The Mists of Avalon
A huge enthralling novel of King Arthur – one of the most perpetually fascinating of all our legends – now recast and told through the lives and visions of the women central to the story.
For the first time, the Arthurian world of Avalon and Camelot with all its passions and adventures – the world that, through the centuries, each generation has re-created in countless works of fiction, poetry and drama – is seen from the perspectives of its heroines: Guinevere, who marries Arthur while loving Lancelot; Igraine, Arthur's mother; Viviane, the majestic Lady of the Lake and High Priestess of Avalon; and, most important, Arthur's sister Morgaine, possessor of the Sight. Small, dark and intense, Morgaine herself has a passion for Lancelot which is never fulfilled; her ultimate fate is to destroy those whom she loves most, including her brother, the King.
As we follow Morgaine and Guinevere – and the immense cast of characters who surround them – we follow as well the destiny of Britain from the threat of the Saxon wars to the glory of Camelot and a world at peace, to the tragedies that accompany the death of Arthur, a death symbolisng the profound conflict between Christianity and the old religion of Avalon, the core of the book.
It is the special accomplishment of this novel that we read it as if we have never before heard the legend – yet with a total sense of recognition and sympathy. A wonderful book and a brilliant addition to the literature of Arthur.
Marion Zimmer Bradley was an American fantasy and science fiction author. She was born 1930 and died 1999 after suffering a major heart attack.
Writing for over 4 decades, Marion Zimmer Bradley is best known for her Darkover science fantasy series and her Arthurian masterpiece, The Mists of Avalon. She also edited anthologies for several years and published Marion Zimmer Bradley's FANTASY Magazine.
Photo by Modern Arts Studio, Oakland, California. Source: Marion Zimmer Bradley Literary Works Trust.
Avalon consists of seven works. The current recommended reading order for the series is provided below.
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The Mists of Avalon is definitely the best retelling of the Arthurian legend I've ever read. This historical fantasy book is in a league of its own. I can highly recommend this book to all fantasy fans. It's very entertaining and well written - in other words, it's a great book. If you like historical fantasy books and haven't read The Mists of Avalon, you should read it as soon as possible. You'll probably like it very much. By the way, the other Avalon books aren't as good as this book.