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Merlin (The Pendragon Cycle, #2)
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(The Pendragon Cycle #2)

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  8,837 ratings  ·  238 reviews
An enchanting tale of love and loss, glory and grandeur, set in the twilight of Rome's power . . . where the Celtic chieftains of Britain battle to save their land from an onrushing darkness . . . In this modern classic, Stephen Lawhead presents a majestic retelling of Western literature's most compelling epic. Merlin. His golden eyes saw the shape of a world yet to be. Hi ...more
Paperback, 484 pages
Published May 21st 1996 by Zondervan (first published 1987)
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Richard Derus
Rating: 2.5* of five

The Publisher Says: He was born to greatness, the son of a druid bard and a princess of lost Atlantis. A trained warrior, blessed with the gifts of prophecy and song, he grew to manhood in a land ravaged by the brutal greed of petty chieftains and barbarian invaders.

Merlin: Respected, feared and hated by many, he was to have a higher destiny. for It was he who prepared the way for the momentous event that would unite the Island of the Mighty—the coming of Arthur Pendragon, Lo
Feb 02, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This second book in the series takes us from Merlin's childhood to his saving baby Arthur (I don't think that's a spoiler---don't we all know he did that?). Unlike Taliesin, the narration is first person, which I think is right. I like Merlin telling his own story. I liked this one more than I liked Taliesin, but that was to be expected. Isn't Merlin everyone's favorite Arthurian character? Merlin is a character who's taken on many forms. I like the old Once and Future King/Disney Merlin (though ...more
Jeff Miller
Feb 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As much as I liked the first book in the series, I liked this one more. The first book told two intertwining stories as it needed to do. This was done well, but Merlin is much more focused and I liked it better for that. This is really my favorite of the retellings regarding Merlin, especially since he is a man of virtue and humility.
Paul  Perry
Aug 09, 2010 rated it did not like it
Rarely have I had such a strong negative reaction to a book. I hated it. And part of the reason, I think, I that the first volume, Taliesin, was superb. But while in Taliesin Lawhead spun an intriguing tale that treated the source material with respect, Merlin quickly becomes a religious tract proclaiming how superior christianity is to the pagan religions that it displaces.

For me, Lawhead did two unforgivable things in this book. First, he makes Merlin a christian and a missionary. Yes, of cou
May 17, 2018 rated it it was ok
I don't know. Perhaps I was expecting more "Merlinish" things but there was little that happened in this book. (view spoiler) It just felt like tons of filler to me, and I wasn't that interested in this characterization of Merlin.
Aug 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
La historia de Merlin, desde su tierna infancia, aprendiendo tanto de los druidas como de los curas cristianos que ya estaban en Inglaterra hasta que se convierte en adulto. Su romance con una princesa y después los años que pasa en el bosque hasta que descubre su destino.
Nov 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After the major disappointment that was Patrick, it was refreshing to read Merlin. It reminded my why I still call Lawhead one of my favorite authors. Not to mention, the theology wasn't horribly suspect (always a plus).

Merlin is, for me, one of those books that breathes truth, beauty, and goodness. It's not all sunshine and rainbows, and awful things happen, but there is a definite Hope and Light to it that is missing from a lot of books, especially what I've read recently. It is now on the sh
Ian Propst-campbell
Aug 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Very exciting, engaging novel!
Nov 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: imprescindibles
Segundo libro y tan bueno o más que el primero. Si en Las Nieblas De Avalon caímos rendidos ante Morgana, en esta obra somos subyugados por este Merlin.

En esta obra seguiremos paso a paso el crecimiento de este legendario mago, conoceremos su origen, y entenderemos cómo fue que aquellos sucesos oídos en un sin número de canciones y leídos en igual cantidad de textos, forjaron su leyenda.

Comenzaremos por su infancia, el mismísimo Myrddin (nombre celta del mago), nos contará su historia. Volveremo
Nov 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: paper, 2016, arturics
Segueixo amb la sèrie de Pendragón. En aquest llibre, la història està narrada per en Merlí, i ens explica la seva vida des del moment en què va néixer fins a poc després del naixement del rei Artur.

El llibre està dividit en tres parts diferenciades, i és difícil saber quina és la millor.

A la primera part ens explica la infantesa d'en Merlí, fins que es casa i espera una criatura. La part que em va agradar més va ser tot el temps que va estar raptat pel poble de "las colinas". Però el retrobamen
Peter Walton-Jones
Feb 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Merlin is the second book in the "Pendragon Cycle". I enjoyed the first book "Taliesin," and for me this was an even better read. The story of the ageless Merlin...bard, druid, king-maker, warrior. From his youth he is the central figure to this story of the political machinations of early Briton. The story has plenty of energy and although characters rise and fall, come and go, with great regularity it does not fail to drag the reader in all the way to the proverbial sword-in-the-stone-moment a ...more
Sep 02, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
the second book of the cycle, but the first book of the cycle that i read.. :p
all i can say is, this book made me love merlin even more.. ^_^
a must read for those of you who loves arthurian legend.. there's a bit of religious stuff in all of stephen r. lawhead's books, which is fine with me.. :)
Sep 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
I always love stories of Merlin and Arthur and this series has been good so far, however it is disturbing to me that Merlin is Christian in these books.
Devon Flaherty
Jan 13, 2016 rated it it was ok
The Pendragon Trilogy, by Stephen R. Lawhead, which includes Taliesin, Merlin, and Arthur. I read old paperbacks from Avon Books which I received as hand-me-downs from my aunt. The original publication dates were 1987, 1988, and 1989.

Turns out I was confused about these books. I had figured out the order of the trilogy as Taliesin, Merlin, and Arthur, but here and there I would see other titles in the series. So, once I had finished the trilogy, I researched and discovered that the “trilogy” was
Jack Vasen
This is the second of the series which is a long continuing saga of the legend of King Arthur. It ends at a convenient stopping point, but I didn't think that the story stood by itself.

