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Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson. The second series takes place years later, focusing on best friends living during an Industrial Revolution-like era. Sanderson plans to write two more series one in a modern, urban setting, the other in a futuristic, sci-fi setting , ensuring that Mistborn will appeal to readers of multiple genres. With a rich history and an original magic system that flourishes alongside the characters, Mistborn proves to be a landmark addition to the fantasy realm.
Kylar exists within a gritty world where greed and elemental magic exist in equal measure. Thrust into a conflict of world-shattering significance, he must choose between tranquility or violence to protect the life he knows. Weeks weaves realistic characters and a creative magic system into a narrative of epic scope, delivering a compelling trilogy that deserves its place among the best stories in fantasy.
The Pendragon Cycle by Stephen R. First Book in the Series: Taliesin Description: While you might be tempted to pass on yet another take on the legend of King Arthur, this one is arguably the best. With extensive research to back him up, Stephen R.
Lawhead takes on the infamous legend and transforms it into a fascinating story that could have happened. Arthur does not show up until book three, but the journey to get there is what makes this six-book series so engaging. In a genre overcrowded with Arthurian books and movies, this one is worth the read. The Realm of the Elderlings by Robin Hobb. The interwoven stories found in the Realm of the Elderlings novels prove that Hobb can successfully build a rich fantasy world while simultaneously exploring the daily lives of beloved characters.
Redwall by Brian Jacques. But stories following the brave residents of Redwall Abbey and Mossflower Woods are the kind of YA fiction that mesmerizes readers of all ages. Published in non-linear order, the series takes place in a familiar medieval world inhabited by various anthropomorphic animals. The danger feels threatening enough to lend high stakes to the battle of good and evil. Shannara by Terry Brooks. This fantasy tale encompasses 10 stories, with each story averaging a trilogy of books.
The books are linked together by a family that manifests a magic user or two every few generations, a mysterious druid order and a tree that holds back hoards of demons. Your only question is whether to read the books in the order they were written or to tackle them in chronological order, since Terry Brooks wrote as many stories preceding The Sword of Shannara as those that follow. There are so many different players on the chessboard, struggling for either power, survival or revenge, that the fifth volume could only deal with half of its key characters.
But all of the religions, customs and histories of the seven kingdoms of Westeros and the free cities to the east still fit together as they jostle for position. Martin has been criticized for killing off his characters, but the brutality of this Machiavellian, patriarchal society only serves to make us care more deeply about the innocent and afflicted underdogs of the realm.
The Stormlight Archive by Brandon Sanderson. First Book in the Series: The Way of Kings Description: Brandon Sanderson is a masterfully technical worldbuilder, and the magic in his books follows a precise logic that gives it natural boundaries. But his greater gift is with character. The danger of fantasy literature is that its inhabitants can be so far removed from our world as to be completely unrelatable. The Sword of Truth by Terry Goodkind. Temeraire by Naomi Novik. What makes this series so engaging is the effort Novik has put into creating the society of dragons.
Dragons range in size and skillset, hailing from different cultures and proving that humans are not the only sentient race. Part fantasy and part alternative history, the Temeraire series promises to captivate you. Grail is mostly narrated by Gwalchavad Galahad , with a short narration by Morgian Morgan le Fay at the beginning of most chapters. A listing of the locations and place names used in the series, and their modern equivalents see also List of Roman place names in Britain :.
Tells simultaneously the story of the fall of Atlantis, the subsequent travel of Princess Charis and her family to Ynys Prydein Britain , and the discovery and training of Taliesin as a druid-bard. The two eventually meet and marry, and Myrddin Merlin is born, just weeks before a tragedy brought about by Charis' jealous half-sister, Morgian. Narrated by Myrddin. Tells of Myrddin's dual upbringing among the druids and Christian priests, his capture and mystical training among the Hill Folk, and his brief time as a king of Dyfed.
