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The Hollow Hills (Coronet Books) Paperback – 1 Oct 1983


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Frequently Bought Together

The Hollow Hills (Coronet Books) + The Last Enchantment (Merlin Trilogy 3) + The Crystal Cave (Merlin Trilogy 1)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Coronet; New Ed edition (1 Oct. 1983)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340186119
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340186114
  • Product Dimensions: 11.2 x 3.1 x 17.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 534,610 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Mary Stewart, one of our most popular novelists, was born in Sunderland, County Durham and lives in the West Highlands. Her first novel, MADAM, WILL YOU TALK? was published in 1955 and marked the beginning of a long and acclaimed writing career. All her novels have been bestsellers on both sides of the Atlantic. Her book for younger readers, THE LITTLE BROOMSTICK, LUDO AND THE STAR HORSE, and A WALK IN WOLF WOOD, quickly met with the success of her other novels. In 1971 she was awarded the International PEN Association's Frederick Niven Prize for THE CRYSTAL CAVE, and in 1974 the Scottish Arts Council Award for LUDO AND THE STAR HORSE.

Product Description

Review

A real spell-binder (Sunday Telegraph)

Compulsive reading . . . chases, battles, thrills and entertainment all the way (Daily Mirror)

A fascinating re-creation of the King Arthur legend (Newsweek)

It goes without saying that Mrs Stewart tells a marvellous story. (The Times)

Superb and lyrical. (Washington Times)

Book Description

The second in Mary Stewart's magnificent Merlin trilogy after The Crystal Cave

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 31 May 2001
Format: Paperback
This is the second book in the trilogy, and anyone who read the other two books first and didn't notice the events weren't in a logical chronological order must've had their eyes closed. It deals with the bit in between what everyone knows about Arthur's conception (and the deceipt therein) and the Camelot bit and the bad ending. The whole of the Arthurian legend is a myth built on a hint of a legend, and Mary Stewart weaves a rich and compelling tapestry from the few threads we have relating to this period of Merlin's and Arthur's lives. She openly confesses the story to be a work of the imagination, and continues to write with skill that allows you to taste and feel the relevant era. If you have the imagination to be immersed into her supposition, it won't matter whether this conforms with your preconceptions of the Arthurian legend or not. This is escapism that is so well written it feels like historical reality.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Robbie Swale VINE VOICE on 5 Mar. 2008
Format: Paperback
The Hollow Hills is the second book in Mary Stewart's Merlin Trilogy. Although it would undoubtedly stand alone itself, I would recommend starting with The Crystal Cave. This volume follows Merlin and Arthur from the future king's conception through to his coronation, and I thoroughly, thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

Stewart's style has Merlin telling the story as he remembers it, which allows her to gloss over or skip through time periods which are not wholly relevant to the plot. She does this with aplomb, giving us a brief spattering of anecdotes from Merlin's travels as Arthur, hidden away, grows up. Her second strength is in attempting to link the legends with historical facts - finding the real places to link to the stories which have entertained and entranced people for hundreds of years.

This doesn't mean she skimps on the magic, though, and Merlin as an enchanter, engineer, mathematician and general schemer is a believable and enjoyable hero.

This is not, however, a rip-roaring blockbuster of a book which will keep you glued to all the pages and constantly turning them. It is, however, a very comforting read which I look forward to when getting into bed every night. And that is something which I value very highly!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By C. Ball TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 17 Aug. 2013
Format: Paperback
It's a testament to Mary Stewart's skill as a writer that this second installment in her Merlin trilogy doesn't flag or fail at any point, despite the fact that, arguably, not much happens. This book covers the years from Arthur's birth to his acclamation as High King, years spent in obscurity at the court of Ector, years most retellings of the Arthurian legend skip over in a few paragraphs.

One of the things I like about this version of the legend being told from Merlin's point-of-view is the subtle foreshadowings that can be included, from the hints about Mordred's role in the future, to the wedge that will eventually be driven between Arthur and Bedwyr (Lancelot). I look forward to the conclusion of this trilogy! Again, it is another testament to Mary Stewart that a reader can still be held in anticipation despite knowing full well how it will all play out. (Is there anyone who doesn't know at least the rough outline of the Arthurian legend?)
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Format: Paperback
The second volume of what later became Mary Stewart's Arthurian saga. The story, as before narrated by Merlin, begins exactly where "The Crystal Cave" ended, the morning after Arthur's conception, and follows his infancy in hiding, his early training and education until the age of 14 against the background of Uther's competent but uneasy reign. Although the petty kings are united under the High King's leadership, the constant Saxon threat erodes loyalties and breeds treachery and intrigue. The narrative brings to life this dark period in Britain's history with tremendous skill and the story-teller flair for which Lady Stewart is justly famous. These ancient characters become current and vital and acquire a presence that makes me feel like I am watching a film.

Everything that was exceptional about "The Crystal Cave" is present in this sequel: terrific sense of place and time, great character development, many fascinating players and sub-plots, the twists and turns of fate that still lead Merlin unerringly to the desired outcome, a generous sprinkling of magic that could be read as divine intervention or the serendipitous combination of a highly intelligent and accomplished man and the superstitious mentality of the times. Merlin's character is further developed almost as an anti-hero, with the gallant and impetuous young Arthur as a clear counterpoint, making them two of the most likeable fictional characters I have ever encountered.

At the end, Lady Stewart has added the legend (as recounted by Geoffrey of Monmouth) and brief Author's Notes explaining how she built on what sparse and confused records remain, linking some facts and making plausible assumptions about others and, even more interestingly, what part of the story she has completely invented.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazonian on 26 Jun. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A lovely read, real escapism. I was motivated to buy these books after reading the Times obituary of the writer, Mary Stewart. I thought I'd left King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table behind me in childhood, but these three books, starting with The Crystal Cave, were a delightful and refreshing change from the miserabilist contemporary novels that I avoid as far as possible. These books chronicle the life of Merlin, and the writing is very good. Stewart conjures up a convincing image of life in Britain in the Dark Ages, and I recommend this trilogy.
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