Taliesin Book I of the Pendragon Cycle PDF/EPUB Ò I

Taliesin Book I of the Pendragon Cycle PDF/EPUB Ò I


  • Paperback
  • 496 pages
  • Taliesin Book I of the Pendragon Cycle
  • Stephen R. Lawhead
  • English
  • 18 October 2016

10 thoughts on “Taliesin Book I of the Pendragon Cycle

  1. Krista Krista says:

    Of all of the great books I've read around the King Arthur legend this is my favorite It is acutally about Merlin's parents and involves the lost city of Atlantis and it is a beautiful but sad love story At least that is what I feel when I remember the book; it has been years since I read it time passes I just looked it up to see if it is still in print which it is And what's interesting is that the description on talks of a message and symbolism in the story akin to CS Lewis I don't remember that so I want to read it yet again which makes it a 5 on my criteria scale


  2. Werner Werner says:

    While the above Goodreads description of this book reads like it was a publisher's book jacket blurb and it probably was the basic description of the premise of this series opener is correct and aside from its overwrought language the implied assessment isn't far off the mark either as my rating shows If I could give half stars I'd probably have added oneThat isn't to say that there aren't eye rolling flaws here Atlantis according to Plato who apparently created the legend out of whole cloth was destroyed 9000 years before Solon or ca 9600 BC In this book Atlantis was real but was destroyed in the late 300s AD the mention of the Roman emperor Theodosius near the end of the novel anchors that date This has something of the same effect produced in the various episodes of the old Xena Warrior Princess TV series in which Xena could encounter everybody from the biblical Abraham to Julius Caesar And anybody in between Trojan War? David and Goliath? Sure; easy as pie In itself that strains credibility like a rubber band and it creates serious problems of internal consistency The kind of cataclysm that destroyed Atlantis for instance would certainly have caused tidal waves in western Europe on the scale of the Asian ones of several years ago but they don't happen here And while Atlantis has trading relations with places in the Roman Empire like Phrygia King Avallach apparently has heard of the Roman tribe only vaguely; and though Atlantean seers know about Mithraism and the cult of Isis they haven't heard of Christianity To put it bluntly that's not believable It's also not realistic to portray Christianity as relatively new and unknown in Western Britain at this time; Theodosius had made it Rome's state religion in I think 380 but it had been widespread long before that even in western Britain; St Patrick came from there in this era and was already a third generation Christian And Isis was not the female aspect of Mithras; the two religions were completely unrelated the one being Egyptian the other Anatolian Atlantean culture as the author depicts it is a sort of grab bag of elements from Greece Crete where he gets the bull dancing that plays such a large role and the Semitic East from which he gets the worship of Bel though Bel or Baal was actually a skyrain god not a sun god as he is here Lawhead also takes chronological liberties with his title character who was a real person attested in actual Welsh sources but really born around 530 AD While I'm nit picking I also don't think an infant could be wrapped in a water tight bundle as Taliesin was here without suffocatingAll of that said Lawhead's storytelling ability here draws you in and enthralls you early on so that you leave those concerns lurking in the background or at least I did The two alternating strands of narrative Charis' and Taliesin's which will finally intertwine are eventful and attention grabbing; the characterization is sharp Charis was initially hard for me to relate to because her age in the first part of the book wasn't specified I eventually deduced it to be 12 or 13 but she grows into a splendid heroine; the Atlantean and Celtic worlds are vividly evoked and some key scenes are drawn with great power There's human drama here that grows out of believable human interrelationships the magical element is muted; it takes a back seat to the natural events or sometimes blends with the idea of spiritual reality; we have chaste romances that would warm any heart violence and treachery love and loss and the powerful lesson that what we need for psychological wholeness is the guts to love in the face of loss here in a world that's not perfect yet by a long shot Some characteristic features of Lawhead's work are easily discernible his strong female and male characters; his fascination with things Celtic; concepts like the Otherworld the time between times the genuine creative power of music and Druid mysticism in general His evangelical faith shines through clearly as well he reconciles it with the pre Christian Celtic background in a way that C S Lewis who was clearly one of his literary influences would doubtless have approved Blended with the latter is a view of the coming Dark Ages and Arthur's coming role in withstanding the darkness that invests these with a cosmic spiritual significance No spoilers here but the ending of this novel is one that I did not see coming; and the uality of the writing in the last pages reaches a level that so far in my reading life and I'm 58 I've seen eualed but not betteredTo conclude I picked this book up only because it was a common read in a group but it proved to be well worth the time And if I don't rush to add the seuel to my to read shelf it's only because there are too many books there already; eventually I would like to follow up on this series


