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The Crystal Cave: The Arthurian Saga, Book 1 | [Mary Stewart]

The Crystal Cave: The Arthurian Saga, Book 1

Was Merlin an otherworldly being or just an ordinary mortal with extraordinary powers? Over the centuries there have been many stories about Camelot, but the mystery of the magician who nurtured, trained, and advised King Arthur has remained unexplored. Some have called Merlin a sinister, all-powerful Prince of Darkness. Others have described him as a merely a man, heir to the secrets of the Crystal Cave, possessed of rare and remarkable gifts.
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Publisher's Summary

Was Merlin an otherworldly being or just an ordinary mortal with extraordinary powers? Over the centuries there have been many stories about Camelot, but the mystery of the magician who nurtured, trained, and advised King Arthur has remained unexplored. Some have called Merlin a sinister, all-powerful Prince of Darkness. Others have described him as a merely a man, heir to the secrets of the Crystal Cave, possessed of rare and remarkable gifts. In this first part of her trilogy of Arthurian legend Mary Stewart delves into the mystery of Merlin. Visit the strange and mystical world of 5th-century Britain - a time and place made real through the dramatic reading of Nicol Williamson, the acclaimed British actor who played Merlin in the film Excalibur.

Copyright ©1970 by Mary Stewart; (P)1989 Dove Audio

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.7 (78 )
5 star
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4.0 (51 )
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Story
3.8 (49 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Jessica minneapolis, MN, United States 02-11-08
    Jessica minneapolis, MN, United States 02-11-08

    i'm listening

    HELPFUL VOTES
    159
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    "yuck"

    Mary Stewart's Merlin trilogy, beginning with this book, is one of the greatest series ever written. It combines the interest of ancient historical fiction with the magic of fantasy brilliantly. There are passages in the story where I would swear I felt as though I were the one on a horse, traveling through the pristine forest. I have read it many times and would be thrilled to have a recording of it. This abridged travesty is disgusting. It is not the story. I would ask all people who love this story as I do to request that Audible attempt to aquire the rights to distribute an unabridged recording. You might also make a request at BBC America or Chivers Audiobooks as they have unabridged recordings that are "out of print".

    40 of 40 people found this review helpful
  •  
    me, mara 06-08-12
    me, mara 06-08-12

    marateller

    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
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    "Disappointing"
    What would have made The Crystal Cave better?

    Making it UNabridged!


    What was most disappointing about Mary Stewart’s story?

    I read this book many years ago and was anxious to do so before heading to England recently. I had little time so I decided to LISTEN to it. Unfortunately the recorded version was greatly abridged. The other reviews I read also spoke poorly of it, but I decided to try it anyway. Not really worth the effort. The heart and soul of the book seemed to no longer really be there.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    He's a very fine actor, I just didn't feel he made it come alive... but that could have been due to the cuts in the story.


    Any additional comments?

    no

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 01-21-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Really bad production"
    What was most disappointing about Mary Stewart’s story?

    This is one of my favorite books, and therefore one of the first books I purchased with my audible membership. Unfortunately, the abridgment takes so much out of the story that it is impossible to follow. Also, the production/sound quality is awful.


    Any additional comments?

    Hopefully, someone else will make an unabridged recording in the future

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gloria PAYSON, UT, United States 10-27-12
    Gloria PAYSON, UT, United States 10-27-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Where is the rest of the book!"
    What would have made The Crystal Cave better?

    so much of the original book is missing in this abridged version that I missed it!


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Mists of AValon if it is not abridged


    Any additional comments?

    don's sell abridged books!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sherry San Jose, CA, United States 02-24-12
    Sherry San Jose, CA, United States 02-24-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "One of my favorite books"

    This has always been one of my favorite series. Mary Stewart does an excellent job of making Merlin human and placing the challenges and emotions of a man on his shoulders, but I didn't feel like the reader carried that emotion into the story. I ordered The Hollow Hills and I'm hoping that will be better.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    chaoticmuse 12-28-12
    chaoticmuse 12-28-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Unabridged Version Would be Far Superior"
    Would you try another book from Mary Stewart and/or Nicol Williamson?

    Absolutely! The third in this trilogy? The UNABRIDGED version of this epic and classic story by an outstanding author? I can't wait to see the complete, unabridged trilogy as a choice in Audible's catalog.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Mary Stewart is an author with the ability to weave a complex, unique, engrossing story. Even with something as familiar as the Merlin/Arthur mythology she managed to find a new angle in her full length books. Abridging it was a sad choice but it's better than nothing. The reader was excellent with a rich, nuanced voice.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    HL CA 05-16-14
    HL CA 05-16-14 Member Since 2013
    ratings
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    37
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Another "gutted" abridgement"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    Yes- I would like to hear the full version of the story.


    What about Nicol Williamson’s performance did you like?

    I liked Williamson's performance as a whole, and it's unfortunate they couldn't just have him narrate the entire book. Stewart's Merlin books are popular- surely there's an audience for a full version.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Depends if the movie was faithful to the book


    Any additional comments?

    They should create full, unabridged versions of Renault's and Mary Stewart's books. These abridged versions are unsatisfying.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary 10-30-12
    Mary 10-30-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Merlin As He Surely Must Have Been"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    One of my favorite books of all time. It makes the Arthur legend into history.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Mary Stewart's version of the Arthur legend comes across as how it really was. She incorporates all the myths and legends into one story that seems to be Truth. Her characters are flawless.


    Have you listened to any of Nicol Williamson’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I have not listened to any other of Nicol Williamson's performances. This one is excellent.


    If you could rename The Crystal Cave, what would you call it?

    The Crystal Cave is perfect for this book; no other title would suffice.


    Any additional comments?

    I wish Audible would remake Mary Stewart's Arther trilogy unabridged. So much is lost in this abridged version.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marlene L. Tucker 03-29-12 Listener Since 2009
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    "Great book"
    What did you love best about The Crystal Cave?

    I love the story of Merlin. I have read the book in the past and wanted to hear it. It was just as I remembered it, just wonderful. Thanks for making it an audible book.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Merlin


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Most of them.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    When he got his pony


    Any additional comments?

    A wonderful book.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
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