He experiences a doomed romance with Princess Ganieda and long years of madness as a wild man of the woods before finding his destiny. Narrated by Pelleas first third , Bedwyr second third , and Aneirin last third. Tells of Arthur and Myrddin's attempt to create the paradisaical "Kingdom of Summer". Arthur is made Duke and Battlechief of Britain after drawing the sword of Maximus from a stone, but must fight back the Saecsens and barbarian invaders and unite the peoples of Britain before he can be accepted as High King.
For a moment, Merlin regained his senses, when he heard some music played by the retainer of Ganieda Gwenddydd. Ganieda was the sister of Merlin and wife of King Rodarch. Merlin returned to the court of King Rodarch for only a while. Madness returned because there were too many people in Rodarch's court, and Merlin fled back into the forest. Rodarch tried to persuade his brother-in-law to return, but Merlin refused, so the king had him returned in chain. Ganieda took care of her brother. One day, Rodarch removed a leaf from his wife's hair.
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Seeing this Merlin laughed. Curious, Rodarch wanted to know the reason for Merlin's laugh. Reluctantly, he told the king that Ganieda had met her lover under a tree. Ganieda told her husband that her brother was still suffering from madness, so Rodarch shouldn't take too much notice of what he say. To prove that Merlin was either mad or clairvoyance, Rodarch ask Merlin see what the fate of one of the boys in the court. Merlin saw this boy three times; each time he gave a different answer. Merlin said that the boy would die from a fall. Then at a second look, Merlin would say that the boy would died from a tree, and later still, he reply that the boy would die in a river.
With this three-fold death, Rodarch dismissed Merlin's accusation of his wife's adultery and concluded that Merlin was indeed mad, so the king released his brother-in-law. Merlin decided to return to the woods, but before he did, he informed his wife, Gwendoloena Gwendolyn that she had his permission to marry someone else, dissolving his marriage to her. Gwendoloena had been living with Rodarch and Ganieda, since the day of his disappearance after the battle.
However, Merlin also warned his wife that he will bring a gift to her on her wedding day, but that her new bridegroom should not see him on that day, and that her new betrothed should avoid standing in his path. This interdiction is like the Irish geis or taboo that are imposed on rulers or heroes, where it usually spell doom of the person, who break his geis. While Merlin was in the forest, his foretelling of the boy's death came true. The boy fell off a rock, where his feet were caught in a branch of a tree.
With the boy hanging upside-down, his head was in the water, so the child drowned. Rodarch realised that Merlin was a prophet and that what he said about his wife's adultery, must also be true. On the day of Gwendoloena's wedding, she saw from her window, her ex-husband mounted on a stag, leading a herd of stags and deer into Rodarch's court. Gwendoloena laughed at this spectacle. Her laugh brought her fiance to the window; thereby her fiance had broken the first interdiction.
Then Merlin broke off one of his stag's antler and hurled it at her fiance's head, which killed him. This was Merlin's gift to Gwendoloena. One day, when Rodarch heard Merlin laughed again, the king again wanted to hear the cause of Merlin's amusement. Merlin only agreed to tell his brother-in-law, if he was free to return to the forest. Merlin told him that he had seen a young man buy a pair of shoes with some extra leather for repair, but he would die on that very day. Merlin also witnessed an old beggar resting beside the palace gates, not realising he was sitting on top of a treasure.
Both predictions were true, so the king freed the prophet. In the forest, Ganieda had a large building constructed for her brother, with 70 doors and 70 windows, so Merlin could observe the stars in the winter, while he was free to roam the forest in the summer. Merlin then began to foretell a series of some of the bleak events about Britain. All these prophecy was written down.
One day will Ganieda was visiting her brother, Merlin told her that Rodarch had die, and that she should attend her husband's funeral and deliver an elegy. Merlin also told Ganieda that she should bring Taliesin to him Geoffrey called him Thegesinus , who should have return from his study with Gildas in Armorica Brittany.