  3. Leila Bowers Leila Bowers says:

    This five book series is entitled The Pendragon Cycle and I will review them all here I have now taken and taught classes on King Arthur and this stands as my favorite treatment of the legend Lawhead is one of my favorite authors anyway and he does his homework His writing reflects the oddity of the many Arthurian source texts Merlin is always problematic the hugely variable character of Arthur Guinevere's choices and actionsetcConsidering if Arthur existed he likely lived around 400AD long before courtly love or a true England Lawhead puts us in exactly the right time period His books reflect the darkness and turmoil of the age but they also delve into Christianity in the British Isles before the solid establishment of the Catholic church I also love Lawhead's portrayal of Guinevere even though it deviates bit from the original sourcesI would recommend these there are fantasticmagical elements especially in Taliesin and Merlin but that is an essential part of all the original sources and most ancient and Medieval texts There are some graphic areas especially with battles but not overly detailed hey I can't watch ER and I was okay


  4. Shiloh Shiloh says:

    Lawhead's Pendragon cycle gets off to a rocky start with Taliesin Perhaps it's that I set the bar too high expecting great things from such a renowned author or perhaps it's that I'm reading the cycle for my dissertation and hence got overly critical but either way the book suffers from poor writing poor plotting and a few major historical inaccuracies that ruined it for meThe writing passive voice abounds The dialogue is stilted The characters are two dimensional and hardly have any development at all And when the romance gets started the pathos is stiflingThe plotting this whole book could have been done in half the space Not much actually happens and there is a ton of padding Even with two concurrent storylines running for the first half of the book nothing much actually happens I spend most of the book wondering why any of the stuff Lawhead was telling us about was in any way importantAnd the historical inaccuracies unless some sort of time travel occurs that I missed Lawhead has Atlantis sink in the 400s AD right around the time the Romans are withdrawing from Britain Considering that the legendary Atlantis sank closer to 9600 BC this completely ruined a huge chunk of the book for me The British people believe that the Atlanteans are faery folk and if that had turned out to somehow be the case if they'd hung out for a few thousand years before the British ran across them that would have been different But they're mortal and the legendary sinking is stuck right in the middle of recorded history Also Taliesin takes to Christianity entirely too uickly and with too much verve Yes the British people were Christian before the Anglo Saxons came in but in the space of a conversation with God during a spirit walk which tellingly Taliesin swears never to do again after converting Taliesin is a full blown Christian who refers to the pagans around him as heretics blasphemers and unlearned people as if he wasn't a pagan twelve minutes beforeOverall this book was a huge disappointment Considering all the hype around Lawhead I've heard he's right up there with Marion Zimmer Bradley for authoritativeness in modern Arthurian fantasy I expected much


  5. Paul Schulzetenberg Paul Schulzetenberg says:

    Two stars is a bit harsh for this book as Lawhead deftly weaves together two separate storylines for much of the book Charis our female protagonist in Atlantis lives some interesting family drama Meanwhile Taliesin our male counterpart is growing up in Britain as a wunderkind with destiny written all over him As the cover so coyly tells us there is a love story coming and we the readers are left with a surprising amount of tension as we are attempting to figure out how exactly these two people are ever going to get togetherThen the cataclysm hits and spoiler Atlantis sinks Suddenly the book speeds up to an alarming pace and Lawhead decides that he's going to stop building character and instead plow through tons of legend inspired storyline to show off that Yes he did do his research and Yes he'd be happy to prove it What follows is a rushed retelling of a mishmash of legends droning on like a combination the worst of all types It reads like Beowulf at its most laconic combined with preachy Mallory and served with a generous side of distracted Tolkeinesue world building None of which appeals to me the reader as I am just wishing that I could figure out what's going on with the characters What started as a compelling if somewhat simplistic character drama turns instead to a very distracted tale of legendAdding insult to injury is the to me intolerable way that Christianity is shoved down the reader's throat in the last half of the book Our title character Taliesin is a druid born with a destiny to be THE BEST DRUID EVAR1 and everything he does proves just how amazing he is He's connected with the gods he walks in the otherworld and he has prophetic visions He kicks ass and chews Druidic willowbark Then this fuddy little priest comes along and Taliesin with next to no warning forsakes everything he ever knows Clearly this monotheistic God is better than all those other Gods We the readers know this because well because Taliesin has an internal monologue which goes Why would this God be better than the rest? Because the priest said so Why would the priest say so? Because his God is better than the rest Better justifications for this major transformation from Pagan to monotheism can be found at any old Tent Revival Was Lawhead even trying?I've worked myself into a review lather and now the book sounds awful The book isn't that bad Or accurately it's exactly that bad but no worse My advice is to read the first two thirds write it off as a tragedy and don't bother with the rest of the book Now I'm off to get the second book in the series and see if there's any point to continuing After all there's promise here and I'm a glutton for punishment