The first section titled King, is off to a decent start. The material is different from approaches to the legend that I'm familiar with. Section 2, Forest Lord, is where this book starts to fall apart. For starters, since the entire book is first person narration by Merlin, most of this section is intended to conv
Jan 09, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, 2019
I so wanted to like this book. I really wanted to enjoy this book, as the story of Merlin has always fascinated me. I enjoyed Lawhead's previous book in the Pendragon Cycle, Taliesin, so I thought this one would be a hit as well. Alas, I just could not get into the story, finding it hard to slog through; so it, unfortunately, lands in my DNF pile.

A few things:

First, I think Merlin has helped me to realize that I am just not a fan of first-person narration, or at least Lawhead's style of it (beca
Lucie Müller
Fünf Sterne!
Durch die ersten paar Seiten musste ich mich zwar kämpfen, denn die Ich-Perspektive schafft eine gewisse Distanz zum Geschehen. Es ist ganz klar, dass ein alter, weiser Merlin über seine Kindertage erzählt und deswegen fehlt die Nähe zum ganz jungen Merlin jeweils. Nach einigen Seiten legt sich dies jedoch.
Was mir besonders gut an dieser Merlin-Version gefällt, ist dass er zwar der weise, mächtige Magier ist, aber dass er alles andere als unfehlbar ist.
Das junge Christentum spielt im
Claire Belberg
Jun 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
This second book of the cycle was challenging to get into because it starts in a style that matches the state of the protagonist's mind - chaotic, nightmarish, despairing. Once I moved past that, as Merlin moved into life and hope again, I was once again caught up in the grand sweep of Stephen R Lawhead's saga. It was engrossing, thrilling, sometimes chilling, sometimes heart-warming. The chapters whizzed by. When I reached the end, I wished I had the third volume at hand.

Anticipating a visit to
Nancy Jo Jackson

Very little action
Not sure where the focus on Christianity comes from, made no sense to me
Merlin supposedly had all this power he never used for anything
Replayed the failed relationship from the first book, he killed the woman this time
When something of interest happened no detail of how it why
Do not recommend this book
Nov 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A moving, brilliantly written take on the legendary Merlin, told in a way I never imagined it could be told. Rather than the mysterious and morally ambiguous figure of many Arthurian treatments, this version of Merlin bursts with life, passion, and great moral authority. I'll definitely be continuing with "Arthur" and the remaining books of the Pendragon Cycle! Highly recommended!
Almustafa Couch
Quite a valuable part of the Pendragon cycle, in which characters are introduced, and the challenge of society dealing with the emergence of Catholicism when in the past they were dealing with a more rational druidic form of nature worship, the book rarely (fortunately) implies supernatural forces or unexplained justifications for various occurrences, which can be so easily used in these novels.
Asha Stark
Sep 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had a small whine about the pacing and characterisations in the previous book in the series (Taliesin), but I think it must just have been Lawhead finding his way into this story because none of them are apparent in Merlin.

Good, solid Arthurian tale and I can't wait to crakc on with #3; Arthur.
Diana Barrick
Dec 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this first in high school or college and thought I would reread 20+ years later just to have something fiction to read. I've enjoyed it the second time around. I didn't care for Merlin as much as Taliesin, admittedly because there isn't as much focus on romance... there, I said it. I feel that Merlin's life is so aimless. Is he a king? Is he a bard? Or just a very good negotiator? Politician? Priest? I guess he is all of these, but I wish there was a little more focus. Maybe it's interest ...more
lj cassity
Jul 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thank you!

As surely as I am breathing this account of Arthurian legend is the most forthcoming. I was spellbound and living every moment. I believe as you said that Arthur is more than a legend and that our once and future king has and will live again.
Aug 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
A really great work, Merlin is so well crafted. It is definitely a must read especially for fantasy lovers. The only reason I'm rating it four stars is that it has a couple of cuss words and the fire reading is not really good. Excellent book.
Mindy Newell
Jul 23, 2018 rated it liked it
I keep going between 3 and 4 stars. Some parts of this books were really great, and then other parts were so slow.
Jul 20, 2018 rated it liked it
Good read but nothing special.
Sep 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The story of Myrddin ap Taliesin told with a strength that it always deserves but rarely is granted.
Jun 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A great rending of the story of Merlin, wrapped in the history of medieval Wales, the mythology of the Mabinogion and a great continuation of the Pendragon cycle by Lawhead.
Samuel Duarte
Interesting book. Not my favorite Lawhead book. Could have focused more on Moraigian vs Merlin.
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This book isn't merlin, need to know what it's called? 1 23 Jun 02, 2013 01:03PM  
how is christianity portrayed in this book? 3 47 Jun 19, 2011 04:15PM  
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Stephen R. Lawhead is an internationally acclaimed author of mythic history and imaginative fiction. His works include Byzantium, Patrick, and the series The Pendragon Cycle, The Celtic Crusades, and The Song of Albion.

Also see his fanpage at Myspace:

Stephen was born in 1950, in Nebraska in the USA. Most of his early life was spent in America where he earned

Other books in the series

The Pendragon Cycle (6 books)
  • Taliesin (The Pendragon Cycle #1)
  • Arthur (The Pendragon Cycle, #3)
  • Pendragon (The Pendragon Cycle, #4)
  • Grail (The Pendragon Cycle, #5)
  • Avalon: The Return of King Arthur (The Pendragon Cycle, #6)
“Perhaps it is how we are made; perhaps words of truth reach us best through the heart, and stories and songs are the language of the heart” 45 likes
“Humility, if it comes at all, almost always comes too late.” 31 likes
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