Friday, October 30, 2015

Friday Fiction Fix: "Taliesin"

The Short:


Book 1 of the Pendragon Cycle

By: Stephen R. Lawhead

4/5 Stars

What: The intersection of two worlds—Atlantis and the post-Roman British Isles—sets the stage for the Arthurian legends.

Recommended to those who like: Legends of Arthur, fantasy, Atlantis legends, Christian message

Not recommended to those who dislike: Magic use, discussion of old cults, mild love element

The Long:

I debated a bit about reviewing this one, especially early on in the book. There’s quite a bit of “more realistic” magic use, so if that bothers you, I wouldn’t recommend this as a book for you. However, at the end, there is a really redeeming Christian message. Overall, the book is good (other than it dragging a mite at the start) and I would recommend it to anyone who doesn’t object to magic in books and also enjoys a Christian element.

The book follows two main stories: Charis, an Atlantean princess, and Taliesin, a young man in the British Isles who finds himself a bard in a changing world.

Atlantis is crumbling just as fast as Charis’ own life. Following a personal tragedy, she takes to becoming a bull dancer—one who performs elaborate dance routines with bulls in front of a crowd. The dangerous work suits her disenchanted views of life. (If you read it for nothing else, read the book for these scenes; it’s some of the most vivid writing I’ve ever read. You can see exactly what’s going on and it’s thrilling).

Meanwhile, Taliesin finds that he has more than a few expectations laid upon him. When crisis strikes his village, how will he and his father Elphin respond? And does this really signal the Dark Time so long foretold? Will he help usher in the Light?

As I said, the writing brings life to the old stories. If you don’t mind the few potential issues that I listed at the start, I’d say it’s well worth the read. I plan to continue in the story.

If you’ve read the book, feel free to share your thoughts below. Please remember to be respectful of Mr. Lawhead and his work, as well as other commentators. I also welcome comments on what you would like to see included in the reviews. I reserve the right to remove vulgar, hateful, or rude remarks from the comments. Thanks for sharing!


  1. Thanks for your review. I read this book many, many years ago when I was in high school and again in college. Overall, this is a really excellent series though I'll be the first to admit that book one is, by far, the slowest read. It definitely takes a bit to kick in, but once it does it is a fresh take on the Arthurian legend.

    1. I actually read the second book first (I picked it up at a used bookstore not realizing that there was another book before it) and I have to say that I enjoyed it more than the first book. However, it was still a good read and I look forward to continuing in the series (especially now that you've told me that it just goes up from here).

      Thanks for the comment and for the great interview earlier this week!


Feel free to share your thoughts below. I reserve the right to remove vulgar, hateful, or rude remarks from the comments. Thanks for sharing!