  6. Sean Sean says:

    This book made me angry I've read several takes on the Arthurian legend and I've disliked a few but none of them pissed me off as much as this one The only possible reason I can conceive of for it's existence is to serve as a counter point to Marion Zimmer Bradley's Mists of Avalon in much the same way as Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials is a counter point to C S Lewis's Chronicles of NarniaLet's begin The world building is a bit shoddy It's set in the 4th century but for some reason parts of Atlantis still exist and there is some interaction between Atlantis and Europe Despite this there is no real change to history as we know it While the Atlantian culture is a bit interesting it doesn't really contribute anything to the overall story and is probably only there because Bradley had her religion of Avalon originate on Atlantis Only she didn't have the Atlantians migrating to Britain during recorded historyThe actual history is shoddy as well Magnus Maximus a real Roman general appears but he really shouldn't be in Britain when he's there He mentions an Emperor Constantine but he died when Magnus was 5 and the next one wouldn't be until twenty years after Magnus's death It also doesn't help that there's apparently only one emperor when Rome had two emperors one in the east and one in the westBut it doesn't end there While there's a connection between Taliesin and the Arthur story in legend the real Taliesin wouldn't have been born for another two hundred years Yes he was a real person and we have some of his writingsI understand that this isn't supposed to be a historical novel setting something like this in the real world brings along a lot of baggage In short you should have done a proper amount of research Mr LawheadWhile the characters start off alright they all too uickly get aggravating Taliesin's father is probably the best if only because he actually has a plot associated with himCharis the Atlantian princess and one of the main protagonists starts off well enough but after the time skip between parts 1 and 2 she becomes an unbearably arrogant Mary Sue she always gets her way even when basic reason dictates that she's being at least somewhat unreasonable but I'm supposed to like her because she's a Strong Independent WomanTM who just happens to rely on pretty much everyone else to do all the work for her Side note how exactly does spending seven years as what is essentially a bullfighter train you for fighting armed and experienced soldiers? It only gets worse in part 3 where she meets Taliesin because then she goes from Strong Independent WomanTM to Meek Feminine Love InterestTM because once she lays eyes on him she starts swooning like she's on the cover of a Harleuin romance novel and never really asserts herself againTaliesin is much the same he starts out alright but gets really aggravating near the end He's raised up and trained as a druid and a bard but after one weird vision effortlessly converts to Christianity at which point he ceases to be a character and becomes a Gary Stu and cipher for Mr Lawhead anyone who disagrees with his new beliefs is either converted with a minimal effort and automatically becomes a good guy or defeated just as easily because I shit you not God is literally on his side and the universe will gladly bend over backwards to prove he's rightCongratulations Mr Lawhead you managed to turn Arthurian legend into a Chick tractThe romance between Taliesin and Charis makes Anakin and Padme look deep and compelling You can count the number of interactions between the two on one hand Charis sees him singing 1 he sees her at a feast 2 he comes across her bathing after following her around all day 3 and then they meet up at some old ruins 4 At that last one they declare themselves to be in love because they are Soul MatesTM and Destined LoversTMThere's almost no real plot to this book because the conflicts are either ignored or so easily overcome that they're little than speed bumps especially in the third part The principle conflict there is that the two love birds gag can't be together because Charis's father won't consent Even though said marriage would be a great way to cement that alliance he just spent the previous chapter trying to put together Because Mr Lawhead either needed to pad out his word count or have his Stu demonstrate why Christianity is Better Than Paganism Probably bothThe final bit that's supposed to lead into the rest of the series is just as manufactured the Atlantian king's adviser and second daughter Morgan sorry 'Morgian' are probably responsible for Taliesin's death Why? No reason We almost never see the two of them so they're not really characters though no one else is by that point eitherDo not read this book I can't stress that enough Even if you disagree with Marion Zimmer Bradley's message at least she put in the effort to make the characters interesting and have an actual conflict in her take on the Arthur story Mr Lawhead's characterization has all the subtlety and nuance of a brick thrown through a window his 'conflicts' tend towards the idiotic and his message is like a bright pink neon sign glaringly obvious and bordering on offensive I will not be reading the remainder of the 'Cycle' and I honestly wish I had avoided this one


  7. Richard Derus Richard Derus says:

    Rating 2 of fiveThe Publisher Says It was a time of legend when the last shadows of the mighty Roman conueror faded from the captured Isle of Britain While across a vast sea bloody war shattered a peace that had flourished for two thousand years in the doomed kingdom of Atlantis Taliesin is the remarkable adventure of Charis the Atlantean princess who escaped the terrible devastation of her homeland and of the fabled seer and druid prince Taliesin singer at the dawn of the age It is the story of an incomparable love that joined two worlds amid the fires of chaos and spawned the miracles of Merlinand Arthur the kingMy Review OhfagawdsakeAn Atlantean princess? Atlantis assuming Plato told the truth sank over 3500 years before this book takes place How old was this broad? How'd she have a kid? The shuddersome Jesusyness of the book made me itchI sent this book on to its reward via Bookmooch Ghastly This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial ShareAlike 30 Unported License


