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

by Marion Zimmer Bradley

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
11,585207233 (4.11)1 / 527
Member:cerce7
Title:The Mists of Avalon
Authors:Marion Zimmer Bradley
Info:Ballantine Books (1982), Paperback, 912 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:Arthurian Legend, Fantasy

Work details

The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley (1982)

  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. 30
    Mabinogion Tetralogy by Evangeline Walton (LamontCranston)
    LamontCranston: Very similar subject on mythology, Celts, Druids, and Matriarchy.
  4. 30
    Confessions of a Pagan Nun: A Novel by Kate Horsley (fyrefly98)
  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. 21
    Queen of Camelot by Nancy Mckenzie (lannabrooke13)
    lannabrooke13: I personally thought Mckenzie's version was much more realistic and engaging!
  9. 00
    The White Mare by Jules Watson (al.vick)
  10. 11
    The Wolf Hunt by Gillian Bradshaw (cataylor)
  11. 00
    Hawk of May by Gillian Bradshaw (MissBrangwen)
  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.
  13. 01
    The Circle Cast by Alex Epstein (Bitter_Grace)
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English (189)  Dutch (9)  German (3)  Italian (3)  Spanish (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  All languages (206)
Showing 1-5 of 189 (next | show all)
Life-altering. ( )
  KRaySaulis | Aug 13, 2014 |
Second (technically third) of my summer rereads. Man I got 500 pages into this and decided I'd had enough. As someone who loves both epic fantasy as well as the musical "Camelot," I truly wanted to like this, but couldn't get past how dull and terrible the writing was. Characters whims and beliefs change from page to page, and the main struggles of faith in the book get dragged on through tedious and repetitive conversations. Also, Bradley had very little idea how to authentically create characters (if I had to read one more time that Morgaine performed this or that task as "befitted a high priestess of Avalon" I thought I was going to hurl my book across the room. At page 500, I should know something like this about a character without it being added on to her every word and action).
Bla
onto something more fulfilling! ( )
1 vote abbeyhar | Jul 23, 2014 |
Second (technically third) of my summer rereads. Man I got 500 pages into this and decided I'd had enough. As someone who loves both epic fantasy as well as the musical "Camelot," I truly wanted to like this, but couldn't get past how dull and terrible the writing was. Characters whims and beliefs change from page to page, and the main struggles of faith in the book get dragged on through tedious and repetitive conversations. Also, Bradley had very little idea how to authentically create characters (if I had to read one more time that Morgaine performed this or that task as "befitted a high priestess of Avalon" I thought I was going to hurl my book across the room. At page 500, I should know something like this about a character without it being added on to her every word and action).
Bla
onto something more fulfilling! ( )
  abbeyhar | Jul 23, 2014 |
Second (technically third) of my summer rereads. Man I got 500 pages into this and decided I'd had enough. As someone who loves both epic fantasy as well as the musical "Camelot," I truly wanted to like this, but couldn't get past how dull and terrible the writing was. Characters whims and beliefs change from page to page, and the main struggles of faith in the book get dragged on through tedious and repetitive conversations. Also, Bradley had very little idea how to authentically create characters (if I had to read one more time that Morgaine performed this or that task as "befitted a high priestess of Avalon" I thought I was going to hurl my book across the room. At page 500, I should know something like this about a character without it being added on to her every word and action).
Bla
onto something more fulfilling! ( )
  abbeyhar | Jul 23, 2014 |
The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley is an Arthurian tale told from the perspective of women, including King Arthur's mother, aunts, sister, and wife. The story tells about their lives and their struggles, hardships, and romances both before and after the birth of King Arthur and the various ways they plot and participate in shaping the future of their kingdom. This is a very long and slow paced book, but I didn't find it at all tedious to read, which is more than I can say for other books in this series. I enjoyed nearly every minute of reading this book from start to end, and when it was over I felt such longing wanting to read more. I thought that most of the characters were very well done and had lots of depth to them. I especially connected with the character of Morgaine, the narrator and King Arthur's sister, and felt she was a kindred spirit, or as much of one as a book character can be. I also really connected to the spirituality of this book and many of the pagan beliefs described resonate closely with my own eclectic spiritual beliefs. This is definitely one of my favorite books and it will always hold a special place in my heart. I'd definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Arthurian fiction or medieval fantasy.



It is not necessary to read any of the other books in Bradley's Avalon series to enjoy this book, though the other books do give a lot of background history to Avalon and even to some of the characters in this book. If you want to read the other books in the series and want to read them chronologically as I did, then The Mists of Avalon should be the last book you read. If you prefer to read the books in publication order, then start with this book and work your way back chronologically.



I re-watched the made for TV movie after I finished reading the book and thoroughly enjoyed it despite the fact that there were many changes. I would say that the movie stayed fairly true to the first half of the book, but the movie changed and left out a lot of things from the second half of the book. Also some of the characters were altered and were nastier than they were in the book and things like that. There were a lot of instances where I could see why things needed to be changed or removed for the movie format, but there were some parts of the book that I really wish had been included in the movie. I suppose if they had included all of the stuff they left out, the movie would have been twice as long as it was. It's still a great movie though and I'm able to enjoy it in and of itself. ( )
  Kythe42 | Jul 17, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 189 (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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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
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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Disambiguation notice
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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