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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.

Topics: Arthurian Legend, Princesses, Seers, Christianity, War, Heroes, Wales, England, Medieval Period, Retellings, and First in a Series

Published: HarperCollins on Oct 13, 2009
ISBN: 9780061802324
List price: $3.99
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If you like the Merlin story, this is a great story of how Merlin's life began. Different from others but a good read.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I don't know much about Arthurian myth and legend, so I don't know how much of this is Lawhead's invention and how much he draws on existing myth. But it's interesting enough; it probably helped that I didn't have any preconceptions about any of the characters in the story as it allowed me to immerse myself in a new tale. It flows reasonably well, but I'm not really sure if it's my kind of thing.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I started this back in 2006, then picked it back up in Dec 2010. I've always been a big fan of the Arthurian Series of books, such as Mary Stewart, and this one so far is no exception and with a different twist. With wonderful detail, rich imagination and the blending of several ancient myths with the growth of modern religion, Lawhead seems to be off to a very good start in his Pendragon cycle.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Lawhead weaves together elements of the King Arthur mythos and the Atlantis mythos, and overlays the whole thing with a Christian message. I read, or at least started, this book around age 18 and the images of the sport of "bull dancing" have stayed with me ever since. I don't think the Christian images are particularly overdone - certainly nothing like the "Left Behind" series - and I found it interesting to watch the characters debate between the old gods and this strange, new god. I'm looking forward to picking up the next in the series.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Although well written, this book didn't work for me for several reasons. Firstly, the characters all talk in a very self-conscious manner with rather formalised language and no contractions. Secondly, there are some very long blocks of descriptive text that would have been better worked into the action of the story. Thirdly, I can't cope with a fantasy novel where the Christian god speaks directly to a character.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
The first book in the Pendragon Cycle, this introduces Charis, a princess of Atlantis and Taliesin, a foundling raised to be a bard and king. The story follows their parallel lives, until their meeting on Mount Tor. This is an excellent version of familiar Arthurian characters and legends.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Taliesin, book one in The Pendragon Cycle, is Stephen Lawhead's interpretation of the Merlin legend. It tells two simultaneous stories, which join about two-thirds of the way into the book. The first is about the life of the young Princess Charis (pronounced Ka-ris) and the fall of the legendary city, Atlantis. The second is about the life of the bard, Taliesin, who has supernatural powers that allow him to experience events of the Otherworld. Taliesin and Charis marry against the will of Charis' family. They give birth to Merlin. According to legend, Taliesin dies at the hand of Charis' step-sister, Morgian.The story is also about the emergence of the world into "dark times;" i.e., the coming of the Dark Ages. Christianity wars with beliefs in multiple gods.I'm not a fan of Christian fiction. While I've seen this book classified as such, I would disagree. Lawhead's retelling is well-done. It's neither preachy nor sappy. 4.5/5 starsread more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Charis is a young Atlantean Princess enjoying the life of luxury and technology that goes with the territory. She doesn't understand that the time of peace for her people is drawing to a close and they are on the brink of war. Her mother is killed when her family is ambushed, and unable to deal with the grief that she feels from her father she leaves to join the religious bull dancers. After being injured she returns to her fathers house to find things greatly changed, he was greatly wounded in the war that unfolded and is nursed by his strange new wife. Charis tries to warn her people of the impending doom that was prophesied before her mothers death but people do not listen to her. She manages to secure ships so that those who live in the palace are able to escape. Meanwhile Elphin, the son of the Chief of Gwynedd, is the brunt of jokes of his people because they believe he has bad luck. That is until when searching the weir he finds a beautiful baby boy, who changes his luck, through Taliesin he finds his wife, and gains the respect of the people. Taliesin is trained to be a bard and druid for his people and is the greatest of these. The Cymry are attacked by barbarians and are forced to flee. They come to the land where the remnant of the Atlanteans have settled. The two peoples form an agreement where they can exist and also keep their respect. However Charis and Taliesin wish to marry which is frowned upon by Avallach. Charis father. So they are secretly married and live together many miles away. They have a son and he is named Merlin. They then set off to be reconciled with Avallach but will they make it back?This is the first in Lawhead's Pendragon Cycle, about King Arthur, the following books are Merlin, Arthur, Pendragon and Grail. I love how this has been set closer to the time period where the actual person that Arthur was based on probably existed. I also love how the story starts with Merlin's parents, giving a context for how Merlin was brought up and his roots, and I love the idea that the Atlanteans settled in Britain. I would really recommend this book to anyone who loves myths legends and folklore, as well as unusual retellings of them. It is also recommended to people who love Arthur in all it's retellings and the history of the British Isles.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