  8. Joe Joe says:

    This is my first review here so I thought I would start with one that has meant the most to me I was blown away from the very start Stephen Lawhead writes with such a passion for his characters in this book frankly I was surprised He has taken something that is so familiar and judging by the many other adaptaions of the Arthurian legend breathed wonderful new life into it Taliesin is the seldom told story of the Druid singer Taliesin Forebear of Merlin who later became teacher advisor and protector of King Arthur The world that Lawhwad creates is both barbaric and at the same time beautiful as it moves back and forth from ancient Britain to the enlightened society of Atlantis I read this book a while backa long while and I still am blown away by how tender this book was The story is about beauty of the soul As i've said before this is my first review so I may not be that good at it but this book really left a lasting impression on me


  9. Abbie Abbie says:

    “he burned with the vision of a world he meant to createThat vision must not dieI Charis Princess of Lost Atlantis Lady of the Lake will keep the vision alive”So ends the first book in the Pendragon Cycle — and what a book it has been This novel completely changed how I view Arthurian works by going against all the cliche boring sagas that we see as that time periods best Stephen Lawhead brought to life the Lady of the Lake and the Legend of Atlantis in a way I never thought possible He brings the characters alive with feelings backstory and paragraphs bursting with descriptions that show the true heart of people the earnestness of love the pain of great loss Something I just could not love was how perfect life in Atlantis what a perfect life Charis ledand yet how in the blink of an eye it was all lost forever even before her island was destroyed when she gave herself up to pride and greed as a bull dancer At first I hated how she had changed but then I saw the true maturing and learning in her character THROUGH all the struggles THROUGH the pain caused by herself and others and how Taliesin teaches her how to live againAnd can I just say what a cutie Taliesin is? Not his looks but his heart; how he is honest and straighforward yet smart and kind to everyonePlus the uotes oh my word how uotable could this book get And the morals they gave are ecellent too All in all I would highly recommend this book to anyoneThere is some light sexual contentbut nothing serious so I think it's suitable for all readers I don't know if Lawhead is a Christian or not but he did a great job with the plot twist at the end where Charis and Taliesin the MCs become Christians I totally didn't see that one comingAll in all an awesome read


  10. Emelia Emelia says:

    I have begun a game with myself where I go to the library and pick books from the free shelf you know books with those dust jackets the ones you would normally never read because of the cover and because of the synopsis written on the inside by some bored reviewer that doesn't do the book justice I am discovering small gems on the free shelf and so it is with TaliesinI will weep no for the lost asleep in their water graves is how the book begins Stephen R Lawhead has managed to combine the tale of Atlantis and the tale of the most famous bard out side of Merlin that is Taliesin I enjoyed the book and found it charming While the first half lags a bit but sometimes that happens with the introduction of characters the second half is a page turner where you find yourself wanting It was a bold venture to say the least for Lawhead; Combing two subjects that everyone has heard of but have not read about in the same sitting And he writes in the old school classic form which adds to the charm of the book Charis is the princess of King Avallach an Atlantean King and is our heroine who lives a life of comfort and decadence on Atlantis taught by the court seer Annubi who has visions of the destruction of Atlantis Meanwhile a son is born to a Celtic King Gwyddno Garanhir who is cursed with bad luck Nothing that Elphin puts his hand to flourishes and his clan would drive him away were it not for his father the King and the Druid Hafgar Trying to change his son's luck King Garanhir sends him off to the salmon weir in hopes of Elphin will come back with enough salmon to feed the clan through the winter months Naturally Elphin finds no salmon but he does find a leather satchel in the frigid water Inside he finds a beautiful baby that is near death He uickly warms the babe and is rewarded with a small cry And thus begins the story of Taliesin of the radiant browThis book as I said is a charming read and the reader is enveloped in the mysteries of Druids and seers Roman occupation war and the destruction of Atlantis And of course a love that carries on through the ages A love that Bards write songs of A love that brings about the birth of another famous child who is named Merlin If you find yourself needing a book on a rainy day when you are snuggled up in your bead with a warm cup of tea I strongly suggest you read Taliesin You will be transported from your bed into a land of ancient times where magic lives trees speak and history is written on the strings of harps


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Taliesin Book I of the Pendragon Cycle➪ Taliesin Book I of the Pendragon Cycle Read ➲ Author Stephen R. Lawhead – Capitalsoftworks.co.uk It was a time of legend when the last shadows of the mighty Roman conueror faded from the captured Isle of Britain While across a vast sea bloody war shattered a peace that had flourished for two thou It was a time I of PDF Æ of legend when the last shadows of the mighty Roman conueror faded from the captured Isle of Taliesin Book Kindle - Britain While across a vast sea bloody war shattered a peace that had flourished for two thousand years in the doomed kingdom Book I of eBook ↠ of AtlantisTaliesin is the remarkable adventure of Charis the Atlantean princess who escaped the terrible devastation of her homeland and of the Book I of the Pendragon Kindle - fabled seer and druid prince Taliesin singer at the dawn of the age It is the story of an incomparable love that joined two worlds amid the fires of chaos and spawned the miracles of Merlinand Arthur the king.


