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Once Upon A Bookshelf

Where Fiction and Reality Meet

Listed: Merlin

Oh, Merlin. Sometimes I love the character, sometimes I really dislike him. That’s one of the interesting things about legendary characters – depending on the interpretation, the characters can have completely different personalities and completely different motivations. Arthurian mythology seems to lend to this extremely well, for all of the characters – in some stories, certain characters are Christian, some are evil, some are magical… in other stories, it can be the complete opposite. And so, for this week, I wanted to take a look at a bunch of different stories about Merlin – sometimes a magician, sometimes a wise man, sometimes a pagan priest, and sometimes something else entirely…

  1. The Dark is Rising Sequence by Susan Cooper. First book, Over Sea, Under Stone, published 1965. LT
  2. The Merlin Codex by Robert Holdstock. First book, Celtika, published 2001. LT
  3. That Hideous Strength by C.S. Lewis. Originally Published 1945. LT
  4. Merlin Dreams by Peter Dickinson. Originally Published 1988. LT
  5. The Once and Future King by T.H. White. Originally Published 1958. LT
  6. The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley. Originally Published 1982. LT
  7. The Merlin Trilogy by Mary Stewart. First book, The Crystal Cave, published 1970. LT
  8. Kingdom of the Grail by Judith Tarr. Originally Published 2000. LT
  9. A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court by Mark Twain. Originally Published 1889. LT
  10. The Pendragon Cycle by Stephen R. Lawhead. First book, Taliesin, published 1987. LT

Do you like the character Merlin? What books have you read about him?

Do you like this feature? You should also check out Librarian’s Book Reviews’ Listless Monday, A Bookshelf Monstrosity’s Books By A Theme and Birdbrain(ed) Book Blog’s Birdwatching.

Posted by Courtney Wilson @ 7:45 am November 28, 2011.
Category: Listed

  • Ruth

    I’m really only familiar with Merlin from #5 and #9 on your list, and a bunch of old films. :) One of my current guilty pleasures is the Merlin TV show. :)

  • Anastasia @ Birdbrain(ed) Book Blog

    Have you seen any episodes from the British TV show Merlin? I think that’s what made me really like Merlin, instead of just tolerating him (or hating him. He wasn’t much likable in the original Arthurian stories). Susan Cooper’s Merlin is probably my favorite book Merlin, though. :D

  • Court

    Ruth & Anastasia – I’ve only heard good things about that tv series! I keep meaning to sit down and finally watch it, but so many other tv shows get in the way… :(

  • Lisa

    I’m also a fan of the tv show. I haven’t read many Arthurian books (but half of this list is on my TBR) but the ones I have read, I didn’t like him very much.

  • Kailana

    It is sad how few of these I have read… I own most of them, though!

  • Melissa

    I love Merlin, but I had no idea That Hideous Strength had any references about him. I’ve read the first two in that series and planned on reading that one next year.