The combination of the King Arthur legend, Celts, Britons, magic, faith, lore and Atlantis is pretty compelling. If any of those (or all of them) sparks your interest then this is a book to put on your to-read list, and preferably near the top of said list.I've had my copy of this book for several months now. I kept meaning to pick it up, but then I'd get bogged down in some good, and some not-so-good titles as I tried to keep up with all the new, hot releases. Taliesin is a very good example of why not all good books are new titles. This is a fantastic story featuring two very compelling main characters. I enjoyed each storyline equally, although I admit to being a bit more biased character-wise toward Charis, the beautiful, strong princess of Atlantis.I will admit to being a bit concerned over the faith aspect of the novel. I wasn't sure how it would be approached, if it would come off corny or.. even worse, like it was a completely different story forced into the story that was flowing so well. But it was seamless and a beautiful message in and of itself.Taliesin is a story that I plan to enjoy again and I am definitely glad I made sure to have the following books on hand as well. While I wasn't so much of a fan of Lawhead's Robin Hood re-tellings, I think I might have done better to have read these books first.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I loved this series when it came out and I still enjoy reading it. I enjoy the visual images the author creates. His descriptions and characters make me wish I could time-travel or hop into the story. He tries to stay true to the English version of the Arthur myth, and so other additions, like Lancelot, are not included. I don't reread often, but I've gone through this series several times.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This book was so much more than I expected. It really pulled me into the lands and times which it described, especially ancient Britain. I became very fond of the characters and cared deeply about what happened to them. What more could you ask from a tale? The author's treatment of Christianity and belief was pleasantly surprising to me, he did not preach with it, but told it gently and genuinely as it is. Belief and faith are a large part of the Arthurian tale, but rarely treated so well in the stories. I really don't want to read the next books, I know the Arthurian tragedy and there is no getting away from it being sad. As it is, I wept through the last several chapters of this book. However, I enjoyed the writing so much, I may not be able to resist.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I LOVE this series! read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
A whole new take on the Arthurian mythos.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
one one the best spins on this fantasy world. and a great way to start off the series.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Read all reviews

Reviews

If you like the Merlin story, this is a great story of how Merlin's life began. Different from others but a good read.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I don't know much about Arthurian myth and legend, so I don't know how much of this is Lawhead's invention and how much he draws on existing myth. But it's interesting enough; it probably helped that I didn't have any preconceptions about any of the characters in the story as it allowed me to immerse myself in a new tale. It flows reasonably well, but I'm not really sure if it's my kind of thing.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I started this back in 2006, then picked it back up in Dec 2010. I've always been a big fan of the Arthurian Series of books, such as Mary Stewart, and this one so far is no exception and with a different twist. With wonderful detail, rich imagination and the blending of several ancient myths with the growth of modern religion, Lawhead seems to be off to a very good start in his Pendragon cycle.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Lawhead weaves together elements of the King Arthur mythos and the Atlantis mythos, and overlays the whole thing with a Christian message. I read, or at least started, this book around age 18 and the images of the sport of "bull dancing" have stayed with me ever since. I don't think the Christian images are particularly overdone - certainly nothing like the "Left Behind" series - and I found it interesting to watch the characters debate between the old gods and this strange, new god. I'm looking forward to picking up the next in the series.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Although well written, this book didn't work for me for several reasons. Firstly, the characters all talk in a very self-conscious manner with rather formalised language and no contractions. Secondly, there are some very long blocks of descriptive text that would have been better worked into the action of the story. Thirdly, I can't cope with a fantasy novel where the Christian god speaks directly to a character.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
The first book in the Pendragon Cycle, this introduces Charis, a princess of Atlantis and Taliesin, a foundling raised to be a bard and king. The story follows their parallel lives, until their meeting on Mount Tor. This is an excellent version of familiar Arthurian characters and legends.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Taliesin, book one in The Pendragon Cycle, is Stephen Lawhead's interpretation of the Merlin legend. It tells two simultaneous stories, which join about two-thirds of the way into the book. The first is about the life of the young Princess Charis (pronounced Ka-ris) and the fall of the legendary city, Atlantis. The second is about the life of the bard, Taliesin, who has supernatural powers that allow him to experience events of the Otherworld. Taliesin and Charis marry against the will of Charis' family. They give birth to Merlin. According to legend, Taliesin dies at the hand of Charis' step-sister, Morgian.The story is also about the emergence of the world into "dark times;" i.e., the coming of the Dark Ages. Christianity wars with beliefs in multiple gods.I'm not a fan of Christian fiction. While I've seen this book classified as such, I would disagree. Lawhead's retelling is well-done. It's neither preachy nor sappy. 4.5/5 stars