About the Author: Stephen R. Lawhead

was born in I of PDF Æ in Nebraska in the USA Most of his early life was spent in America where he earned Taliesin Book Kindle - a university degree in Fine Arts and attended theological college for two years His first professional writing was done at Campus Life Book I of eBook ↠ magazine in Chicago where he was an editor and staff writer During his five years at Campus Life he wrote hundreds of Book I of the Pendragon Kindle - articles and several non fiction booksAfter a brief foray into the music business—as president of his own record company—he began full time freelance writing in He moved to England in order to research Celtic legend and history His first novel In the Hall of the Dragon King became the first in a series of three books The Dragon King Trilogy and was followed by the two volume Empyrion saga Dream Thief and then the Pendragon Cycle now in five volumes Taliesin Merlin Arthur Pendragon and Grail This was followed by the award winning Song of Albion series which Book I of the Pendragon Kindle - consists of The Paradise War The Silver Hand and The Endless KnotHe has written nine children's books many of them originally offered to his two sons Drake and Ross He is married to.


10 thoughts on “Taliesin Book I of the Pendragon Cycle

  1. Krista Krista says:

    Of all of the great books I've read around the King Arthur legend this is my favorite It is acutally about Merlin's parents and involves the lost city of Atlantis and it is a beautiful but sad love story At least that is what I feel when I remember the book; it has been years since I read it time passes I just looked it up to see if it is still in print which it is And what's interesting is that the description on talks of a message and symbolism in the story akin to CS Lewis I don't remember that so I want to read it yet again which makes it a 5 on my criteria scale

  2. Werner Werner says:

    While the above Goodreads description of this book reads like it was a publisher's book jacket blurb and it probably was the basic description of the premise of this series opener is correct and aside from its overwrought language the implied assessment isn't far off the mark either as my rating shows If I could give half stars I'd probably have added oneThat isn't to say that there aren't eye rolling flaws here Atlantis according to Plato who apparently created the legend out of whole cloth was destroyed 9000 years before Solon or ca 9600 BC In this book Atlantis was real but was destroyed in the late 300s AD the mention of the Roman emperor Theodosius near the end of the novel anchors that date This has something of the same effect produced in the various episodes of the old Xena Warrior Princess TV series in which Xena could encounter everybody from the biblical Abraham to Julius Caesar And anybody in between Trojan War? David and Goliath? Sure; easy as pie In itself that strains credibility like a rubber band and it creates serious problems of internal consistency The kind of cataclysm that destroyed Atlantis for instance would certainly have caused tidal waves in western Europe on the scale of the Asian ones of several years ago but they don't happen here And while Atlantis has trading relations with places in the Roman Empire like Phrygia King Avallach apparently has heard of the Roman tribe only vaguely; and though Atlantean seers know about Mithraism and the cult of Isis they haven't heard of Christianity To put it bluntly that's not believable It's also not realistic to portray Christianity as relatively new and unknown in Western Britain at this time; Theodosius had made it Rome's state religion in I think 380 but it had been widespread long before that even in western Britain; St Patrick came from there in this era and was already a third generation Christian And Isis was not the female aspect of Mithras; the two religions were completely unrelated the one being Egyptian the other Anatolian Atlantean culture as the author depicts it is a sort of grab bag of elements from Greece Crete where he gets the bull dancing that plays such a large role and the Semitic East from which he gets the worship of Bel though Bel or Baal was actually a skyrain god not a sun god as he is here Lawhead also takes chronological liberties with his title character who was a real person attested in actual Welsh sources but really born around 530 AD While I'm nit picking I also don't think an infant could be wrapped in a water tight bundle as Taliesin was here without suffocatingAll of that said Lawhead's storytelling ability here draws you in and enthralls you early on so that you leave those concerns lurking in the background or at least I did The two alternating strands of narrative Charis' and Taliesin's which will finally intertwine are eventful and attention grabbing; the characterization is sharp Charis was initially hard for me to relate to because her age in the first part of the book wasn't specified I eventually deduced it to be 12 or 13 but she grows into a splendid heroine; the Atlantean and Celtic worlds are vividly evoked and some key scenes are drawn with great power There's human drama here that grows out of believable human interrelationships the magical element is muted; it takes a back seat to the natural events or sometimes blends with the idea of spiritual reality; we have chaste romances that would warm any heart violence and treachery love and loss and the powerful lesson that what we need for psychological wholeness is the guts to love in the face of loss here in a world that's not perfect yet by a long shot Some characteristic features of Lawhead's work are easily discernible his strong female and male characters; his fascination with things Celtic; concepts like the Otherworld the time between times the genuine creative power of music and Druid mysticism in general His evangelical faith shines through clearly as well he reconciles it with the pre Christian Celtic background in a way that C S Lewis who was clearly one of his literary influences would doubtless have approved Blended with the latter is a view of the coming Dark Ages and Arthur's coming role in withstanding the darkness that invests these with a cosmic spiritual significance No spoilers here but the ending of this novel is one that I did not see coming; and the uality of the writing in the last pages reaches a level that so far in my reading life and I'm 58 I've seen eualed but not betteredTo conclude I picked this book up only because it was a common read in a group but it proved to be well worth the time And if I don't rush to add the seuel to my to read shelf it's only because there are too many books there already; eventually I would like to follow up on this series

