The Last Enchantment Background

The Last Enchantment Background

The Last Enchantment is a fantasy novel written by Mary Stewart in 1979. The story revolves around the reign of Arthur Pendragon of Britain, and the novel is told from the perspective of a clairvoyant and the Wizard Merlin. In the story, Arthur is now King and is working hard to unify all of Britain and establish Camelot as the centrepoint of government. However, other Lords in Britain want to take Arthur's throne and Merlin secretly tries to stop them. There is also the impending threat of Mordred, Arthur's illegitimate son. Merlin has foreseen that Mordred will cause Arthur's death and so Merlin keeps an eye on him. Merlin also takes on his own apprentice, Niniane, and teaches her everything he knows. She later replaces him in court as Wizard-seer and he retires to a cave to live a life as a hermit.

The story was written by the author to explore Arthurian legend and to re-tell the story of King Arhur, who had become King after extracting the sword Excalibur out of the stone. The author also wrote the story to further explore the character of the Wizard Merlin and his life.

The book was received well by critics and fans alike. The Daily Mail has commented on the novel, stating that it is 'an absorbing and haunting novel' and the Evening Standard book review has stated that The Last Enchantment is a 'fascinating novel'.

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