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Taliesin (Pendragon Cycle #1) [Paperback]

By Stephen R. Lawhead (Author)
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Item description for Taliesin (Pendragon Cycle #1) by Stephen R. Lawhead...

Taliesin is the remarkable adventure of Charis, the Atlantean princess who escaped the devastation of her homeland, and druid prince Taliesin, sole survivor of the ruins of the British Isle. It is the story of an incomparable love that joined two worlds amid the fires of chaos, and spawned the miracles of Merlin... and King Arthur.

It was a time of legend, when the last shadows of the mighty Roman conqueror faded from the captured Isle of Britain. While across a vast sea, bloody war shattered a peace that had flourished for two thousand years in the doomed kingdom of Atlantis.

Publishers Description

It was a time of legend, when the last shadows of the mighty Roman conqueror faded from the captured Isle of Britain. While across a vast sea, bloody war shattered a peace that had flourished for two thousand years in the doomed kingdom of Atlantis.

Taliesin is the remarkable adventure of Charis, the Atlantean princess who escaped the terrible devastation of her homeland, and of the fabled seer and druid prince Taliesin, singer at the dawn of the age. It is the story of an incomparable love that joined two worlds amid the fires of chaos, and spawned the miracles of Merlin...and Arthur the king.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Eos
Pages   496
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 7" Width: 4.42" Height: 1.07"
Weight:   0.65 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Aug 26, 2008
Publisher   Harper Collins Publishers
Series  Pendragon Cycle  
Series Number  1  
ISBN  038070613X  
ISBN13  9780380706136  

Availability  0 units.

More About Stephen R. Lawhead

Stephen R. Lawhead Stephen Lawhead is an internationally acclaimed author of mythic history and imaginative fiction. He was born in 1950, in Nebraska in the USA. His early life was lived in America where he earned a university degree in Fine Arts and attended theological seminary for two years.

His first professional writing was done at Campus Life magazine in Chicago, where he was an editor and staff writer. During his five years at Campus Life he wrote hundreds of articles and several non-fiction books.

After a brief and unsuccessful foray into the music business—as president of his own record company—he launched his free-lance career in 1981. In the Hall of the Dragon King was his first novel.

In 1986 the Lawhead family moved to Britain so that Stephen could conduct research for the PENDRAGON CYCLE books. They settled there permanently in 1990, with some years spent living in Austria and a sabbatical in the United States.

In addition to his twenty-four novels, he has written nine children's books, many of them originally offered to his two sons, Drake and Ross. He is married to Alice Slaikeu Lawhead, with whom he has collaborated on books and articles. They make their home in Oxford, England.

Stephen's non-fiction, fiction and children's titles have variously been published in twenty-four foreign languages. He has won numerous industry awards, and in 2003 was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters by the University of Nebraska.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Children > Religions > Fiction > Fiction
2Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > World Literature > Mythology > General
3Books > Subjects > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Authors, A-Z > ( L ) > Lawhead, Stephen
4Books > Subjects > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Epic
5Books > Subjects > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > General
6Books > Subjects > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Historical

Christian Product Categories
Books > Fiction > General Christian > General

Reviews - What do customers think about Taliesin?

Keeping the vision alive!  Mar 27, 2007
I was one who started with Lawhead's latest, "Hood", which I got for Christmas. To say the least, I was impressed. So impressed, that I decided to take a chance on "Byzantium" and on a 5 book series of his, "Pendragon Cycle". It all starts with "Taliesin", and the tale is impressive!

But it begins with Charis, the Atlantean princess. She has a story. She's escaped the destruction and devastation of her own land. But it is also the story of Taliesin, son of Elphin. To say the least, Elphin didn't have the best of luck until his son came in a most mysterious manner. But I was drawn into an adventure! Kings and queens, a princess, songs, bull dances, and so much more. Certain characters in this are drawn close to the One True God.

What made this a 4 star read was that it did drag on at times. Ultimately, it was an ideal story for the first out of five books. And it sets up book #2, "Merlin" in a startling manner. So I can say that I don't regret making an impulse buy, and it will be something to read to my little girl in the future, and to ultimately pass on. That's another theme that hints itself here and there, just passing it on. Ultimately we learn that it is the goal of Charis to keep the vision alive. There is joy, there is laughter, there is action, and there is sorrow.

"Taliesin" is the title, but the story belongs to Charis. Stephen Lawhead is the author. A darn good author at that!
Inspiring  Feb 5, 2007
This was my first exposure to Stephen Lawhead's writing, and I am impressed. The Atlantis he creates is so real and believable, I actually had to check the encyclopedia to make sure it was just a legend! The characters, even minor ones, are well developed and very believable. The romance is very well done between all the couples in the story. Lawhead's vivid imagery and obvious love for all things Celt, makes the Celtic culture come alive in this book.