  3. Leila Bowers Leila Bowers says:

    This five book series is entitled The Pendragon Cycle and I will review them all here I have now taken and taught classes on King Arthur and this stands as my favorite treatment of the legend Lawhead is one of my favorite authors anyway and he does his homework His writing reflects the oddity of the many Arthurian source texts Merlin is always problematic the hugely variable character of Arthur Guinevere's choices and actionsetcConsidering if Arthur existed he likely lived around 400AD long before courtly love or a true England Lawhead puts us in exactly the right time period His books reflect the darkness and turmoil of the age but they also delve into Christianity in the British Isles before the solid establishment of the Catholic church I also love Lawhead's portrayal of Guinevere even though it deviates bit from the original sourcesI would recommend these there are fantasticmagical elements especially in Taliesin and Merlin but that is an essential part of all the original sources and most ancient and Medieval texts There are some graphic areas especially with battles but not overly detailed hey I can't watch ER and I was okay

  4. Shiloh Shiloh says:

    Lawhead's Pendragon cycle gets off to a rocky start with Taliesin Perhaps it's that I set the bar too high expecting great things from such a renowned author or perhaps it's that I'm reading the cycle for my dissertation and hence got overly critical but either way the book suffers from poor writing poor plotting and a few major historical inaccuracies that ruined it for meThe writing passive voice abounds The dialogue is stilted The characters are two dimensional and hardly have any development at all And when the romance gets started the pathos is stiflingThe plotting this whole book could have been done in half the space Not much actually happens and there is a ton of padding Even with two concurrent storylines running for the first half of the book nothing much actually happens I spend most of the book wondering why any of the stuff Lawhead was telling us about was in any way importantAnd the historical inaccuracies unless some sort of time travel occurs that I missed Lawhead has Atlantis sink in the 400s AD right around the time the Romans are withdrawing from Britain Considering that the legendary Atlantis sank closer to 9600 BC this completely ruined a huge chunk of the book for me The British people believe that the Atlanteans are faery folk and if that had turned out to somehow be the case if they'd hung out for a few thousand years before the British ran across them that would have been different But they're mortal and the legendary sinking is stuck right in the middle of recorded history Also Taliesin takes to Christianity entirely too uickly and with too much verve Yes the British people were Christian before the Anglo Saxons came in but in the space of a conversation with God during a spirit walk which tellingly Taliesin swears never to do again after converting Taliesin is a full blown Christian who refers to the pagans around him as heretics blasphemers and unlearned people as if he wasn't a pagan twelve minutes beforeOverall this book was a huge disappointment Considering all the hype around Lawhead I've heard he's right up there with Marion Zimmer Bradley for authoritativeness in modern Arthurian fantasy I expected much

  5. Paul Schulzetenberg Paul Schulzetenberg says:

    Two stars is a bit harsh for this book as Lawhead deftly weaves together two separate storylines for much of the book Charis our female protagonist in Atlantis lives some interesting family drama Meanwhile Taliesin our male counterpart is growing up in Britain as a wunderkind with destiny written all over him As the cover so coyly tells us there is a love story coming and we the readers are left with a surprising amount of tension as we are attempting to figure out how exactly these two people are ever going to get togetherThen the cataclysm hits and spoiler Atlantis sinks Suddenly the book speeds up to an alarming pace and Lawhead decides that he's going to stop building character and instead plow through tons of legend inspired storyline to show off that Yes he did do his research and Yes he'd be happy to prove it What follows is a rushed retelling of a mishmash of legends droning on like a combination the worst of all types It reads like Beowulf at its most laconic combined with preachy Mallory and served with a generous side of distracted Tolkeinesue world building None of which appeals to me the reader as I am just wishing that I could figure out what's going on with the characters What started as a compelling if somewhat simplistic character drama turns instead to a very distracted tale of legendAdding insult to injury is the to me intolerable way that Christianity is shoved down the reader's throat in the last half of the book Our title character Taliesin is a druid born with a destiny to be THE BEST DRUID EVAR1 and everything he does proves just how amazing he is He's connected with the gods he walks in the otherworld and he has prophetic visions He kicks ass and chews Druidic willowbark Then this fuddy little priest comes along and Taliesin with next to no warning forsakes everything he ever knows Clearly this monotheistic God is better than all those other Gods We the readers know this because well because Taliesin has an internal monologue which goes Why would this God be better than the rest? Because the priest said so Why would the priest say so? Because his God is better than the rest Better justifications for this major transformation from Pagan to monotheism can be found at any old Tent Revival Was Lawhead even trying?I've worked myself into a review lather and now the book sounds awful The book isn't that bad Or accurately it's exactly that bad but no worse My advice is to read the first two thirds write it off as a tragedy and don't bother with the rest of the book Now I'm off to get the second book in the series and see if there's any point to continuing After all there's promise here and I'm a glutton for punishment

