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The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley

The Mists of Avalon (original 1982; edition 2000)

by Marion Zimmer Bradley

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
12,842243178 (4.1)2 / 587
Title:The Mists of Avalon
Authors:Marion Zimmer Bradley
Info:Del Rey (2000), Edition: Reissue, Hardcover, 912 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley (1982)

  1. 134
    Kushiel's Dart by Jacqueline Carey (cataylor)
  2. 102
    The King Must Die by Mary Renault (krasiviye.slova)
    krasiviye.slova: Similar decline and fall of the matriarchy theme, with different spins.
  3. 30
    Confessions of a Pagan Nun: A Novel by Kate Horsley (fyrefly98)
  4. 30
    Mabinogion Tetralogy by Evangeline Walton (LamontCranston)
    LamontCranston: Very similar subject on mythology, Celts, Druids, and Matriarchy.
  5. 41
    Daughter of the Forest (The Sevenwaters Trilogy, Book 1) by Juliet Marillier (alchymyst)
  6. 20
    Lily of the Nile by Stephanie Dray (legxleg)
    legxleg: I am pairing these two books together because both have a thread of female-centric religion struggling to survive.
  7. 10
    Hild by Nicola Griffith (kiwiflowa)
  8. 21
    Queen of Camelot by Nancy Mckenzie (lannabrooke13)
    lannabrooke13: I personally thought Mckenzie's version was much more realistic and engaging!
  9. 10
    The Language of the Goddess by Marija Gimbutas (CurrerBell)
  10. 00
    The Forest House by Marion Zimmer Bradley (AniIma)
    AniIma: Fantastic, mythical, Arthurian Legend. Wonderful and skillfull storytelling by the author, Marion Zimmer Bradley.
  11. 00
    Hawk of May by Gillian Bradshaw (MissBrangwen)
  12. 00
    The White Mare (Dalriada, Book 1) by Jules Watson (al.vick)
  13. 00
    Votan and Other Novels (Fantasy Masterworks) by John James (LamontCranston)
  14. 11
    The Wolf Hunt by Gillian Bradshaw (cataylor)
  15. 00
    Arrows of the Queen by Mercedes Lackey (ktoonen)
    ktoonen: Similar writing style, with strong feminist themes in epic fantasy.
  16. 01
    The Circle Cast by Alex Epstein (Bitter_Grace)
  17. 12
    The Black Chalice by Marie Jakober (lquilter)
    lquilter: Like Bradley's Mists of Avalon, Marie Jakober's The Black Chalice has similar patriarchy-superseding-matriarchal-magic themes, but with Germanic mythology. Beautifully written.

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English (225)  Dutch (9)  Italian (3)  German (2)  Spanish (1)  All (1)  French (1)  All (242)
Showing 1-5 of 225 (next | show all)
I wasn't really familiar with the Camelot/King Arthur story before this book. I had heard brief versions and people making references to it but it never really interested me. Then I watched Camelot on Starz and found it fairly interesting. Next, I picked up Guenevere: Queen of the Summer County - which was boring and the character development was atrocious, but because it differed from the TV Show it kept my interest. Then, while I was at a book sale looking through the science fiction/fantasy section, I grabbed "The Mists of Avalon" and a few people started to express their love for the book and so I thought I'd give it a try. Well, I must say I thorough enjoyed it. The characters and plot, along with subplots, were carefully and beautifully developed. Also, I've found myself researching the King Arthur story and wanting to know more. A book is great when it gets its reader excited enough to do additional research on its topic. A definite must read for sci-fi/fantasy enthusiast. ( )
  jthao_02 | May 18, 2017 |
One of the few books in my life that I've read over and over and over again. I do love a tasty retelling of Arthurian legend--this is one of the best. ( )
  kbosso | May 2, 2017 |
Some brief comments - I had a hard time deciding what rating to give this. Davina Porter's narration was excellent, deserving of 4 stars or even higher but I had issues with the book which grew as the book progressed. I think that I would give the book 2 stars as it was well written and even at the height of my annoyance, I never felt like abandoning it.

