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Lady of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley
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Lady of Avalon (1997)

by Marion Zimmer Bradley

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English (13)  German (2)  French (1)  All languages (16)
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Great rendition of Arthurian legend from a woman's perspective and the goddess cult that might have been. ( )
  Lylee | Apr 3, 2016 |
Part 1
The first part shows us Caillean and Gawen (Eilan's son), who we know from the prequel, The Forest House. Caillean assumes the role of High Priestess of Avalon and somewhat a foster mother to Gawen. Gawen is raised as a druid, but from time to time, the Fairy Queen takes him with her to teach him. She also has a daughter, Sianna. The Fairy Queen and Caillean agree that Sianna will be given the teachings of the priestesses of Avalon. Spending their childhood together, Sianna and Gawen have a special bond. By the end of this first part of the book, Gawen and Sianna have become more than just friends. Sianna will bear Gawen's child, though Gawen himself will not live to see his daughter, as he is killed when he tries to protect Avalon from the Christians and a Roman patrol. After these unfortunate events, Caillean calls upon the mists so that Avalon will be inaccessible to anyone who cannot handle the magic to lift the mist. When Caillean grows too old, Sianna assumes the position of High Priestess and her daughter after her, thus starting a lineage of High Priestesses.


[edit] Part 2
The second part tells us about High Priestess Dierna. She takes in a new novice of royal blood, named Teleri. When she gets a vision about the new Protector of Britannia, a Roman admiral named Carausius, she arranges for Teleri to be wed to the man, so that she can help him with her priestess knowledge. This is not to Teleri's liking however. She doesn't love Carausius. Some years later, Carausius gets more and more opposition from all sides. Teleri will flee from her husband and give support to one of his former trustees to become the new High King. Eventually, Dierna and Carausius will find each other and become lovers. The High King hunts down Carausius who tries to reach the safety of Avalon and Dierna, but fails to reach it, dying of his wounds at the edge of the lake of Avalon. Some time later, Teleri realised the mistakes she made and finds her way back to Avalon, where she is reunited with Dierna and becomes her successor.


[edit] Part 3
The third part focuses on Avalon High Priestess Ana and her third daughter, Viviane. Viviane was fostered on a farm, but when she is 14 her mother sends Taliesin the Druid bard to escort her to Avalon. There she completes her training as a priestess, but Ana won't let her go through her initiation, so Viviane continues to remain a novice. This allows her to be the first maiden in centuries to be able to handle the Holy Grail, which is kept by Taliesin's order of Druids. Viviane's temperament takes after Ana's, so their characters often clash. Finally, Viviane is initiated when she becomes Vortimer's lover but returns to Avalon when he dies, where she bears his daughter. Sadly, her child dies a few months later. Ana is also pregnant, but birth proves to be difficult at her age. At last Ana and Viviane find forgiveness for each other, but Ana does not survive the birth of her last daughter, Morgause. Luckily, Viviane can nurse Ana's daughter, since her body is still accustomed to breastfeeding her own child.

This last part leads us to the storyline of The Mists of Avalon.

  bostonwendym | Mar 3, 2016 |
I have always enjoyed reading books about King Authur and his Knights of the Round Table. This book focus is on the Druid Priestesses. If you like fantasy you will love this book. It keeps you turning the page. ( )
  ShirleyMcLain930 | Aug 3, 2014 |
didnt know it was book 5 when i bought it ( )
  Kaitlin_Michelle | Jul 14, 2014 |
Lady of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley is a compilation of three novellas, each set in a different time period, and each with a different High Priestess or "Lady" of Avalon. Part one is a direct sequel to The Forest House and tells the story of how the protective mists that separate Avalon from the surrounding land were put in place by Caillean. Part two is about a priestess named Teleri who is compelled to marry a man she does not love in order to tie him to Avalon to ensure the safety of Britain. Part three is a direct prequel to The Mists of Avalon and is the story of Viviane's childhood and training on Avalon and the events that led to her becoming High Priestess of Avalon. Although these are three separate stories, they all contain similar themes which tie them together. I rather enjoyed the first and third parts, but part two I found more tedious and didn't really feel it added much to the series as a whole except to provide some context for certain events that happened in the book Priestess of Avalon. Overall I'd really recommend this book to fans of the Avalon series as it provides some really good background story to The Mists of Avalon.

This book should be read after The Forest House(and Ravens of Avalon before that) and before Mists of Avalon. There are also references to The Fall of Atlantis and Ancestors of Avalon but it is less important that you read these books first. The book Priestess of Avalon overlaps both chronologically and in plot with part two of this book. There are many options for the order in which to read the two books. You could simply read Lady of Avalon first and then Priestess of Avalon second or vice-versa. You could read Priestess of Avalon anytime after the first part of Lady of Avalon, but make sure you finish reading it before you start part three of Lady of Avalon. My preferred method is a bit more complicated though. First read part one of Lady of Avalon. Second read part one of Priestess of Avalon and up to chapter 11 of part two. Third read part two of Lady of Avalon. Forth finish parts two and three of Priestess of Avalon, and then finally read part three of Lady of Avalon. ( )
  Kythe42 | Mar 30, 2014 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Marion Zimmer Bradleyprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Argent, PhilipCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ohl, ManfredTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Palencar, John JudeCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sartorius, HansTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To Diana L. Paxson, without whom this book could not have been written, and to Darkmoon Circle, the priestesses of Avalon
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It was nearing sunset, and the quiet waters of the Vale of Avalon were overlaid with gold.
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Is it of your own free will, without force or coercion by your father or anyone, that you seek to join the holy sisterhood that dwell in Avalon?
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0451456521, Paperback)

New York Times bestselling author Marion Zimmer Bradley brings the mesmerizing world of myth, romance and history to life in the spellbinding novel of epic grandeur!

Before the legend of King Arthur and Camelot, there was Avalon, a beautiful island of golden vales and silver mists. A land where the lives of three powerful priestesses shape the destiny of Roman Britian as they fight to regain the magic and traditions of a once gallant past...

Take the Lady of Avalon Quiz!

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:10 -0400)

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New York Times bestselling author Marion Zimmer Bradley brings the mesmerizing world of myth, romance and history to life in the spellbinding novel of epic grandeur! Before the legend of King Arthur and Camelot, there was Avalon, a beautiful island of golden vales and silver mists. A land where the lives of three powerful priestesses shape the destiny of Roman Britain as they fight to regain the magic and traditions of a once gallant past... Take the Lady of Avalon Quiz!… (more)

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