  6. Sean Sean says:

    This book made me angry I've read several takes on the Arthurian legend and I've disliked a few but none of them pissed me off as much as this one The only possible reason I can conceive of for it's existence is to serve as a counter point to Marion Zimmer Bradley's Mists of Avalon in much the same way as Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials is a counter point to C S Lewis's Chronicles of NarniaLet's begin The world building is a bit shoddy It's set in the 4th century but for some reason parts of Atlantis still exist and there is some interaction between Atlantis and Europe Despite this there is no real change to history as we know it While the Atlantian culture is a bit interesting it doesn't really contribute anything to the overall story and is probably only there because Bradley had her religion of Avalon originate on Atlantis Only she didn't have the Atlantians migrating to Britain during recorded historyThe actual history is shoddy as well Magnus Maximus a real Roman general appears but he really shouldn't be in Britain when he's there He mentions an Emperor Constantine but he died when Magnus was 5 and the next one wouldn't be until twenty years after Magnus's death It also doesn't help that there's apparently only one emperor when Rome had two emperors one in the east and one in the westBut it doesn't end there While there's a connection between Taliesin and the Arthur story in legend the real Taliesin wouldn't have been born for another two hundred years Yes he was a real person and we have some of his writingsI understand that this isn't supposed to be a historical novel setting something like this in the real world brings along a lot of baggage In short you should have done a proper amount of research Mr LawheadWhile the characters start off alright they all too uickly get aggravating Taliesin's father is probably the best if only because he actually has a plot associated with himCharis the Atlantian princess and one of the main protagonists starts off well enough but after the time skip between parts 1 and 2 she becomes an unbearably arrogant Mary Sue she always gets her way even when basic reason dictates that she's being at least somewhat unreasonable but I'm supposed to like her because she's a Strong Independent WomanTM who just happens to rely on pretty much everyone else to do all the work for her Side note how exactly does spending seven years as what is essentially a bullfighter train you for fighting armed and experienced soldiers? It only gets worse in part 3 where she meets Taliesin because then she goes from Strong Independent WomanTM to Meek Feminine Love InterestTM because once she lays eyes on him she starts swooning like she's on the cover of a Harleuin romance novel and never really asserts herself againTaliesin is much the same he starts out alright but gets really aggravating near the end He's raised up and trained as a druid and a bard but after one weird vision effortlessly converts to Christianity at which point he ceases to be a character and becomes a Gary Stu and cipher for Mr Lawhead anyone who disagrees with his new beliefs is either converted with a minimal effort and automatically becomes a good guy or defeated just as easily because I shit you not God is literally on his side and the universe will gladly bend over backwards to prove he's rightCongratulations Mr Lawhead you managed to turn Arthurian legend into a Chick tractThe romance between Taliesin and Charis makes Anakin and Padme look deep and compelling You can count the number of interactions between the two on one hand Charis sees him singing 1 he sees her at a feast 2 he comes across her bathing after following her around all day 3 and then they meet up at some old ruins 4 At that last one they declare themselves to be in love because they are Soul MatesTM and Destined LoversTMThere's almost no real plot to this book because the conflicts are either ignored or so easily overcome that they're little than speed bumps especially in the third part The principle conflict there is that the two love birds gag can't be together because Charis's father won't consent Even though said marriage would be a great way to cement that alliance he just spent the previous chapter trying to put together Because Mr Lawhead either needed to pad out his word count or have his Stu demonstrate why Christianity is Better Than Paganism Probably bothThe final bit that's supposed to lead into the rest of the series is just as manufactured the Atlantian king's adviser and second daughter Morgan sorry 'Morgian' are probably responsible for Taliesin's death Why? No reason We almost never see the two of them so they're not really characters though no one else is by that point eitherDo not read this book I can't stress that enough Even if you disagree with Marion Zimmer Bradley's message at least she put in the effort to make the characters interesting and have an actual conflict in her take on the Arthur story Mr Lawhead's characterization has all the subtlety and nuance of a brick thrown through a window his 'conflicts' tend towards the idiotic and his message is like a bright pink neon sign glaringly obvious and bordering on offensive I will not be reading the remainder of the 'Cycle' and I honestly wish I had avoided this one

