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February 2009

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shadefell in marystewart

The Last Enchantment and Second Chances

I first read "The Crystal Cave" when I was maybe ten.

It was in a pile of books in the basement, no jacket, just a beat up blue cover with a faded title stamped on the spine. On the inside cover and first page there were maps. Ooh, maps. It was a book about Merlin, and I couldn't resist it even a little. A little more digging in the stacks, boxes, and piles of books turned up "The Hollow Hills." I read both books several times, to the point where I had chunks of them memorized, and they colored a lot of my earliest writing.

I didn't find "The Last Enchantment" until I was in highschool, where our Library had both it and "Touch Not the Cat."

I did not like "The Last Enchantment."

I thought it focused too much on Arthur, and not enough on Merlin. I also found it somewhat dull.

Some ten years later, I'm reading it for the second time and greatly enjoying it.

I love the intrigue and the drama and the FATE that's stalking the main characters. There's politics and mythology and history, and I like it a lot. I'm glad I gave it a second chance... and glad that I did so when I was more mature and more widely read, more able to appreciate it. I've been hungering after some fantasy intrigue, and this is satisfying that urge.


i love the last enchantment, i think it's really good.