it's going to continue this way!

 

I'm reading this book both for the Merlin Trilogy Buddy Read and for The Twelf Tasks of the Festive Season (Task the Twelfth: The Wassail Bowl).

 

Merken

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text 2016-10-17 23:45
Birthday Monster Book Haul
Eragon (Inheritance, #1) - Christopher Paolini
The Lord of the Rings - J.R.R. Tolkien
Die Briefe der Manns: Ein Familienportrait - Thomas Mann,Heinrich Mann,Kerstin Klein,Holger Pils,Klaus Mann,Tilman Lahme
All That I Am - Anna Funder
Claire of the Sea Light - Edwidge Danticat
Der Weltensammler - Ilija Trojanow
The Aeronaut's Windlass - Jim Butcher
Even Dogs in the Wild - Ian Rankin
The Crossing - Connelly Michael
Splinter the Silence (Tony Hill) - V. McDermid

...  thanks to my mom, who gave me a bookstore gift card, my best friend, who raided my Amazon wish list (isn't it nice to know your loved ones know just what you'll be happiest about?) and a few odd things to which I treated myself:

 

* Die Briefe der Manns (The Mann Family Correspondence) -- newly released

* Anna Funder: All That I Am

* Ilija Trojanow (or Iliya Troyanov, as he's spelled in English): Der Weltensammler (The Collector of Worlds)

* George Simenon: Maigret & Co. (collection of audio dramatizations of Simenon's mysteries)

* Edwidge Danticat: Claire of the Sea Light

* Jim Butcher: The Aeronaut's Windlass

* J.R.R. Tokien: The Lord of the Rings -- the legendary BBC audio dramatization starring Ian Holm as Frodo, Michael Hordern as Gandalf, and Robert Stephens as Aragorn

* T.H. White: The Once and Future King (audio version read by Neville Jason)

* Christopher Paolini: Eragon (audio version read by Kerry Shale)

* Patrick O'Brian: Aubrey / Maturin -- audio versions of the first six novels, read by Robert Hardy

* Sherlock Holmes: A Baker Street Dozen -- audio adaptations of 12 stories, starring John Gielgud (Holmes), Ian Richardson (Watson), and Orson Welles (Moriarty)

* Val McDermid: Splinter the Silence

* Michael Connelly: The Crossing

* Ian Rankin: Even Dogs in the Wild

 

... and, also courtesy of my friend, Eric Clapton: I Still Do -- and a kitty coloring book!

 

 

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review 2015-06-07 23:38
Culhwch & Olwen performed by David Lee Summers
Culhwch & Owen: A Tale of King Arthur & His Warriors - David Lee Summers

Around 1100 AD, the story of Culhwch and Olwen was committed to paper. It had long before been part of the Arthurian and Celtic oral tradition of tall tales. Now, David Lee Summers has brought that tale back to modern audiences with a grand telling, complete with music, on a modern CD.

This was highly amusing! It is a grand, tall tale indeed. When listening to it, I had to picture Monty Python and the Search for the Holy Grail. The basics are that Culhwch wants to marry Olwen. However, her father sets him this long string of impossible tasks before he will consent. Luckily, Culhwch is good friends with King Arthur and his Round Table knights.

Each noble man sets off on his assigned quest. Mostly, these quests are to obtain ridiculous grooming supplies! There’s a witch to kill, a couple of giants to defeat, a dwarf’s pot to steal, and so much more.

It’s great to hear this tale brought to life once again. I think those interested in Arthurian tales or even Celtic or English lore would find this amusing. I often found myself chuckling out loud.

The Narration: David Lee Summers tell the story with vigor and an underlying amusement. The music is a nice touch, putting me in mind of a Medieval court telling of the tale.

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review 2015-03-20 15:39
Breaking News: Lancelot was not a hottie
The Once and Future King - T.H. White

First of all, it turns out that I really know very little about the Arthurian legends. Here are some things I've learned from The Once and Future King: 1. It's spelled Merlyn. 2. It's spelled Guenever.3. Lancelot is considered quite ugly. 4. This is not the authoritative volume of all things Arthurian. There is actually a series of books by Sir Thomas Malory collectively called Le Morte d'Arthur (I've just ordered the first book so get ready for that in the future) which were referenced more than once in The Once and Future King. This was a beautifully written book and had me so caught up that I actually missed my stop on the train...twice. It's full of damsels in distress, knights in glittering armor, love beyond measure, and above all chivalry. There's a reason that many consider this book to be the best fantasy novel ever written.

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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