Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Taliesin (Pendragon Cycle Series #1)

Taliesin (Pendragon Cycle Series #1)

4.2 95
by Stephen R. Lawhead

See All Formats & Editions

The legends of King Arthur come alive with a Christian world-view in these masterfully told adventures. These new editions contain new maps and other new material.


The legends of King Arthur come alive with a Christian world-view in these masterfully told adventures. These new editions contain new maps and other new material.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
While the druids of the Isle of the Mighty predict the coming of one whose song will change the world, a young priestess in Atlantis foresees the destruction of her homeland. The love story of the bard Taliesin and the Princess Charis begins a new series for Lawhead (``The Empyrion Saga'' and the ``Dragon King Trilogy''). This graceful combination of Atlantean legend, Celtic myth, and Christian messagereminiscent of C.S. Lewisis highly recommended. JC

Product Details

Publication date:
Pendragon CycleSeries Series , #1
Product dimensions:
6.13(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.50(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Read an Excerpt


I will weep no more for the lost, asleep in their water graves. I have no more tears for my youth in the temple of the brindled ox. Life is strong in me and I will not grieve for what was or might have been. Mine is a different path and I must follow where it leads.
But I look out from my high window onto fields of corn ripening to the scythe. I see them rippling like a golden sea, and in the rustling of the dry leaves I hear again the voices of my people calling to me across the years. I close my eyes and I see them now as they were from my earliest memories. They stand before me and I enter once more that glad time when we were young and the cataclysm had not come upon us before Throm appeared with dire prophecies burning on his lips.
It was a time of peace in all Atlantis. The gods were content and the people prospered. We children played beneath Bel's golden disc and our limbs grew strong and brown; we sang our songs to fair Cybel, the ever-changing, to grant us dreams of joy; and we lived out our days in a land rich and with every comfort, thinking it would always be that way.
The voices of the departed speak: 'Tell our story,' they say. 'It is worthy to be remembered.'
And so I take my pen and begin to write. Perhaps writing will ease the long months of my confinement. Perhaps my words will earn a measure of the peace that has been denied throughout my life.
In any case, I have little else to do; I am a captive, made prisoner in this house. So, I will write: for myself, for those who come after, and for the voices that cry out not to be forgotten.
Men called the royal palace the Isle of Apples for the groves that covered the slopes leading down to the city below. And indeed, in blossom time, King Avallach's palace seemed an island floating above the earth on clouds of pink and white. Golden apples, sweeter than honey from the high meadow apiaries, grew in abundance in the orchards of the king. Apple trees lined the wide avenue that ran through the center of Kellios to the sea.
On a high seaward terrace, Charis leaned against a column, gazing out across the rooftops of the city, watching the sunlight glimmer on beaten sheets of red-gold orichalcum and listening to the sighing hum of the aeolian harp in the random fingerings of the mind. Drowsy, and slightly drunk on the heady fragrance of apple blossoms, she yawned and turned her languid attention to the warm blue crescent of harbor.
Three ships, their green sails bulging in the breeze, slid slowly into Kellios harbor, trailing diamonds in their wakes. Charis watched them heel about, empty their sails, and glide towards the wharf. The sturdy longboats of the harbor master were already making their way out to the ships to secure the lines and guide them to berth.
Kellios was a busy city; not over-large not as big as great Ys, city of temples and shipyards in Coran, or even as big as the market city Gaeron, in Hespera but blessed with a deep bay so that traders from every kingdom called frequently to provision themselves for longer journeys south and east across the great expanse of water that seamen called Oceanus.
Chariots and wains, the latter loaded with produce of the fields round about Kellios or with goods from other kingdoms, traversed the streets and avenues from early morning to dusk. The market stalls rang with the chatter of trade: value established, prices set, bargains struck.
From the temple mound in the center of the city, rose the holy edifice a replica in miniature of Mount Atlas, home of the gods. Sweet-scented smoke ascended eternally from the many altar fires of the temple as costly sacrifices were performed day and night by the Magi. And from the stables below the temple could be heard the bellow of the sacred bulls as they offered their voices to the god, as one day they would make an offering of their living blood and flesh.
Next to the temple stood the bull ring, a great oval arena joined to the temple stables by an underground tunnel. In a few hours the first bull would be led through that tunnel and ushered into the pit, and the sacred dance would commence. For now, the arena stood silent and empty.
Charis sighed and turned away, retreating back into the cool, shadowed corridor, the patter of her sandaled feet echoing along the polished stone. She climbed the wide steps at the end of the corridor, and wandered out onto the rooftop garden.
A light breeze lifted the broad, notched leaves of the slender palms lining the rooftop, rank on rank, in their shining orichalcum basins. Blue parrots chattered and shrieked among the thick-clustered dates, while quetzals preened their iridescent plumage in the grape vines enshrouding ornamental columns. Nearby, two leopards slept in the shade, spotted heads resting on their paws. One of them opened lazy golden eyes as she walked past, then closed them again and rolled over. A fountain splashed in the center of the garden, surrounded by tapering stone pillars carved with sun signs and charms.
The cool, clear water was afloat with fresh flowers and citrus fruit, and the elegant shapes of black swans gliding serenely around the pool, necks curled in graceful arcs. Charis approached and took a handful of meal from a nearby amphora. She sat on the wide rim of the fountain pool and scattered some meal as the swans paddled over to scoop it up, jostling one another, their long necks darting like snakes.

