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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.


A deft colourful . . . re-creation of Merlin's early life
<i>Sunday Times</i>
Vivid, enthralling, absolutely first-class
<i>Daily Mail</i>
Her style is simple yet vivid, displaying a love of words and the sounds they make, and her story is poetically imaginative
<i>Daily Telegraph</i>
Mary Stewart brilliantly recreates the Britain of the fifth century
<i>Books And Bookmen</i>
A fascinating story which lays a firm hold on the imagination
<i>The Scotsman</i>
Mary Stewart lightens the Dark Ages with legend, pure invention and a lively sense of history.
<i>New York Times</i>