It was a time of legend, the last shadows of the mighty Roman conqueror faded from the captured Isle of Britain. While, across a vast sea, bloody war shattered a peace that had flourished for 2,000 years in the doomed kingdom of Atlantis.
This is the remarkable adventure of Charis, the courageous princess from Atlantis who escapes the terrible devastation of her land, and of the fabled seer and druid prince Taliesin, singer at the dawn of the age. It is a story of an incomparable love that joins two astonishing worlds amid the fires of chaos, and spawns the miracles of Merlin, and Arthur the king!
This is the first book of The Pendragon Cycle.
©1987 Stephen R. Lawhead; (P)1995 Blackstone Audiobooks
"Highly recommended... Reminiscent of C.S. Lewis." (Library Journal)
"A fine storyteller, he brings the Arthurian characters to life without sacrificing any of the haunting pleasures of the legends." (Omaha World Herald)
I really enjoyed this "back story" of the Arthurian legend. Less political/ethnic slant than so many retellings that try to make the legend "relevant." The people give the story heart and make the story relevant, just the way the people have always made the legend relevant.
I'm a huge fan of Lawhead books and Taliesin in particular. But, this audible version of Taliesin is hard to listen to (having read the book so many times) because of the narrator. She has an English accent, but for some reason gives the Briton characters an Indian/Hispanic sound. Any time a Magi (and many other characters) speaks, she draws out each word for fiiivvveee seconnnddddssss. And, there's hardly any variation in voice between different characters. I haven't heard the narrator for the rest of the books in the series, but my suggestion is to read this great book and skip the audio. I hope the rest of the books get a better reading.
This is a very good story with A bit of Magic and Reality. The Story of the Rise of Britons Greatest Bard. Can get a bit long winded for short periods but was always enjoyable to read.
As other reviewers found, I thought the narrator was an unpleasant listen. However, I've wanted to 'read' the Pendragon books. I'm glad I did, because the story is good! The characters are well developed, and realistic. It always takes me a while to properly place the characters in their settings when two branches of the story are developed in parallel (a common way of writing novels), but it worked well in this story.
In short, I recommend this story. Once you get past the relatively flat narration, the characters take over, and talk to you directly.
++-- love historical novels but I was unable to finish this one due to its slow pace. I also feel the the narator read too slowly thus adding to the long drawn out tediouness of this book.
The book sounds interesting from the description, but I couldn't listen to it because the narrator's voice grated on my ears so badly. Imagine an elderly English woman with a high-pitched, nasal voice and affected upper-class accent who sounds like her corset's too tight and you get the picture.
I found this first book in the series odd.
the reader is british and this is always a problem for me as it puts me to sleep.
the story is long and drawn out but i suppose thats b/c there are more books to come.
the strangest thing though is that the main character is built up to be a Paul (from the Bible) like character and is the subject of many pages. Then BAMB the write drops him with one random arrow in the back. This part was quiet stupid IMHO.
This book is (and all the other books in the series are) absolutely awful. They are plodding and boring. There is no intricacy or cleverness of plot. Everything happens sequentially and more or less predictably. The prose is repetitive and unimaginative. On average Lawhead uses the word "thrust" 762 times per battle (and there are many battles).
The books glorify the Christian faith to an extent that you feel that you are reading propaganda. Oddly enough the religious descriptions lack detail and depth.
The character of Morgian (sp?) is constantly built up to be evil, but the source, nature and extent of her power is never explained to the reader. Consequently her actions in the books seem more or less random. Moreover she is always beaten very easily, which fact severely undermines her ability to lend any tension at all to the plot. (Tension? What's that?) When she and Merlin finally have their big confrontation it happens offstage. We find out that Merlin is ok, before he relates the story--which, again, sort of eliminates any TENSION the episode might have promised. When he does offer a description of the confrontation, it once again lacks detail, depth, imagination and coherence.
The books are full of anachronisms and do not display an understanding of, or even interest in, the period in which they are set.
The reading of the first book is tolerable, but the others are irritating. The overall tone used for the narrator is hauty. The reader consistantly makes odd choices about which word in each sentence he should emphasize. It gives one the sense that the reader is profoundly bored by his task--for which I don't blame him.
I found that this was an interesting read and enjoyed the reader's telling of the tale. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys tales around Atlantis and beyond. Taliesin is a very good start to a version of the legend surrounding Arthur and Merlin.
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