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Charis is a young Atlantean Princess enjoying the life of luxury and technology that goes with the territory. She doesn't understand that the time of peace for her people is drawing to a close and they are on the brink of war. Her mother is killed when her family is ambushed, and unable to deal with the grief that she feels from her father she leaves to join the religious bull dancers. After being injured she returns to her fathers house to find things greatly changed, he was greatly wounded in the war that unfolded and is nursed by his strange new wife. Charis tries to warn her people of the impending doom that was prophesied before her mothers death but people do not listen to her. She manages to secure ships so that those who live in the palace are able to escape. Meanwhile Elphin, the son of the Chief of Gwynedd, is the brunt of jokes of his people because they believe he has bad luck. That is until when searching the weir he finds a beautiful baby boy, who changes his luck, through Taliesin he finds his wife, and gains the respect of the people. Taliesin is trained to be a bard and druid for his people and is the greatest of these. The Cymry are attacked by barbarians and are forced to flee. They come to the land where the remnant of the Atlanteans have settled. The two peoples form an agreement where they can exist and also keep their respect. However Charis and Taliesin wish to marry which is frowned upon by Avallach. Charis father. So they are secretly married and live together many miles away. They have a son and he is named Merlin. They then set off to be reconciled with Avallach but will they make it back?This is the first in Lawhead's Pendragon Cycle, about King Arthur, the following books are Merlin, Arthur, Pendragon and Grail. I love how this has been set closer to the time period where the actual person that Arthur was based on probably existed. I also love how the story starts with Merlin's parents, giving a context for how Merlin was brought up and his roots, and I love the idea that the Atlanteans settled in Britain. I would really recommend this book to anyone who loves myths legends and folklore, as well as unusual retellings of them. It is also recommended to people who love Arthur in all it's retellings and the history of the British Isles.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
The combination of the King Arthur legend, Celts, Britons, magic, faith, lore and Atlantis is pretty compelling. If any of those (or all of them) sparks your interest then this is a book to put on your to-read list, and preferably near the top of said list.I've had my copy of this book for several months now. I kept meaning to pick it up, but then I'd get bogged down in some good, and some not-so-good titles as I tried to keep up with all the new, hot releases. Taliesin is a very good example of why not all good books are new titles. This is a fantastic story featuring two very compelling main characters. I enjoyed each storyline equally, although I admit to being a bit more biased character-wise toward Charis, the beautiful, strong princess of Atlantis.I will admit to being a bit concerned over the faith aspect of the novel. I wasn't sure how it would be approached, if it would come off corny or.. even worse, like it was a completely different story forced into the story that was flowing so well. But it was seamless and a beautiful message in and of itself.Taliesin is a story that I plan to enjoy again and I am definitely glad I made sure to have the following books on hand as well. While I wasn't so much of a fan of Lawhead's Robin Hood re-tellings, I think I might have done better to have read these books first.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I loved this series when it came out and I still enjoy reading it. I enjoy the visual images the author creates. His descriptions and characters make me wish I could time-travel or hop into the story. He tries to stay true to the English version of the Arthur myth, and so other additions, like Lancelot, are not included. I don't reread often, but I've gone through this series several times.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This book was so much more than I expected. It really pulled me into the lands and times which it described, especially ancient Britain. I became very fond of the characters and cared deeply about what happened to them. What more could you ask from a tale? The author's treatment of Christianity and belief was pleasantly surprising to me, he did not preach with it, but told it gently and genuinely as it is. Belief and faith are a large part of the Arthurian tale, but rarely treated so well in the stories. I really don't want to read the next books, I know the Arthurian tragedy and there is no getting away from it being sad. As it is, I wept through the last several chapters of this book. However, I enjoyed the writing so much, I may not be able to resist.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I LOVE this series! 
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
A whole new take on the Arthurian mythos.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
one one the best spins on this fantasy world. and a great way to start off the series.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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