The greatest strength I see in Lawhead's writing is his ability to create believable characters that the reader feels close to. By the end of the story, Charis was like a sister to me. I read this book as entertainment to escape from the monotony of stay-at-home motherhood, but it ended up being so much more. This story was about the meeting of two cultures, the inner conflict of religious belief, and most of all, the story of one woman's faith journey. I would highly recommend this book.
An Impressive Novel  Oct 13, 2006
This is a fabulous novel! The prose is excellent - a unique amalgamation of Arthurian legend. As for historical accuracy, I would have to second the observation that the Arthurian legend has ALWAYS been a story. It is a legend that has evolved from myth. Every retelling expands and interprets the story. That's how myths and legends develop in the first place. It doesn't matter that Plato placed Atlantis millenia before Arthur, or that Taliesin was centuries after (both of which are also stories). It's a story - and a good one at that!
Magnificent writing but ultimately flawed ...  Jun 4, 2006
Stephen Lawhead's storytelling is certainly ambitious. In Taliesin, he has proposed nothing less than a fanciful, fluid blending of three mythologies into a single epic history - the twilight and final cataclysmic collapse of the fantastic empire of Atlantis; the inspiring life of Taliesin, Celtic bard and shaman, thought to be father to Merlin, during the withdrawal of the Roman Empire in Britain and the onset of the Dark Ages; and the endlessly repeated (and despite today's protestations to the contrary, never proven) legend of Joseph of Arimathea's carrying the Holy Grail to Britain accompanied by the dizzying, wildfire spread of Christianity throughout Europe in the centuries following Christ's crucifixion in the Holy Land!

No doubt about it ... Lawhead's prose is certainly up to the task! His evocative, mellifluous descriptions of exotic settings include sight, motion and sounds in abundance. The pages seem to exude even smells with an uncanny sense of realism:

"And the smells - a pungent perfume concocted of the thick, greasy scent of food cooking in heavy olive oil; the rich, earthy odor of the cattle stalls beneath the stadium; the light, airy tang of sun-warmed salt air off the sea."

The almost effortless creation of a seamless chronology is achieved by the telling of a series of linked shorter tales - the Atlantean princess Charis' years spent dancing in the bull ring; the inspiring transformation of the Celtic son, Elphin, from luckless bumbler to respected king and feared warlord; and, Taliesin's relentless love for Charis in the face of overwhelming opposition from her father, Avallach. Reminiscent of the bible tale of Moses in the bulrushes, Elphin's finding of the infant Taliesin caught up in the family's salmon nets and the chance discovery of his wife, Rhonwyn, is probably the warmest, most moving piece of purely romantic writing that I've ever been privileged to read!

In spite of all of these obvious strengths, ultimately the novel failed for me. While it seems eminently reasonable to portray Arthur's forebears as wrestling with their conversion from Celtic pagan beliefs to Christianity (why else would they have ultimately been so obsessed with the recovery of the Holy Grail?), I believe that Lawhead fell into the trap of presenting Christianity as not only Taliesin's choice but also his choice, the right choice and the only choice. My opinion only, of course, but I believe the novel would have been much more effective stopping at the simple portrayal of Christianity as the historical choice that Taliesin made for himself and his family! Somewhere in the final third of the novel, zealotry slipped over the top and I began to feel like Lawhead was trying to preach to me through Taliesin and, frankly, I just didn't care for it!

The writing was so darn good, I can't bring myself to give the novel a failing grade outright but I'm left with a disturbing feeling of ambivalence as to whether I'll read "Merlin", the next novel in the entire five novel series "The Pendragon Cycle". We'll see ...

Paul Weiss
Best Arthurian Series Ever  May 23, 2006
This is the first book to one of my favorite series, Merlin being the best. I'm a history nut and Arthurian legend fan (mainly as a result of Lawhead's books). Lawhead didn't succumb to the fluff which was popularized by Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur. But yeah, this is fiction- don't overanalyze as liberties are taken (not as many as Malory took I might add). However, for those who want enough realism to believe in a fiction story, these books deliver. Check out the author's web site (which is maintained by one of his sons) at [...]
Many questions about historical accuracy are answered.
For one thing the two stories of the two main characters are read as though happening at the same time, but in reality, Charis' story really was supposed to take place (as the author puts it on his web site) "many many years" before Taliesin's story ("many" as in "hundreds" if you read between the lines).

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