The dramatic first novel in the classic Merlin Trilogy, set in fifth century Britain at the beginning of the time of King Arthur.
Fifth century Britain is a country of chaos and division after the Roman withdrawal. This is the world of young Merlin, the illegitimate child of a South Wales princess who will not reveal to her son his father's true identity.
Yet Merlin is an extraordinary child, aware at the earliest age that he possesses a great natural gift - the Sight. Against a background of invasion and imprisonment, wars and conquest, Merlin emerges into manhood, and accepts his dramatic role in the New Beginning - the coming of King Arthur.
A deft colourful . . . re-creation of Merlin's early life - Sunday Times
Vivid, enthralling, absolutely first-class - Daily Mail
Her style is simple yet vivid, displaying a love of words and the sounds they make, and her story is poetically imaginative - Daily Telegraph
Mary Stewart brilliantly recreates the Britain of the fifth century - Books And Bookmen
A fascinating story which lays a firm hold on the imagination - The Scotsman
Mary Stewart lightens the Dark Ages with legend, pure invention and a lively sense of history. - New York Times
Mary Stewart was one of the 20th century's bestselling and best-loved novelists. She was born in Sunderland, County Durham in 1916, but lived for most of her life in Scotland, a source of much inspiration for her writing. Her first novel, Madam, Will You Talk? was published in 1955 and marked the beginning of a long and acclaimed writing career. In 1971 she was awarded the International PEN Association's Frederick Niven Prize for The Crystal Cave, and in 1974 the Scottish Arts Council Award for one of her children's books, Ludo and the Star Horse. She was married to the Scottish geologist Frederick Stewart, and died in 2014.