This will be a short review because I have a joint blog post about this book with my co-blogger in crime, Moonlight Reader.
I still like having Merlin as the narrator in these books and we do get some insight into what power is calling to him and also to Arthur. I found Merlin to be just as obstinate as the character of Uther at times because he doesn't like to be challenged. And I think at times Stewart tries to over explain the appeal of the character of Arthur to those around him.
The women are here and gone in moments in this story. I really wish we had gotten to follow Ygraine more. We have at the end of this book the death of Uther and her long gone son becoming king, you would think she would be nearby. We do get glimpses of Morgause, but I thought her reasoning behind what she does still didn't make a lot of sense. Morgain was just talked about, a lot.
That said, most of the book dragged dreadfully. It wasn't until book four, 'The King' that the action kicked into high gear. We finally get to the end of the book with Arthur becoming king, but we also know because of the events in this one, an ill wind is blowing his way.