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The Crystal Cave

Arthurian Saga, Book 1
Narrated by: Derek Perkins
Series: The Arthurian Saga, Book 1, Arthurian Saga , Book 1
Length: 16 hrs and 51 mins
Categories: Fiction, Historical
4.5 out of 5 stars (46 ratings)

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Summary

This is what happened. I saw it, and it is a true tale.  

So begins the story of Merlin, born the illegitimate son of a Welsh princess in fifth-century Britain, a world ravaged by war. Small and neglected, with his mother unwilling to reveal his father's identity, Merlin must disguise his intelligence - and hide his occasional ability to know things before they happen - in order to keep himself safe.  

One beautiful afternoon, while exploring the countryside near his home, Merlin stumbles across a cave filled with books and papers and hiding a room lined with crystals. It is the home of Galapas, who becomes Merlin's tutor and friend, and who teaches Merlin to understand the world around him...and to harness the power of the crystal cave to see the future.  

Merlin will rise to power and enter history - and legend - as advisor to King Arthur. But all stories must begin somewhere. And this is his.   

The Crystal Cave is the first of Mary Stewart's brilliant Arthurian Saga, telling the story of King Arthur from the perspective of the extraordinary, mysterious Merlin.

©1970 Mary Stewart (P)2018 Hodder & Stoughton Limited

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Still the best telling of the Arthurian legend

I downloaded this book with some apprehension. I last read this book, and the others in the series, 40 years ago and was completely drawn into the world that they created. I read them all in one go and absolutely loved them, even though I wished for an ending which was not inevitably tragic. So I downloaded this new audiobook recording wondering if I was going to be disappointed and whether the story would live up to my memory of 40 years ago. I needn't have worried; the story is still as engaging as it ever was and I was completely bound up again in this telling of the legend from the perspective of Merlin, who stands out as a fully rounded central character. Derek Perkins' narration is superb and really brings the story to life. I shall now listen to the whole series, even though I shall still wish that Arthur would resist the temptation of Morgan/Morgause and so not be brought low by Mordred. In these troubled times we could do with the Once and Future King returning from Avalon to save Britain once again.

15 of 16 people found this review helpful

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wonderfull story

i read this book years ago and loved it. this audiobook brought the magic back

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Brilliant

I have been hoping for years that these books would come to audible. The story is beautifully told and the choice of narrator is perfect. I’ll be buying the rest of this series and looking for more from this narrator in the future.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Competent but uninspiring reader

I was so excited to see these books released as they're old favourites. But the reader, while very competent, has a colourless and cold style that made it a very unengaging read. Unlikely to get the rest of the series.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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The first part of Arthurian legend

Excellent telling of tale of Arturian legend. And I still have two books to go!

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  • Korydwen
  • 08-03-19

Finally here

I am truly happy my favourite book has finally been re-read since the early cassette edition. It is great to have one in good quality audio. Overall, I enjoyed the whole book, and shall continue with the two following volumes, even though I know it nearly by heart through rereading and relistening. However, though the performance is very good, I cannot give it 5 stars, for the unfulfilled expectations, I suppose. I was so much hoping for a younger, a more charismatic maybe, voice to interprete Merlin's complex personality. And this is a very qualitative audiobook, but not that it is outstanding really. The voice sounds mature, a bit monotonous, not very good at doing feminine voices or children's. But that is only my subjective opinion, and I'm very conscious that the fact that I have been the series' fan for many many years is probably not the best sauce for judging new interpretations.

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  • S. Quarrington
  • 17-02-19

Finally available in Canada

So happy to finally be able to listen to this flawlessly performed masterpiece. Magical. If you haven't read this before you are in for a real treat. if you are already a fan you will be very pleased with this quality of the narration.