I first read and liked this book as a high school student, and the time finally presented itself for me to reread Mary Stewart’s Arthurian saga. Hooray! The Crystal Cave is book one of four (followed by The Hollow Hills, The Last Enchantment, and The Wicked Day).
Thirty extra years of my own life between readings of the series brought me a deeper appreciation for the story, so it was worth the reread.
As an old man, Merlin reflects on his life, narrating his own story beginning when he was six-years-old. The Crystal Cave is about Merlin himself, how he comes to understand who and what he is and what his role in the kingdom will be. The story is full of mystery and great story telling with not as much magic as one might expect.
Book one ends with Arthur’s conception, which, of course, means the story has barely begun. Even as a re-read, I can’t stop here. Onto the next book I go!