3 Quotes from Mary Stewart

stewart_writing_07“The place for truth is not in the facts of a novel; it is in the feelings.” Mary Stewart

“Mary Stewart, the British author of romantic thrillers who jumped genres in her 50s to create an internationally best-selling trilogy of Merlin books, reimagining the Arthurian legend from a sorcerer’s point of view, died on May 9 at her home in the village of Loch Awe, on the west coast of Scotland. She was 97.” (New York Times)

After reading the obituary in the New York Times, I spent Sunday reading The Crystal Cave, the first book in Mary Stewart’s Arthurian legend series. I’ve enjoyed many renderings of the story of Merlin, but I particularly enjoyed this one. The suspense and conflict she infuses into her scenes had me crossing my legs, not answering emails and turning pages like a madwoman.

Of course I knew what was going to happen next in the story, but that didn’t stop me, nothing stopped me. She had me, totally had me, rivetted with her skilled pen. Oh my…to write like that.

So here are two more quotes from The Crystal Cave:


When Merlin is asked about the many gods the people of their time believed in, he said,

“I think there is only one. Oh, there are gods everywhere, in the hollow hills, in the wind and the sea, in the very grass we walk on and the air we breathe, and in the bloodstained shadows where men like Belasius wait for them. But I believe there must be one who is God Himself, like the great sea, and all the rest of us, small gods and men and all, like rivers, we all come to Him in the end.” 

When asked about politics, he said,

“But I have noticed this about ambitious men, or men in power, that they fear even the slightest and least likely threat to it.” 

Unfortunately these quotes don’t capture her ability to gather the emotions and conflict in a scene. When Merlin’s mother in the court of a truly nasty and ruthless  Medieval king fabricates the story of Merlin’s birth to protect him and Merlin says just enough to let her know, he knows the truth, the story leaps off the page. And she writes scene after scene like that. The tension builds and builds.

It’s a joy to find a new author. I know I have many great hours of happy reading ahead of me.

Any thoughts?

Author: Jo-Ann Carson

About Jo-Ann Carson Where magic happens … Reports of Jo-Ann Carson’s death on a Gulf Island are greatly exaggerated or, at the very least, premature. The eclectic crew of ghosts that haunt her head spill onto the page in two series: The Gambling Ghosts and The Ghost & Abby Mysteries. A Viking with existential issues, a broken hearted Highlander, a Casanova man-witch and a Pirate with a secret are just a few of the males her strong heroines encounter in tales of fantasy, adventure and romance. A firm believer in the magic of our everyday lives, Jo-Ann loves watching sunrises, walking beaches near her home in the Pacific Northwest and reading by the fire. You can visit her on social media: Website * Blog * Twitter * Facebook

8 thoughts on “3 Quotes from Mary Stewart”

  1. I’m a big fan of Mary Stewart, but dropped her after she left romantic suspense and went to the Merlin series. Was so disappointed. Not much into fantasy, and even way back when had limited time to read, so mostly read what I liked the most. Steward, Victory Holt, and Phyllis Whitney got me started down the romantic suspense road. Of course Daphne du Mauier was my first! 🙂


    1. Hi Marsha
      Well, now I have to delve into her romantic thrillers. This is so exciting. I haven’t read the other writers you mentioned either, so now I can see my e-TBR pile stacking up. Thanks for this. As always you are a true inspiration.
      Congratulations again on your weekend launch.


    1. Hi Emma
      She did. Imagine being the first writer to envision the story of Merlin from his point of view. How cool is that?
      Thanks for stopping by.
      Best Wishes


  2. Lucky you spending a day reading the Crystal Cave! It seems impossible that you’ve never read her before though. Like Marsha I grew up on those author, then moved on to mysteries. Did you see Disney’s the Moonspinners, back in the day, set on Crete, I think Hailey MIlls? that was Mary Stewart. I loved the Merlin series too, having read all of the other Merlin books, Including Tennyson’s Idylls of the King and White’s Once and Future King, and always loved Mary Stewart’s version too.
    Thinking of going to Cornwall in fact…


    1. Hi Judy
      Thanks for stopping by. I loved White too. So many good books to read…
      Jo-Ann who would love to hear about your plans for Cornwall


  3. I am so glad you reminded me of Mary Stewart. I love her writing. Many moons ago I read the Merlin trilogy but my favorite book is ‘Thornyhold’ c. 1988. It’s a sweet tale of a young woman who inherits an old house in the English countryside and the spells that come with it. The opening words pull me into the story and don’t let go. “I suppose my mother could have been a witch if she had chosen to…”


    1. Hi Helena
      Wow! That is a good opening line. I have to read Thornyhold now. Thanks for the tip and stopping by to add your comment.
      Best Wishes


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