UK: Earthlight, 2002; HB. ISBN: 0743220773
UK: Earthlight, 2003; PB. ISBN: 0743440323
USA: Tor Books, 2004; HB. ISBN: 076530726X
USA: Tor Fantasy, 2005 PB. ISBN: 0765349876
Read chapter 5 from The Iron Grail
Book Two of The Merlin Codex, the compelling sequel to the bestselling Celtika. ‘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 coming to seek his younger son Kinos, ‘the Little Dreamer’, hiding somewhere in the Celtic kingdom. He sails on Argo, resurrected after seven centuries. But Urtha’s fortress has been taken by warriors from Ghostland; they claim it as their own. There will be war against the Otherworld.
Robert Holdstock weaves myth and history into a fabulous tale of honour, death and magic. Characters both mythic and tragic, strange and yet oddly familiar, take on a life of their own. And at the centre, 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.
‘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.’
‘Rich with mesmerizing details: amazing.’
‘Holdstock’s prose has a hauntingly powerful energy that leaves you feeling as though you’re breathing in myth as if it were a physical substance.’