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The Iron Grail


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About the Author

Robert Holdstock won the World Fantasy Award for his classic novel MYTHAGO WOOD. He is regarded as one of the world's leading writers of myth and fantasy, and has written novels for over twenty years, including the MYTHAGO sequence, and the novel of John Boorman's film, THE EMERALD FOREST


Holdstock's erudite fusion of British legend and Greek myth continues to enthrall in the second majestic installment (after 2003's Celtika) of his multi-layered Merlin Codex series. Seven centuries have passed since Merlin/Antiokus journeyed with Jason to find the Golden Fleece, and now the iconic mage, who ages only when he uses his powers, finds himself not in Greekland but in Alba (England). After an eerie brush with the Three of Awful Boding (the Fates) and a warning about a gift from Medea (Jason's betrayed wife and Merlin's first love), our hero travels to Ghostland to retrieve the children of the warlord Urtha, who is fighting to reclaim his fortress Taurovinda from Otherworld warriors. But when his enchanted ship Argo arrives in Alba, Merlin finds that Jason still is searching for his younger son, Kinos (aka Little Dreamer). Merlin accompanies Jason to the Otherworld, where Kinos has been hidden by his enchantress mother, Medea. Though Jason believes Merlin may have assisted Medea in his sons' faked murders and kidnapping, the two friends forge a truce and learn the consequences of the "corruption of love; the corrosion of hope." Haunting, intricately plotted and richly revisionist, Holdstock's blend of epic history with fantasy resonates with an authority and an audacity readers have grown to expect from this accomplished British author. (Feb. 26) FYI: Holdstock won the World Fantasy Award for Mythago Wood (1984), reissued this fall by Orb. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Upon his return to a future mythic England, known as Alba, Merlin journeys to the Hill of the White Bull-Taurovinda-where Urtha, the High King, seeks to reclaim his holding and where Jason, commander of the Argo, seeks his reborn younger son. Holdstock (Mythago Wood) excels in revitalizing legendary tales, capturing the essence of archetype in his visionary prose, and this sequel to Celtika features a blend of ancient Celtic and Greek myth. Most libraries should consider for their fantasy collections. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

"Continues to enthrall." --"Publishers Weekly" (starred review) on "The Iron Grail" "Verve and panache...At the center of it all is Merlin, who reluctantly doles out his formidable gifts, afraid of using himself up prematurely before the arrival of the true hero he is destined to counsel."--"San Francisco Chronicle" on "The Iron Grail" "Holdstock is the finest writer of metamorphic fantasy now working." --"The Washington Post" on "The Iron Grail"

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