Welcome back to Fantasy Friday where you will find reviews of classic and new books!
Wow! This second book of The Pendragon Cycle is so much better than the first one, Taliesin. I almost did not continue after the tale of Merlin’s parents, but I am so glad I did. Unlike the first one told in the third person, Merlin’s own voice narrates this volume. This is in part why it is a lot more enjoyable to read. I also like him far more than anyone in the previous book.
Written as a memoir decades later, Merlin recalls his childhood captivity by the Hill Folk and adulthood which brings love and joy, tragedy and grief. Prophet and counselor, Christian and bard, born of Charis of Atlantis and Taliesin, he spends many long years in service to Britain. His greatest service is yet to come, for Arthur is but a babe.
More than once I felt such mighty storytelling was not coming from Lawhead but through him. Or as Merlin says after such power blesses him: “These words were not my own; the bard’s awen was on me now, and like a fountain pouring forth its gifts unbidden, my tongue gave utterance of its own volition. I spoke and my voice rang out like sounding iron, like a harp struck by an unseen hand” (444).
This great man also had two other quotes that stand out: “…it came to me that the way to men’s souls was through their hearts, not through their minds. … The surest way to the heart is through song and story… 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” (150). “There are stronger forces on earth perhaps, but few as tenacious and enduring as the bond between friends” (155).
Have you read this book? What did you think?