  7. Richard Derus Richard Derus says:

    Rating 2 of fiveThe Publisher Says It was a time of legend when the last shadows of the mighty Roman conueror faded from the captured Isle of Britain While across a vast sea bloody war shattered a peace that had flourished for two thousand years in the doomed kingdom of Atlantis Taliesin is the remarkable adventure of Charis the Atlantean princess who escaped the terrible devastation of her homeland and of the fabled seer and druid prince Taliesin singer at the dawn of the age It is the story of an incomparable love that joined two worlds amid the fires of chaos and spawned the miracles of Merlinand Arthur the kingMy Review OhfagawdsakeAn Atlantean princess? Atlantis assuming Plato told the truth sank over 3500 years before this book takes place How old was this broad? How'd she have a kid? The shuddersome Jesusyness of the book made me itchI sent this book on to its reward via Bookmooch Ghastly This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial ShareAlike 30 Unported License

  8. Joe Joe says:

    This is my first review here so I thought I would start with one that has meant the most to me I was blown away from the very start Stephen Lawhead writes with such a passion for his characters in this book frankly I was surprised He has taken something that is so familiar and judging by the many other adaptaions of the Arthurian legend breathed wonderful new life into it Taliesin is the seldom told story of the Druid singer Taliesin Forebear of Merlin who later became teacher advisor and protector of King Arthur The world that Lawhwad creates is both barbaric and at the same time beautiful as it moves back and forth from ancient Britain to the enlightened society of Atlantis I read this book a while backa long while and I still am blown away by how tender this book was The story is about beauty of the soul As i've said before this is my first review so I may not be that good at it but this book really left a lasting impression on me

  9. Abbie Abbie says:

    “he burned with the vision of a world he meant to createThat vision must not dieI Charis Princess of Lost Atlantis Lady of the Lake will keep the vision alive”So ends the first book in the Pendragon Cycle — and what a book it has been This novel completely changed how I view Arthurian works by going against all the cliche boring sagas that we see as that time periods best Stephen Lawhead brought to life the Lady of the Lake and the Legend of Atlantis in a way I never thought possible He brings the characters alive with feelings backstory and paragraphs bursting with descriptions that show the true heart of people the earnestness of love the pain of great loss Something I just could not love was how perfect life in Atlantis what a perfect life Charis ledand yet how in the blink of an eye it was all lost forever even before her island was destroyed when she gave herself up to pride and greed as a bull dancer At first I hated how she had changed but then I saw the true maturing and learning in her character THROUGH all the struggles THROUGH the pain caused by herself and others and how Taliesin teaches her how to live againAnd can I just say what a cutie Taliesin is? Not his looks but his heart; how he is honest and straighforward yet smart and kind to everyonePlus the uotes oh my word how uotable could this book get And the morals they gave are ecellent too All in all I would highly recommend this book to anyoneThere is some light sexual contentbut nothing serious so I think it's suitable for all readers I don't know if Lawhead is a Christian or not but he did a great job with the plot twist at the end where Charis and Taliesin the MCs become Christians I totally didn't see that one comingAll in all an awesome read

  10. Emelia Emelia says:

    I have begun a game with myself where I go to the library and pick books from the free shelf you know books with those dust jackets the ones you would normally never read because of the cover and because of the synopsis written on the inside by some bored reviewer that doesn't do the book justice I am discovering small gems on the free shelf and so it is with TaliesinI will weep no for the lost asleep in their water graves is how the book begins Stephen R Lawhead has managed to combine the tale of Atlantis and the tale of the most famous bard out side of Merlin that is Taliesin I enjoyed the book and found it charming While the first half lags a bit but sometimes that happens with the introduction of characters the second half is a page turner where you find yourself wanting It was a bold venture to say the least for Lawhead; Combing two subjects that everyone has heard of but have not read about in the same sitting And he writes in the old school classic form which adds to the charm of the book Charis is the princess of King Avallach an Atlantean King and is our heroine who lives a life of comfort and decadence on Atlantis taught by the court seer Annubi who has visions of the destruction of Atlantis Meanwhile a son is born to a Celtic King Gwyddno Garanhir who is cursed with bad luck Nothing that Elphin puts his hand to flourishes and his clan would drive him away were it not for his father the King and the Druid Hafgar Trying to change his son's luck King Garanhir sends him off to the salmon weir in hopes of Elphin will come back with enough salmon to feed the clan through the winter months Naturally Elphin finds no salmon but he does find a leather satchel in the frigid water Inside he finds a beautiful baby that is near death He uickly warms the babe and is rewarded with a small cry And thus begins the story of Taliesin of the radiant browThis book as I said is a charming read and the reader is enveloped in the mysteries of Druids and seers Roman occupation war and the destruction of Atlantis And of course a love that carries on through the ages A love that Bards write songs of A love that brings about the birth of another famous child who is named Merlin If you find yourself needing a book on a rainy day when you are snuggled up in your bead with a warm cup of tea I strongly suggest you read Taliesin You will be transported from your bed into a land of ancient times where magic lives trees speak and history is written on the strings of harps

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