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The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley
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The Mists of Avalon (original 1982; edition 2000)

by Marion Zimmer Bradley

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
12,376239201 (4.1)2 / 563
Member:qizz
Title:The Mists of Avalon
Authors:Marion Zimmer Bradley
Info:Del Rey (2000), Edition: Reissue, Hardcover, 912 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***1/2
Tags:None

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 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. 10
    The Language of the Goddess by Marija Gimbutas (CurrerBell)
  9. 21
    Queen of Camelot by Nancy Mckenzie (lannabrooke13)
    lannabrooke13: I personally thought Mckenzie's version was much more realistic and engaging!
  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 by Jules Watson (al.vick)
  13. 11
    The Wolf Hunt by Gillian Bradshaw (cataylor)
  14. 01
    The Circle Cast by Alex Epstein (Bitter_Grace)
  15. 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 (220)  Dutch (9)  Italian (3)  German (2)  Spanish (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  French (1)  All languages (237)
Showing 1-5 of 220 (next | show all)
Great interpretation from a woman's perspective of the Arthurian legends. ( )
  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 |
If you've never before read a modern retelling of a fairy tale or legend, or if you've never really thought about Christianity, paganism, or in fact feminism, then this book might intrigue you. ( )
  wealhtheowwylfing | Feb 29, 2016 |
Absolutely amazing book that seamlessly flows through King Arthur's lifetime through the eyes of women who heavily influenced his reign. It is great to see a familiar story from another point of view. There are multiple main characters who push their own ideals and agendas. There are no bad guys in the story, just people governed by their own ambitions, religion, love, and greed. The theme that is the most apparent is the acceptance of Christian religion and its portrayal of women, infidelity, and worshiping other gods. There is an overall message that women should have courage, not be ashamed and looked down upon. This is portrayed by many different female characters who are strong in their own ways, revealing that there is no one way a woman (or any person) should be, as long as they are them self.

The discussion of religion in the book is profound. It shows that a religion is a constantly changing idea. While one religion may fade as another rises, the new religion takes on many aspects of the old religion, changing itself into what the people are use to. The author also demonstrates that you should think for yourself and look in heart to see what is right.

While the book is incredibly long and dense, it does not get tiring as characters change and grow, and the timeline is steadily moving along. It is really well written and all around fantastic book. ( )
  renbedell | Feb 19, 2016 |
Love it!!! If you're a fan of King Arthur's tales you'll love it too... ( )
1 vote Glaucialm | Feb 18, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 220 (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 editionsconfirmed
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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Epigraph
"...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
Dedication
First words
Morgaine speaks...In my time I have been called many things: sister, lover, priestess, wise-woman, queen.
Quotations
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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Disambiguation notice
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 5 descriptions

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