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The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley

The Mists of Avalon (original 1982; edition 1982)

by Marion Zimmer Bradley

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11,340None242 (4.12)1 / 511
Title:The Mists of Avalon
Authors:Marion Zimmer Bradley
Info:Ballantine Books (1982), Paperback, 912 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Arthurian Legend, Fantasy

Work details

The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley (1982)

Arthur (98) Arthurian (539) Arthurian legend (379) Avalon (246) Britain (63) Camelot (86) Celtic (85) England (120) fantasy (2,175) feminism (120) feminist (58) fiction (1,381) goddess (68) historical (83) historical fantasy (83) historical fiction (316) King Arthur (412) magic (155) Merlin (64) mythology (194) novel (144) own (81) pagan (65) paganism (74) read (161) religion (75) sff (106) to-read (152) unread (92) women (132)
  1. 123
    Kushiel's Dart by Jacqueline Carey (cataylor)
  2. 92
    The King Must Die by Mary Renault (krasiviye.slova)
    krasiviye.slova: Similar decline and fall of the matriarchy theme, with different spins.
  3. 41
    Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier (alchymyst)
  4. 30
    Mabinogion Tetralogy by Evangeline Walton (LamontCranston)
    LamontCranston: Very similar subject on mythology, Celts, Druids, and Matriarchy.
  5. 30
    Confessions of a Pagan Nun: A Novel by Kate Horsley (fyrefly98)
  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. 21
    Queen of Camelot by Nancy Mckenzie (lannabrooke13)
    lannabrooke13: I personally thought Mckenzie's version was much more realistic and engaging!
  8. 00
    Hawk of May by Gillian Bradshaw (MissBrangwen)
  9. 00
    The White Mare by Jules Watson (al.vick)
  10. 11
    The Wolf Hunt by Gillian Bradshaw (cataylor)
  11. 01
    The Circle Cast by Alex Epstein (Bitter_Grace)
  12. 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 (182)  Dutch (9)  German (3)  Italian (3)  Spanish (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  All languages (199)
Showing 1-5 of 182 (next | show all)
The Mists of Avalon, as you’ve likely guessed, is a retake on the King Arthur legends, but what makes it different is that it’s written from the women’s perspectives (Morgaine, Guinevere, etc.). The first one was written by Marion Zimmer Bradley in 1983 and this was the first time this feminist technique was used in fantasy literature and it was very successful (I learned that when I took a Modern Scholar course in fantasy literature).

The Mists of Avalon is beautifully written, but slow-paced, and I often wished the story would move faster. Since the women characters are the focus, there’s not much action (except traveling). The chicks themselves aren't fighting a lot of Saxons. Also, there’s a major emphasis on the dissolution of the pagan religi... Read More: http://www.fantasyliterature.com/reviews/the-mists-of-avalon/ ( )
  Kat_Hooper | Apr 6, 2014 |
When I first read this book I really liked it. The Camelot legend has always fascinated me and this version, with its focus on Viviane, Morgaine and Gwenhwyfar, appealed to me. Now, after having been captured by the BBC series Merlin - which is brilliant! - I read The Mists of Avalon again. What a bitter disappointment. It didn't live up to my previous high rating at all. Long, repetitive, boring, pretentious, totally lacking in humour... What was still interesting was the conflict with the Christians but the insistence that all the gods and goddesses really are one God after all was just so ho hum. Gwenhyfar was unbearable, Arthur a wimp, Merlin a goody two shoes. Only Morgaine was of some interest but, oh how it dragged out. Now I just want to watch the BBC series again to get back into the enthrallment of Merlin, Morgana, Arthur and Gwen. If you haven't seen the series, see it! If you haven't read the book, don't bother. ( )
  rubyjand | Apr 4, 2014 |
The tale of King Arthur, Queen Guinevere and Sir Lancelot, told from the point of view of the Women of Avalon: Morgause, Morgaine, Elaine and Viviane. ( )
  harrietbrown | Mar 22, 2014 |
This was on my summer reading list for my freshman year of high school. I remember that I felt like it was my first exposure to King Arthur. I also thought it was a little racy for freshmen, but maybe I was naive! ( )
  scote23 | Dec 26, 2013 |
Another book I just could not finish....maybe there was too much romance for me? ( )
  Becky221 | Nov 4, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 182 (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 (28 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Marion Zimmer Bradleyprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bralds, BraldtCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Herranen, PaulaTranslatorsecondary 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.
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to the English one.
'---Morgan Le Fay was niet getrouwd, maar opgeleid in een nonnenklooster, waar ze een hogepriesteres van de magie werd.'

- Malory, Morte d'Arthur
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In the Brazilian and Spanish edition, the book was divided in 4 volumes.
In the french edition, the book was divided in 2 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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:05:43 -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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