Meet the Author

Stephen R. Lawhead is an internationally acclaimed author of mythic history and imaginative fiction. His works include Byzantium and the series The Pendragon Cycle, The Celtic Crusades, and The Song of Albion. Lawhead makes his home in Austria with his wife.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews

Taliesin (Pendragon Cycle Series #1) 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 95 reviews.
weg59 More than 1 year ago
I had read this book several years ago, and just recently purchased the ebook, as I have both a Nook Touch and a Nook Color. The story is as good as it was the first time, but I have a few quibbles with the formatting of the ebook version. First, there are some sloppy mistakes. For example, the title page displays "Book Two" when this book is the FIRST in the Pendragon series. Also, it doesn't appear that the publisher bothered to test the ebook for usability or presentation in the most common 600x800-pixel e-reader display, because there are some annoyances that could have been corrected: the map page breaks up into two pages if a font comfortable for those of us who are older is chosen (and since the choice of font size is a major selling point for older customers, this DOES matter), the line spacing within paragraphs is very tight, while the paragraphs are separated by blank lines, even though book-style indentations were used. It seems that if the publisher went to the trouble to use CSS to define the indents, they could also have used it to set the spacing between individual lines and between paragraphs to be more book-like, instead of doing the standard browser-style breaks. It would have been nice to see real open- and close- single- and double- quote characters, too, instead of the " and ' throughout the text. They did take the trouble to specify other special characters, like m-dashes, so it makes the character formatting look incomplete; and again, less book-like. I was also disappointed with the book cover that was included. In the thumbnail we have a gorgeous (watercolor?) painting of a harp, beautifully highlighted, with the title in 3D gold lettering underneath. But when I opened the book, the cover included is plain, with a crudely depicted harp and a plain beige background. I wanted to see the watercolor on the Nook Color and felt rather cheated that it wasn't included. The story is still a great read. I just think the folks at HarperCollins would do well to pay closer attention to the formatting.
BMJaisl35 More than 1 year ago
Taliesin, intended for an audience primarily composed of lovers of Arthurian lore, was written by S R Lawhead to combine Atlantean myths and Celtic legends and set up the stage for the rest of the series. Two dominant themes in this book are loss and rediscovery, as well as love. Taliesin is a rare gem amongst other Arthurian-based books and is a must-read story for all fans of the valorous King Arthur. Taliesin, but a babe when the unlucky Elphin ap Gwyddno found him in his father's salmon weir, instantly changed the man's fate from despised to an admired hero. For a nurse Elphin sought, he returned with a wife, the fair Rhonwyn. Meanwhile in Atlantis, when two traitors among the Nine Kings of Atlantis shatter a two-thousand-year-old peace, what comes next is undeterminable and ill fated. Then when the irrepressible happens to the island, two cultures have to merge together for survival. Lawhead, has almost given life to his creation through his vivid and colorful descriptions. The story line is amazing for it joins the fates of the lost Atlantis with the unity of Charis, the Lady of the Lake, and Taliesin, the Singer at the Dawn of the Age. All parts of the book, the setting, the plot, the characters, the theme, and Lawhead's style have made this book supreme over all Arthurian legends. Lawhead's purpose was evidently accomplished as it enchants the reader, as many have written, to keep reading other books of the series. Also, the rich report of the doom of both Atlantis and Caer Dyvi defy any doubts on how these two cultures were connected. Among the greatest of Arthurian stories is Taliesin, whose brilliant faith led to epic tales of the beginnings of Merlin. The loss of something is always filled with another thing; nothing can be void forever. Here, loss of family, friends, and home is replaced with a steadfast love between Charis, Princess of Atlantis, and Taliesin, of the Shining Brow. It is a sensational must-read for all lovers of Arthurian lore.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Almost finished with book 1 and I absolutely love this story. The way it's told and the historical background. There's no soap opera in it just the heart of the story. So glad this author didn't dumb the story down. I'm an intelligent reader and I was happy to find a book like this. It's adventurous and inspiring. I will probably being getting the whole series if they are all like this.
gr8skeptic1 More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed reading Taliesin and the full Pendragon Cycle series. Lawhead writes in clear, realistic fashion that drew me along with anticipation but without a frenetic pitch to it. If this is a readers first Lawhead work, it may seem as though it takes some time to bring the multiple story lines together but it is well worth the groundwork that he lays and it will sustain the reader throughout the entire series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lawhead really brings to life the Celtic world. He puts an interesting spin on the pre-cursor to the Arthur legend. I also enjoyed how he depicted the spiritual struggles of the characters. Well written!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love the story, I am 13 and I have read it twice at least, not to mention going back to my favorite parts.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I positively loved this book. It captured my interest from the beginning and held it to the last page. Of all the Arthurian books I have read, is the best. I can't wait to read the next.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book really opened my eyes on what really happened before Arthur came about. This story was truly one I will hold close and always read again and again. It was touching, yet adventurous. It is a story inside a story. At the end it made me cry, so if you like to read a great story you would love this one
Guest More than 1 year ago
this book was amazing. i was in love with Taliesin!!!!!! it was a wonderful book, and i highly recommend
Guest More than 1 year ago
the most riviting book i've read in a long time, the descritpions of everything just makes me want to jump into the page and be a part of the story.
Mistress_Nyte More than 1 year ago
I love stories of Atlantis, and Merlin, and King Arthur, etc. This story is really wonderfully crafted, blending the two separate stories of Atlantis with early Britain and the Druids and the beginnings of Arthur and Merlin. The entire series is wonderful, and this book is a great beginning to it.  This story tells of the fall of Atlantis, and the people who managed to escape this tragedy, to end up on the isle of Britain, and their blending with the original inhabitants of this island. Lawhead does a marvelous job of imagining what could have happened in both of these places, both of these wonderful, mysterious, and fantastical places. Yes, Britain exists, but many do not believe the history that brought about King Arthur and his story to the world. If you have any interest in any of these topics, please read this book, and the series. It will be very worth your time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another great book in a great series
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago