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Publisher's Summary

Merlin the Enchanter, prophet and visionary, adviser to kings: Here is the story of how he rears Arthur, the future Christmas King, in remote secrecy, safe from the warring kings and Saxons who plot against his father, King Uther. Told in the voice of Merlin himself, this tale bristles with all the suspense and intrigue of fifth-century Britain. Ambrosius is dead, having brought order and progress to the kingdom during his reign. Now the regional kings look to the succession, and Merlin watches and waits, always providing for the security of the boy his prophesies promise will become the greatest king of all.
©1990 Mary Stewart (P)2009 Phoenix

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    42
  • 4 Stars
    16
  • 3 Stars
    9
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    5

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    38
  • 4 Stars
    12
  • 3 Stars
    7
  • 2 Stars
    1
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    2

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    39
  • 4 Stars
    12
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    4
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    5
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Who Abridges and Epic Trilogy?

What did you like best about The Hollow Hills? What did you like least?

The Hollow Hills was performed very well but abridged? What a stunning choice. They kept the story line but it's like a commercial for the complete story. What a waste of the talents of both the author and the performer.

What about Nicol Williamson’s performance did you like?

The performer has a rich, nuanced voice that is perfect for an epic saga like this one.

Any additional comments?

I hope someone decides that this classic trilogy is worth the time and money to create in an unabridged version.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Never Buy Abridged

So many important details in this book were lost in the abridgement. Entire conversations were condensed into one or two prose sentences. The entire feel of the story is different. The basic storyline is there, but not the magic of Mary Stewart's writing. The narrator is very good, however, which is why I bought it. If I hadn't read the book, this would've been enjoyable.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

A lovely voice, but not the whole story

I don't buy abridged audiobooks as a rule, but I had to buy this one. Nicol Williamson has a fabulous voice and it's worth the credits to listen to him.

It's been years since I read The Hollow Hills, one of Mary Stewart's 4-book series about Merlin. This one covers the time from the birth of Arthur until his coming to the kingship. I think if you are very familiar with the entire book you will find this a disappointment, as most abridgements are.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great story, but...

Wish the trilogy was unabridged. Too much of the story line was lost. I'm disappointed.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • HL
  • 05-16-14

Yet another gutted Stewart abridgement

What disappointed you about The Hollow Hills?

That it was abridged. These abridged versions of Stewart's Merlin books are barely unsatisfying- the story feels gutted.

What does Nicol Williamson bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I like listening to pleasant men's voices narrating books, so I appreciated his voice. He acted out the scenes well, too.

What character would you cut from The Hollow Hills?

The question is what characters were cut from it that I didn't get to hear about :)

Any additional comments?

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

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Unabridged please!

Unabridged please! This is a truly great story and it deserves a full length version.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

A hatchet job of a marvelous story

What disappointed you about The Hollow Hills?

Don't bother with this mess. The text was abridged to the point that all the charm, lyrical language, characterization, and everything else that made the book worth reading was gone. Read the actual book instead. It's well worth it.

Has The Hollow Hills turned you off from other books in this genre?

I will check carefully in the future to make sure I am buying the actual book.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

The narrator was fine. I wish he'd read the actual book.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

I would have loved an audiobook of The Hollow Hills. This was an audiobook of a poorly edited, mangled summary of the book. None of Mary Stewart's original prose survived.

Any additional comments?

A huge waste of a credit.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Abridged.

Unfortunately, this book was cut back by a great deal. I’ve been a fan of this series since I was a kid. I didn’t expect so much of the story to removed.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Love Mary Stewart's 'Hollow Hills'.

'The Hollow Hills' is a captivating story of Merlins role in Arthur's conception and early years. I highly recommend this book. I read it again and again.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

It is a wonderful book, Merlin is always great.

What did you love best about The Hollow Hills?

Merlin, training Arthur to be the great king, Merlin would have been.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Hollow Hills?

When he got the sword and set it up for Arthur.

What about Nicol Williamson???s performance did you like?

great expressions

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

yes

Any additional comments?

Have always loved the Merlin/Arthur story.

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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • carol
  • 01-02-17

Always buy unabridged

This Mary Stewart series deserves to be read from cover to cover. This adaptation rips the heart out of the book and leaves us with something with all the charm of a telephone directory.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Pat G
  • 07-28-17

Mary Stuart brings the legend to life.

Good to have an old favourite so well read. The dark ages are given a believable framework and Merlin an interesting character.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ty
  • 12-15-09

It brought me to fantasy...

I picked up this book as a schoolboy, bored with all the other
similiar titles. I wanted to be different, so randomly chose something that nobody else would be reading, and which hadn't been stamped in a long time...ten years!

Well, I couldn't put the book down, it was an extremely unique look at the Merlin story, and one which has always made more sense than the fantastic telling of so many other authors.

I recommend listening to this audiobook, possibly for the same reason as I did, all those years ago. Who knows, you may actually enjoy it :)



5 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Olga the Owl
  • 02-05-13

Well, it's better than nothing

The book itself was so good that the rather clumsy adaptation (did Dan Brown butcher Mary Stewart's original?) grates with me, but then I know the book almost by heart. Also, it's the middle book of a trilogy, which makes me wonder how someone unfamiliar with The Crystal Cave would get on with it.



I do wish someone had picked up narrator Nicol Williamson's 'Welsh' pronunciation - Myrddin is not said as Murdin, but Murthin, among other minor irritations. In spite of all that I was glad to listen to it and it has prompted me to re-read the others in the series.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful