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Feb. 20th, 2009

Stock_girl in woods


Hello out there, is anyone still around the community?

Is the community still active? I suppose that's a silly question since it's obvious that no one's posted for a while.

However, I found the community after doing a search on Mary Stewart. She was one of my favorite authors when I was a teenager. I decided I wanted to re-read some of her books, most particularly The Gabriel Hounds, The Moon-Spinners, and The Ivy Tree, and was shocked to find that neither the library or bookstore had any of them. The library said they might could borrow them from another library.

I have read her Merlin books also and liked them but still favor her mystery books.

Sep. 8th, 2006



"Touch Not the Cat"-- has anyone else read this?

My high school library had the last book in Stewart's Merlin trilogy, which I didn't have at home. Once I'd found and read that, I looked for other Stewart books, and found "Touch Not the Cat."

I haven't read this book in a while, but I was describing it to a friend of mine, and now I want to read it again. Sadly, I'm moving (actually, that's a good thing) and it's packed away in a box so I can't reread it.

What I remember of it is very dark. Murder Most Foul, convoluted inheritances, supernatural powers, lust, a soupcon of incest, Roman ruins, and prophecy. If you haven't read it, I recomend it. If you have read it, feel free to write a better summary/review of it. Once I get unpacked and settled (not until October), I'll re-read the book and review it here.

Aug. 9th, 2005


The Last Enchantment

I finished reading The Last Enchantment last night. Actually, I stayed up too late reading it because I'm stupid and a sucker for finishing books when there's only a few chapters left.

I liked how Nimue/Niniane/Vivian was handled. I like how the conflicting Merlin legends were tied together. I like how Stewart does a little dance that gets picked up in The Wicked Day.

The ending made me shiver.

Aug. 3rd, 2005


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.

Jul. 27th, 2005



Hi, I found a link to this on a couple of my King Arthur communites. As I am halfway through the third book of the trilogy, I figured I'd join. I'm enjoying the novels very well indeed. Unfortunately, this has been an ongoing project of reading because things such as school and summer reading keep getting in the way. However, I don't start work again until Monday so I should finish pretty soon now!

Jul. 19th, 2005



The Ivy Tree

The Ivy Tree is, first and foremost, a story of mistaken identity.

It's very Bronte'-esq, with crazy dead wives and dark haired, violent paramours, and allusions to gypsies and their animal magic.

This book is very suspenseful, but is based on a lie told to the readers. It's well written, but when I was done reading it I didn't like it very much. I've never liked mysteries that the reader can't solve, where the author is holding something back to flourish at the last reveal. It feels too much like cheating.

Still, this is very well written and if you like Agatha Christie and other mystery authors who reveal secret information at the end, you'll probably like it.

Also, I always like the crazy dead wives.

Jul. 18th, 2005



External Links

These are links from an old webpage I had about Mary Stewart.
I'll double check them and see which ones are still active.
If you have any links, please post them in the comments section!

Mary Stewart Links

An Interview with Mary Stewart by RAYMOND H. THOMPSON.

Partial Bibliography

Allreaders.com Marty Stewart club

Reviews of Mary Stewart's books.

Explorations in Athurian Legend


Mordred Links

"Sir Mordred," Includes "A Vindication of Mordred."

"Mordred," includes text, images, and basic information.

"The Case of Sir Mordred"

Arthurian Links

"King Arthur and the Early British Kingdoms: History and Legend."

"King Arthur"

"King Arthur, a Man for the Ages" Exploration in the History and Legends of Arthur.

"The Historicity and Historicisation of Arthur"

"Merrie Haskell's King Arthur Page"

Sir Gawain Links

"Sir Gawain and the Green Knight". Turn off your speakers. Requires Quick Time media player.

"Gawain: Text, Images, and Basic Information"

"Ywain and Gawain"

Need to write an essay on Gawain? Look no further! You can cheat your way to an "A" by purchasing somebody else's work and passing it off as your own!

"Gawain and the Tree," an essay.</a>

"The Role of Women in 'Sir Gawain and the Green Knight'"

"Orkneyjar- The Heritage of the Orkney Islands." Awesome, awesome, awesome site. I so want to visit the Orkney Islands now.


Review: "Nine Coaches Waiting"

Nine Coaches Waiting, 1958, is a delirious blend of Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, MacBeth, and Cinderella.

A young woman, orphaned at a young age and raised in a boarding school, moves from England to France to take care of an orphaned boy living with his Aunt and Uncle. The boy, Phillippe, is the Comte Valmy, and his gaurdians insisted on a Governess who was English, and spoke no French-- ostensibly, so the child could practice his English without leaning on the crutch of his native French. But seriously. Who'd buy that explanation? Linda Martin, who was born and lived in France until the death of her parents, pretends not to know any French as she is desperate for the job.

Arriving at the country Manse Linda is spooked by Leon Valmy, young Phillippe's guardian. Despite a physical impairment, he is still a dangerous man; a tiger in human guise. Linda also meets his son, Raoul, who is very like his father. Linda falls in love with him, but when Phillippe is almost killed several times, Linda is led to suspect that Raoul might be behind it. After all, if the boy dies, Leon inherits the Valmy land and title... and after him, Raoul. And if Linda is the only thing standing between the child and Raoul...? Well, who will miss one orphaned English governess?

This is an incredibly exciting book, although the romance angle is a bit ham handed, as it is in many of Stewart's earlier books. There's constant confusion over who is bad and who is good, deception layered atop deception. This is a nice change. Characters, and their interactions, are complex. It's also a fairly dated book, as none of the female characters know how to drive. But then, my grandmother never learned how to drive, either. It's always interesting to see how women's roles, and their place in society, have changed.

Jul. 16th, 2005



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