Review: The Crystal Cave

◆ The Crystal Cave by Mary Stewart
◆ Read july 2012
◆ English Edition
❝  Born the bastard son of a Welsh princess, Myridden Emrys -- or as he would later be known, Merlin -- leads a perilous childhood, haunted by portents and visions. But destiny has great plans for this no-man's-son, taking him from prophesying before the High King Vortigern to the crowning of Uther Pendragon . . . and the conception of Arthur -- king for once and always. 
No matter how long ago this book was published, it is far from being outdated and I don't suspect it will ever be. The Crystal Cave is a great read to guide readers - both new to the legend and those already familiar with it - through the world of swords and sorcerer's, enchantment and battles with Merlin as narrator.

What I really liked were the detailed descriptions Stewart added. Because the legend is from so long ago, it would have been hard to imagine it all. However, the descriptive language was so vivid that I could clearly picture the characters and setting, a feature that added to the charm of the story. 
Futhermore, the pace of the story was perfect and I wouldn't have changed it even if I could. It was fast when needed, like in battles where the tension build up to its climax, but slower during important dialogues.

I was glad to find out that Stewart had clearly done her research in advance. Her writing showed that she knew what she was talking about. Things that didn't match up were a deliberate choice from her part.  

One little detail - despite the fact that it can be overlooked - was that I found it hard to keep track of all the names of characters. There were a lot of names (especially of minor characters) that I couldn't place and everytime they recurred I was left wondering who they were again.  However, The Crystal Cave is a brilliant start to a series and I can't wait to get started with the next one.

4 stars because:
✓ Descriptive language
✓ Good insight of the legend
✓ Good pace
✗ A lot of difficult names


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