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Priestess of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley
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Priestess of Avalon (2000)

by Marion Zimmer Bradley, Diana L. Paxson

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2,053165,026 (3.61)16
In the long-awaited return to Avalon, the author of The Mists of Avalonand her collaborator, bestselling author Diana L. Paxson, fuse myth, magic, and romance in this spectacular tale of one woman's role in the making of history and spirit.
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English (14)  French (2)  All languages (16)
Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
Priestess of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley and Diana L. Paxson is the story of a priestess named Helena who was forced to leave her home at Avalon and live an entirely different life from what she was used to. The story follows her life and her pseudo marriage and tells of the different places that she lived in the Roman Empire. The story tells about her relationship with her children and her grandchildren and also about her feelings in regard to the rise of Christianity in the Empire and how it relates to her own spirituality. There are some parts of the book that were enjoyable for me such as Helena's time on Avalon and reading about how her spirituality evolves in her time away from Avalon, but I found much of the story to be very tedious to get through and I'd have to say that this is probably my least favorite book in the Avalon series. I'd probably only recommend reading this book if you are also reading Lady of Avalon because the story of Priestess of Avalon overlaps, both chronologically and in plot, with part two of Lady of Avalon, though I'm not sure it's entirely necessary.

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.

Priestess of Avalon(along with Lady of Avalon) takes place after The Forest House, so you might want to read that book first as well as Ravens of Avalon which provides some of the background story to The Forest House. There are also some references made to The Fall of Atlantis and Ancestors of Avalon, but I'd say it's less important to have read those books prior to reading Priestess of Avalon. One last thing I'd like to comment on is that this book is written in first person while the other books in the series are all written in third person(with the exception of some introduction passages). I'm not a big fan of first person perspective, but I have to say that it was done well enough in this book that I didn't really notice too much. ( )
1 vote Kythe42 | Mar 29, 2014 |
This book had me on a bit of a seesaw. On some occasions, I couldn't wait to find out what happened and couldn't put it down. At others, the language really put me off and I was bored with it. I enjoyed reading the context it was in, because I haven't read a lot based in that era, but sometimes the story got lost in the language. 2.5 stars. ( )
  crashmyparty | Dec 11, 2013 |
Quite enjoyable but not to be compared with 'Mists' or 'Atlantis' ( )
  willowcove | Sep 1, 2010 |
I love Marion Zimmer Bradley, it's amazing that she is able to keep this saga so interesting and fresh. This one really captured me on an emotional level, you really feel for the characters. Once again she veers away from the idea of a fairytale story and ending always staying true to herself and the concept of the book. ( )
  trinibaby9 | Nov 24, 2009 |
While no where near the epic tale that was "Mists of Avalon," this book is still a wonderful tale of a woman who gives all for her destiny and later finds that she changed the world, for the worse, through her destined son Constantine. Bradley has a way of making history seem tangible and characters seem very sympathetic and understandable. She is one of the master's of her craft, I think few would dispute that. An enjoyable read. ( )
  tngolden | Feb 26, 2009 |
Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (9 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Marion Zimmer Bradleyprimary authorall editionscalculated
Paxson, Diana L.main authorall editionsconfirmed
Balkenhol, MarionTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Craft, Kinuko Y.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lewis, PaulaCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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With sunset, a brisk wind had blown in from the sea.
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To travel on the sea is to move outside time. One sits, with neither tasks nor duties, contemplating the dim grey ribbon of shoreline on the horizon, and the ever-changing, undulant landscape of the sea. The scene in the boat's wake alters as swiftly as the view from the prow, so there is no way to recognize where one has been, and after a time the succession of ridges and valleys begins to repeat itself, so that one wonders if any progress has been made at all.
I thought of the proverb, "God could not be everywhere at once so he invented Mothers," and it seemed to me that it should be the other way around, "Mother did not have enough breasts for everyone, so man invented deities enough so that every man would have a Mother who would never leave him for another…"
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