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The Hollow Hills [Mass Market Paperback]

Mary Stewart
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback
  • Publisher: Fawcett; Reprint edition (1974)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0449206459
  • ISBN-13: 978-0449206454
  • Product Dimensions: 17.5 x 10.4 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,825,601 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.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling 31 May 2001
By A Customer
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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
By Robbie Swale VINE VOICE
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Never flags or fails at any point... 17 Aug 2013
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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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I read this when it first came out..... 17 Aug 2003
By Janet
....... and have been re-reading it at regular intervals ever since.
It's a truly magical book with a very impressive interpretation of the Merlin legend. It sounds genuine and believable.
Read the Trilogy and then read The Wicked Day. Impressive stuff from an impressive writer
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars 8 July 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Replacement for a worn out copy - Excellent!
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5.0 out of 5 stars The magic continues. 7 July 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I bought the Kindle edition because my paperbacks are falling to pieces. This is the middle book of the series written in the first person by Merlin, and it picks the story up after the conception of Arthur. I can't remember the fine details, but I'm looking forward to finishing The Crystal Cave so I can rediscover it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Second part of Trilogy 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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4.0 out of 5 stars Great Read 25 Jun 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I thoroughly enjoyed this sequel to The Crystal Cave, a real page turner and a believable interpretation of the legend.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic
This is the second part of the Merlin trilogy by Stewart. The books are amongst the very best books based on the Arthurian legends. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Dr. P. Cramer
5.0 out of 5 stars The adventure continues
Moving on from the boy Merlin to the man, more intrigue and more adventure. A great follow on to The Crystal Cave.
Published 6 months ago by Roberta Harrold
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant trilogy!
The best telling of the Arthur stories. I have read it many times and always come back to it and love it
Published 6 months ago by Pauline Walker
4.0 out of 5 stars Great second book
This book is a great follow up to The Crystal Cave. It continues the story of Arthur and keeps you wanting more.
Published 9 months ago by S. O'Brien
5.0 out of 5 stars Book two of the greatest story ever told.
The greatest story by a wonderful writer. Masterful. If you want to go to the dark ages, Mary Stewart will take you there.
Published 9 months ago by travelreader
5.0 out of 5 stars As for the previous books from Mary Stewart
As for the previous books from Mary Stewart it's an excellent written. Delivery time satisfactory. Just one thing the quality of the printing is not of the best quality but that... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Ph BRETON
5.0 out of 5 stars The legend of Arthur
This second of a trilogy brings the legend of Arthur to us in a wonderful piece of imaginative story telling. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Lorna Brodie
5.0 out of 5 stars Review of The Hollow Hills
This is spell-binding novel based on the legends of Arthur and Merlin. Mary Stewart makes the characters LIVE, and I couldn't put it down!
Published 12 months ago by J. Holmes
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