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The Last Enchantment Audio Cassette

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Product details

  • Audio Cassette
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1558002286
  • ISBN-13: 978-1558002289
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 11.4 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)

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

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dolphin TOP 50 REVIEWER on 10 April 2013
Format: Paperback
The third book of Mary Stewart's Arthurian saga. As in the previous two volumes, Merlin is the narrator, picking up the story where "The Hollow Hills" left off, on the night of the day Arthur was proclaimed High King of Britain at the ripe old age of fourteen. Mary Stewart crafted each book as a stand-alone (although, clearly, they are so much better read in sequence) and so the first few pages contain a recap of the events that preceded the coronation. This makes the first chapter a little awkward but soon the action takes off and we are swept along into another 500 pages of fascinating reconstruction of the days of Arthur, Merlin and Camelot.

As in the earlier books, the familiar ingredients are all here: superb descriptions of places and events, in-depth character development done with honesty but also with a loving acceptance of human nature, terrific sense of pacing, interspersing lots of action with contemplative passages and that quintessential thing that Mary Stewart does so well of educating without patronising. Much as I loved "The Crystal Cave" and "The Hollow Hills", I feel that this book is even stronger as it deals with Merlin's decline and his ambivalence about the fulfilment of his life mission. Despite his stated "contentment" the ending is very sad and it's just as well that we get The Legend and Author's Notes to help us over "kleenex-time".

Quite apart from the quality of the narrative and the elegance with which some truly gruesome scenes are handled, the great achievement of this saga is that it successfully deconstructs the rather unlikely elements of the Arthurian legend and reassembles them into a believable and cohesive version of what really could have happened. In particular, the treatment of Guinevere's abduction is a stroke of genius.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Gary Selikow on 25 Aug. 2012
Format: Paperback
The third in Mary Stewart's extremely enchanting and brilliant Merlin trilogy, this book is like it's predecessors extremely engaging, magical, thrilling, absorbing and holds you interest. The passion, intrigue, romance, emotion, and the panoramic sweep of events holds your attention throughout
It begins at the beginning of Arthur's reign in Dumpeldyr in Scotland, where King Lot and Arthur's wicked half-sister Morgause reign and sexual encounter with Morgause.... Following the narrative through the eyes of Merlin the enchanter,Merlin's role as Arthur's right hand man and spy at large. It covers the events of the building up of Arthur's kingdom,the struggle against the invading Saxon hordes and Merlin's efforts to contain the ambitious lords who covet the throne. Central to the novel are the wicked plots of Arthur's half-sister , and most now contend with her bastard son Mordred, who the great clairvoyant Merlin has foreseen will be the death of Arthur.

Finally the book takes us to Merlin's retreat at Applegarth and Bryn Myrddin where he apprentices a beautiful and intelligent young girl Niniane (Nimue) and finds love with her in his old age. Nimue is to be trained in Merlin's powers before Merlin retires the Crystal Cave and lives the happy life of a hermit.
The total effect creates a compelling and spellbinding epic which serves as an imposing example of the author's enthusiasm for her subject as well as an intriguing look into 5th century Britain through the author's skill
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Susan Lapsley on 28 May 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Because of the issues mentioned below, I am finding the above book, which is obviously a reprint, very difficult to handle and to read comfortably because of the way in which it has been printed.

1) the printing is inconsistent with some pages printed in dark thick ink and other pages printed as normal.

2) the margins on the left and right side pages are too wide so the text on both pages are forced into the centre and too close to the book's spine. This makes the handling of the book very awkward when reading, and with my stiff thumb joints I find it almost impossible to handle the book for longer than half a hour at a time, and its almost impossible to read in bed.

I realise I should have returned the book but I was so eager to begin reading it especially as I had just finished the previous two.

Perhaps the stock could be checked in case this flaw is repeated in other copies.

Thanking you for your continual good service.
Best regards, Susan Lapsley
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By C. Ball TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 18 Aug. 2013
Format: Paperback
I think what I like best about Mary Stewart's Merlin trilogy is that, whilst it is of course a retelling of the Arthurian legend, it is very much about Merlin, not Arthur himself. That can be seen in no small part in where she chooses to end the trilogy with this book, long before Arthur's final battle with Mordred and the end of Camelot.

There's a warmth and a depth to this book that really charms - it isn't the tale of great events and battles, although of course they're there. It's the story of old age and decline, the loss of strength and power, of acceptance and the passing of the torch onwards to the next generation. Knowing his fate as he does, although Stewart does have a new spin on the tale of Merlin and Nimue, Merlin faces his end with real dignity, and that thread runs throughout this book.

That I got through all 500+ pages in little more than a day tells you a lot about the skill and talent of the author. I literally did not put this book down all day.
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