The Merlin Codex brings together Robert Holdstock's Celtika, The Iron Grail and The Broken Kings in one superb omnibus.
Recounting a young Merlin's epic story, The Merlin Codex moves through the classical world of Jason (of the Argonauts fame) and his wife Medea. Jealously guarding his gift as every act of magic shortens his life, Merlin weaves his plots across the centuries, showing us echoes of the man and the stories we know from Arthurian legend.
Robert Holdstock was unanimously hailed by critics as the best contemporary author of SF and Fantasy. By mixing Greek and Celtic mythologies happily around an immortal character, Holdstock once again touches on the great universal myths as he did so brilliantly in his Mythago Wood saga, going beyond the limits of Fantasy.
What lifts Holdstock's trilogy far above most other fantasy creations is his skill at recreating myth and investing its stock figures with startling reality, emotion and motivation. The Merlin Codex will add to his already considerable reputation as a master fantasist - Guardian
A complex, intelligent fantasy - SFX
Highly recommended - Interzone
Robert Holdstock (1948 - 2009)
Robert Paul Holdstock was born in a remote corner of Kent, sharing his childhood years between the bleak Romney Marsh and the dense woodlands of the Kentish heartlands. He received an MSc in medical zoology and spent several years in the early 1970s in medical research before becoming a full-time writer in 1976. His first published story appeared in the New Worlds magazine in 1968 and for the early part of his career he wrote science fiction. However, it is with fantasy that he is most closely associated.
1984 saw the publication of Mythago Wood, winner of the BSFA and World Fantasy Awards for Best Novel, and widely regarded as one of the key texts of modern fantasy. It and the subsequent 'mythago' novels (including Lavondyss, which won the BSFA Award for Best Novel in 1988) cemented his reputation as the definitive portrayer of the wild wood. His interest in Celtic and Nordic mythology was a consistent theme throughout his fantasy and is most prominently reflected in the acclaimed Merlin Codex trilogy, consisting of Celtika, The Iron Grail and The Broken Kings, published between 2001 and 2007.
Among many other works, Holdstock co-wrote Tour of the Universe with Malcolm Edwards, for which rights were sold for a space shuttle simulation ride at the CN Tower in Toronto, and The Emerald Forest, based on John Boorman's film of the same name. His story, 'The Ragthorn', written with friend and fellow author Garry Kilworth, won the World Fantasy Award for Best Novella and the BSFA Award for Short Fiction.
Robert Holdstock died in November 2009, just four months after the publication of Avilion, the long-awaited, and sadly final, return to Ryhope Wood.