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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling
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...
Published on 31 May 2001

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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Merlin Trilogy
I bought this book after remembering how Mary Stewart used to keep me glued to each book that I read many years ago. I was very disapointed to discover that this book was part of a Merlin Trilogy which doesn't realy interest me. I am reading the book slowly, but it doesn't have the pull that I was expecting.
Published on 28 Jan 2010 by Amazon Customer


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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
5.0 out of 5 stars More Merlin Magic - I can't recommend it enough..., 5 Mar 2008
By 
Robbie Swale - See all my reviews
(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
By 
C. Ball (Derbyshire) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
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 (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
....... 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
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This review is from: The Hollow Hills (Merlin Trilogy 2) (Paperback)
Replacement for a worn out copy - Excellent!
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5.0 out of 5 stars The magic continues., 7 July 2014
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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
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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
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This review is from: The Hollow Hills (Merlin Trilogy 2) (Paperback)
I thoroughly enjoyed this sequel to The Crystal Cave, a real page turner and a believable interpretation of the legend.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A classic, 4 Jun 2014
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This is the second part of the Merlin trilogy by Stewart. The books are amongst the very best books based on the Arthurian legends. This volume just gets better and better as it goes along. The final third is really exciting in the way the story is told as Merlin reveal Arthur's true identity to himself and Uther's scheming nobles. Captures a strong sense of the mystical in her prose. Strongly recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The adventure continues, 14 Mar 2014
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Moving on from the boy Merlin to the man, more intrigue and more adventure. A great follow on to The Crystal Cave.
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The Hollow Hills (Merlin Trilogy 2)
The Hollow Hills (Merlin Trilogy 2) by Mary Stewart (Paperback - 2 Feb 2012)
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