Merlin Conspiracy

Charles Butler hannibal at
Thu Aug 26 08:59:48 EDT 2004

Esther posed a suite of interesting questions, including:

>Are there different types of goats?  I lived near a goat farm once, and
just can't connect those sleek goats I remember >with the creature in TMC.

Why yes there are - from shaggy-haired and pointy-eared to floppy-eared and
silky. But they all want to eat your sweater.

>Who has info on Gwyn from other sources?  Who is his wife?  Is he Hades?

Gwyn ap Nud is indeed a kind of Welsh Hades, connected in some way to Arawn
of Annuvin (the Mabinogion version, not Lloyd Alexander's!) I don't remember
reading about his wife, particularly, though.

>How well do you think all the different types of creatures meshed in the
book?  The floating air beings, London and >Salisbury, totem animals...

This is one of the things I liked best about it - its eclecticism. I'm far
too inclined to see *The Faerie Queene* in everything, but this does seem
quite a Spenserian book in that respect. And I liked its take on the link
between the magical health of the human polity and that of land itself -
there are some interesting ecological undertones there.

I think there are weaknesses in MC, as some of your other questions hinted.
But they all lie at the level of plot and character. Not that these are
unimportant (!), but the *taste* or atmosphere of the book lingers longer,
and seems very powerful and true. It's one of those books I like even more
in retrospect than in the reading.


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