After the funeral, Ganieda returned and lived with her brother for the rest of her life, rather than stay at the palace. Taliesin informed that he had visit the Isle of Avalon, bringing with him Arthur , who was wounded in the battle of Camblam Camlann , on a ship belonging to Barinthus.
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The Isle of Avalon was ruled by nine sisters, sorceresses who were famous healers and had the ability to fly. Morgan le Fay , more beautiful and powerful than her sisters, told Taliesin that they could heal the king, only if Arthur stayed with them. The future of Britain was uncertain and bleak, so Taliesin want to return Arthur to his kingdom, but Merlin informed the bard that it was not yet time for Arthur's return.
One day, the rain came, creating a new spring in the forest of Broceliande Paimpoint. Taliesin guided Merlin to the spring, and when he drank the water, his sanity had returned to him. The healing spring became known as the fountain of Barenton. Upon hearing of Merlin being healed of madness, the people of Demetae Dyved wanted the prophet to become their ruler, but he refused on the ground that he was old. One day, Merlin met another madman in the forest, whom he recognised to be Maeldin.
The prophet brought his friend to the magical spring, curing and restoring Maeldin's sanity. At that same time, Ganieda was overcome with a frenzy that gave her the ability to foretell the future. The tale ended with Merlin announcing that his retirement as a prophet, and that his sister had taken over his task.
The Vita Merlini was derived from early Welsh and Scottish sources, which also tell of man gone mad, where he became the "wild man of the woods", and later became a prophet. Geoffrey adopted the stories of Lailoken and Myrddin. Myrddin was a fictional bard and seer, who supposedly lived around the year AD The earliest reference to Myrddin comes from Armes Prydain Prophecy of Britain from the 10th century, where he foretold the future of Britain.
Myrddin was also in a number of poems in the Black Book of Carmarthen , a Welsh manuscript of In each poem, part of it deals with the legend of Myrddin, while other part of poem deals with the prophecy of Britain. In this poem called Afallenau "Apple Trees" , we find that Myrddin had been hiding from Rhydderch's men among the apples trees. Though, Gwenddydd Ganieda was Myrddin's sister, she was married to Rhydderch, whose son he had killed.
As the narrator of the poem, his name is not given. Myrddin was horrified of the slaughter of his people and the death of his chieftain, Gwenddolau Gwendoleu, or Guennolous in Latin at the battle of Arfderydd probably in Cumbria. Gwenddolau was the son of Ceidio, and he was a chieftain in the Welsh-speaking North Scottish Lowland.
Mryddin hid in the forest from the men of Rhydderch. Although, warriors were all around in the woods, the apple tree that he sat perch on the branch, hid him from Rhydderch's men.
In the poem Oianau , Myrddin lamented the death of Gwenddolau, his lord, and of how low he had fallen. Isolated from his peers, with only a small pig for company, Myrddin talked to the pig as if he was human. Here, the poem had for the first time, mentioned the name Arfderydd as the place of the battle. Again, we still haven't seen Myrrdin's name in this poem.
The narrator of the poem Myrddin talk of the prophecy. The poem involved the discussion between Merlin and the great mythical bard Taliesin , over several battles and some prophecies over Britain. Overwhelmed with remorse from the death of his sister's son, Myrddin fled to the Coed Celyddon Caledonian Forest in Scotland , where madness overcame him and he lived as the "wild man of the woods".
Myrddin found sanctuary among the Apple Trees, where he hid from the men of Rhydderch. It was during his madness that Myrddin became gifted with the prophecy. Myrddin foretell a less than bright future for the Welsh people. At the end of the poem, Gwenddydd urged her brother to accept communion from God before he died, but Myrddin refused to receive communion from excommunicated monks.
If he was to take any communion, he would receive one, directly from God. It is in this dialogue, that we will find that his father was named Morfryn. We also find out that Myrddin and Gwenddydd are twins.
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The part that mentioned "Merlin went mad", was most likely a late addition to this line. In the Scottish legend of Lailoken, he went mad when he heard voices from heaven in the middle of a battle. Lailoken foretold many events including the death of a king and his own doom. The queen's shepherds murdered Lailoken. It is amazing of the similarity of Geoffrey's work with these other legends, yet the tale of Merlin Calidonius in Vita Merlin conflict with the events of Merlin Ambrosius in Historia regum Britanniae.
Some experts and scholars suggested that Geoffrey may have been be writing about two different Merlins. The time different between Merlin Ambrosius with Vortigern and Merlin Calidonius was over a hundred years. Which is also quite possible. Strangely enough, Merlin or Myrddin doesn't appear in any of the Welsh narratives in the Mabinogion. The sorcerer who appeared in the Mabinogion that have any superficial resemblance to Myrddin is Menw fab Teirgwaedd, or Menw son of Teirwaedd.
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Menw is wizard and one of the advisers of Arthur. I have already mentioned that Geoffrey of Monmouth had told of Merlin's incredible birth in Historia regum Britanniae c. Geoffrey doesn't actually go into great detail on the account about Merlin's birth, but Merlin had appeared as boy when Vortigern tried to build his castle in Wales, but the walls would always collapse the next day. See House of Constantine about Merlin and Vortigern. Geoffrey's episode was not very detailed. So it rest on other writers to flesh out his legendary birth. Layamon added a little bit of detail to his birth.
Perhaps the most detailed account can be found in the Prose Merlin c. The story had changed to account for the wizard's role in the Grail legend. The wizard was also a prophet who knows of the past and present, as well of the future. I like to apologise for telling of Merlin's birth, here rather than at the beginning of this page.
I thought it would be best to tell this account here, in relation to his involvement with the Grail, in the next two articles. The tale actually began with a rich man, who lost his family and wealth, because he was tormented by the devil, demon or incubus. This part of the tale, sort resembled the Biblical Book of Job , except it wasn't so much as test, as the devil's determination to destroy every soul in this family.
This man had a large, rich land, a wife, a son and three daughters. To keep it brief, the devil first destroyed his livestock and cattle, which had greatly distressed the man. Then the demon strangled his son in bed. His son's death caused great sorrow in the household that with prompting from the demon the man's wife hanged herself. Struck by this double tragedy, the devastated man never recovered from his melancholy, fallen ill and died. The demon wasn't satisfied, so he turned his attention on to the man's three daughters. The middle child was the first to succumb to temptation.
She was caught committing adultery with a squire, and was buried alive for her sin. The surviving two daughters sought help from a priest, who was a confessor and a clerk, named Blaise also called Bleheris or Bleise in Thomas Malory's Morte d'Arthur , The good priest suspected that the family had been tempted by the devil, so he tried to counsel the two sisters to lead on the right path to God's salvation, through prayers and penances, and by avoiding sins.
At first, the demon's plan to destroy the rest of the family was disrupted by the priest, but the demon could not be denied. With cunning, the devil sent a woman to lure the youngest sister to sin and damnation. The woman advised the sister it would be wrong to lead a life without a man and sex. But the younger sister's fear of sharing the fate of her older sister who had committed adultery.
The older woman told the maiden that to avoid punishment of the law, the sister should take on many lovers, by becoming a whore. So the youngest sister sold her soul to the devil, when she started sleeping with every man in town. When the oldest sister found out what had happened to her younger sibling, she was distressed and fearful that she would also fall into temptation.
So she sought help from the good priest again. The priest was amazed at the news of the younger sister's debauchery.
So the priest advised the young woman that she must avoid sin and believe in God, Jesus Christ and Holy Spirit. She must pray each evening, and cross herself before going to bed. Blaise warned the girl to avoid anger or wrath, which was the easiest sin to fall into. So the young woman lived a life of prayers and chastity.
Frustrating the demon's plan for another two years. So the demon cleverly sent the woman's younger sister with her lovers to her house. The woman tried to get her sinful to leave her home, but she refused. The young woman became upset with her sister's sinful behaviour, and became increasingly angry that she soon forgot Blaise's wise warning to avoid wrath.