The biggest source of my irritation was the character of Gwenevere who whined and nagged and drove me crazy with all her talk of sin. And then after all that stuff about being afraid of being out in the open, she decides against all advice to confront her supposed half-brother on her own!?! Just not believable.

I also had some problems with how the Christian priests were portrayed - I can believe that some of them were like that but not all. Bradley's bias was clear and I think that it prejudiced me to be antagonistic to her views. I don't think that the religious beliefs of the inhabitants of Britain were as clearly divided as she shows them nor that Christianity "won the day" in the 500s at the time of King Arthur.

I liked hearing the point of view of the different women but felt that the lack of any male perspective lessened the depth of the story. It would have been a better book for me if we occasionally heard what Arthur or Lancelot were thinking in more detail. ( )
  leslie.98 | Dec 17, 2016 |
This book was given to me by a pagan/Wiccan witch whom I was dating at the time. I loved it as a different way of looking at literature, history, religion, sex, and especially the contrasting views and roles of women in stories that had always been told from a very male dominated point of view. After years of reading religion and philosophy, serious history, and plenty of fantasy and magical fluff, it was wonderful to lose myself in a fantastic but sometimes realistic world that gave some kind of coherent voice to groups that are usually maligned or used ornamentally (pagans, women, anti-heroes).

Just reading a story from the alternate point of view of a strong, political, pagan woman who is usually the villain was a nice departure from years of studying history (and literature) written so incredibly heavily from the dominant (upper class, male, Christian, victorious side) perspective. ( )
1 vote LocoLibros | Jul 22, 2016 |
It’s been years since I read this and I'm glad I chose to read it again. It is a different take on Arthurian legend and I enjoyed reading it. I don't need it to be historically accurate because I don't expect fiction to be accurate, just real enough to be able to immerse myself in a story and this book does that.

There is definitely some sexual content though it does not get too graphic. ( )
  missmimsy | Jun 14, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 225 (next | show all)
In ''The Mists of Avalon,'' Marion Zimmer Bradley's monumental reimagining of the Arthurian legends, the story begins differently, in the slow stages of female desire and of moral, even mythic, choice. Stepping into this world through the Avalon mists, we see the saga from an entirely untraditional perspective: not Arthur's, not Lancelot's, not Merlin's. We see the creation of Camelot from the vantage point of its principal women - Viviane, Gwynyfar, Morgaine and Igraine. This, the untold Arthurian story, is no less tragic, but it has gained a mythic coherence; reading it is a deeply moving and at times uncanny experience.

» Add other authors (27 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Marion Zimmer Bradleyprimary authorall editionscalculated
Bralds, BraldtCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Herranen, PaulaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ohl, ManfredTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Porter, DavinaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sartorius, HansTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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"...Morgan le Fay was not married, but put to school in a nunnery, where she became a great mistress of magic."
- Malory, Morte d'Arthur
First words
Morgaine speaks...In my time I have been called many things: sister, lover, priestess, wise-woman, queen.
a land ruled by priests is a land filled with tyrants on Earth and in Heaven
the faith of Christ is a fitting faith for slaves who think themselves sinners and humble
What of the King Stag, when the young stag is grown?
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The French edition is divided into 2 volumes.
The Brazilian and Spanish editions are divided into 4 volumes.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0345350499, Paperback)

Even readers who don't normally enjoy Arthurian legends will love this version, a retelling from the point of view of the women behind the throne. Morgaine (more commonly known as Morgan Le Fay) and Gwenhwyfar (a Welsh spelling of Guinevere) struggle for power, using Arthur as a way to score points and promote their respective worldviews. The Mists of Avalon's Camelot politics and intrigue take place at a time when Christianity is taking over the island-nation of Britain; Christianity vs. Faery, and God vs. Goddess are dominant themes.

Young and old alike will enjoy this magical Arthurian reinvention by science fiction and fantasy veteran Marion Zimmer Bradley. --Bonnie Bouman

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:33 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

When Morgan le Fay (Morgaine) has to sacrifice her virginity during fertility rites, the man who impregnates her is her younger brother Arthur, whom she turns against when she thinks he has betrayed the old religion of Avalon.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 3 descriptions

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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