"The first is a man who needs you and will use you. He will weaken you dangerously. The second is a man you betrayed, though you believe otherwise. He wishes to kill you and can do so easily. The third is a ship that is more than a ship. She grieves and broods. She will carry you to your grave."
These three warnings greet Merlin on his return to Alba, the future England, to the deserted fortress of Taurovinda---the Hill of the White Bull. He is not the only one making the journey: Urtha, High King of the Cornovidi, is coming home to reclaim his stronghold, and Jason is sailing in on the Argo to seek his younger son, hiding somewhere in the kingdom.
But Urtha's fortress has been taken by warriors from Ghostland; they claim it as their own. There will be war against the Otherworld.
In this sequel to Celtika, Robert Holdstock weaves myth and history into a fabulous tale of honor, death, and magic. At its center, moving along his never-ending path, is Merlin himself, an enchanter in the prime of his life, reckless, curious, powerful, yet a stranger to his own past---a past that is catching up with him.
At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
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.FYI: Holdstock won the World Fantasy Award for Mythago Wood (1984), reissued this fall by Orb.