The Crystal Cave

  • by Mary Stewart
  • Narrated by Nicol Williamson
  • 3 hrs and 11 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Was Merlin an otherworldly being or just an ordinary mortal with extraordinary powers? Over the centuries there have been many stories about Camelot, but the mystery of the magician who nurtured, trained, and advised King Arthur has remained unexplored. Some have called Merlin a sinister, all-powerful Prince of Darkness. Others have described him as a merely a man, heir to the secrets of the Crystal Cave, possessed of rare and remarkable gifts. In this first part of her trilogy of Arthurian legend Mary Stewart delves into the mystery of Merlin. Visit the strange and mystical world of 5th-century Britain - a time and place made real through the dramatic reading of Nicol Williamson, the acclaimed British actor who played Merlin in the film Excalibur.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful


Mary Stewart's Merlin trilogy, beginning with this book, is one of the greatest series ever written. It combines the interest of ancient historical fiction with the magic of fantasy brilliantly. There are passages in the story where I would swear I felt as though I were the one on a horse, traveling through the pristine forest. I have read it many times and would be thrilled to have a recording of it. This abridged travesty is disgusting. It is not the story. I would ask all people who love this story as I do to request that Audible attempt to aquire the rights to distribute an unabridged recording. You might also make a request at BBC America or Chivers Audiobooks as they have unabridged recordings that are "out of print".
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- Jessica "i'm listening"


What would have made The Crystal Cave better?

Making it UNabridged!

What was most disappointing about Mary Stewart’s story?

I read this book many years ago and was anxious to do so before heading to England recently. I had little time so I decided to LISTEN to it. Unfortunately the recorded version was greatly abridged. The other reviews I read also spoke poorly of it, but I decided to try it anyway. Not really worth the effort. The heart and soul of the book seemed to no longer really be there.

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

He's a very fine actor, I just didn't feel he made it come alive... but that could have been due to the cuts in the story.

Any additional comments?


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- me, mara "marateller"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-16-1999
  • Publisher: Phoenix Books