Customer Reviews for

The Mists of Avalon (Avalon Series #1)

Average Rating 4.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

19 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

A Wonderful Addition to Arthurian Literature

Marion Zimmer Bradley gives a refreshing and poignant retelling of the King Arthur legend...from Morgaine's perspective. Traditionally portrayed as an evil seductress, Bradley has Morgaine as the narrator of the story, and offers insight into the characters' motivation...
Marion Zimmer Bradley gives a refreshing and poignant retelling of the King Arthur legend...from Morgaine's perspective. Traditionally portrayed as an evil seductress, Bradley has Morgaine as the narrator of the story, and offers insight into the characters' motivations, feelings and reasons for their actions. Each character ultimately affects the final outcome of King Arthur's rule.

What I enjoyed most about this novel was how the author places Arthur in a more historical setting (c. late 6th century A.D.). Bradley's portrayals of Morgaine, Arthur, Guinevere, Lancelot and Merlin bring a more human aspect to these famous persons.

Bradley also does an amazing job of discussing the religious and political conflicts during Arthur's reign, specifically between the followers of the Goddess and the emerging Chrisitian religion.

If you enjoy romance, historical fiction, epic stories, or just a good read, Bradley's 'The Mists of Avalon' won't disappoint you.

posted by Anthrogrl on February 26, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

This book is much too long. Also, she could have told the story

This book is much too long. Also, she could have told the story without inserting the anti-Christian sentiment. This is possibly one of my least favorite books of all time!

posted by 192852 on May 6, 2012

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  • Posted July 17, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    But be warned, the book is a slow read. While one can appreciate the amount of research that went into writing this tale, it's easy to overlook that because it's so damned boring.

    This tale is told from the points of view of the much maligned Morgaine, (Morgana Le Fey), Priestess of Avalon and Gwenhwyfar, (Gwynivere), Christian princess and future queen of Camelot.

    This is also the important story of the political and religious conflict between the new Christianity and the "old ways" of goddess worship. Believers of each religion seek to control the throne, but ultimately Christianity ascends to be the organized religion of the land.

    Ms. Bradley Starts the Story with Viviane the goddess on the Isle of Avalon, the center of Druidism and goddess worship since the Roman occupation forced the religion underground, where it remained long after the Roman departure. Mists surround this mystical isle, protecting it and its inhabitants from all who do not have the psychic powers to penetrate the barrier.

    Viviene married her sister Igraine to the old Duke of Cornwall, Gorlois, and bore a daughter, Morgaine. After for years of Morgaine's birth, the high king of Britain, Ambrosius is dying.

    Viviene demands that Igraine lay with King Uther so a king may be born that will unite all of Britain against the Saxons and reign in peace.

    The Merlin and Viviene disguise Uther as Gorlois and he lays with Igraine, thus Artur is born. Uther kills Gorlois and makes Igraine her queen and Arthur is born.

    Ambrosius dies and Uther is made king, but not accepted by all the kings of Britain, especially by King Lot, who marries Morgause, Igraine's younger sister to obtain king Lot's allegiance to King Uther.

    Vivienne Also orders that Arthur be reared by a stranger, because Viviene will bear no more sons for Uther. Morgause is sent to Avalon under Uther's objections.

    When Uther dies, and all the kings are deciding who will be high king, Arthur takes a sword out of the stone and all the people of Britain.

    Viviane Also makes Arthur and Morgaine breed a stag king, Gwydion to succeed Arthur after he dies, since Arthur will never have a son.

    But the Lady of the lake has deed that Igraine is to accompany Gwenhwyfar from the innocence of her girlhood convent life to her rise as King Arthur's Christian Queen. Gwenhwyfar deeply fears Druid magic and her terror causes her to miscarry a long awaited baby. King Arthur's acquiescence to his wife's pleas to turn his back on the old ways and adopt Christianity is the beginning of the cataclysmic fall of his reign.

    This is a most unique novel and Ms. Bradley's innovative fantasy version of Camelot, Britain during the Dark Ages, and the profound changes which took place in the land and among the people during this period. If you are open to a different take on a classic tale, then I highly recommend this novel.

    But be warned, the book is a slow read. While one can appreciate the amount of research that went into writing this tale, it's easy to overlook that because it's so damned boring. The legends of Arthur as told through the women involved and the magical lands they come from is an interesting idea and had potential to be an interesting story. But Zimmer-Bradley's writing is dull, repetitive and flat. The characters lack dimensionality and the A to B mode of story telling does not serve her well. If you are really into the Arthurian legends you may want to check it out, otherwise I'd recommend passing this one by.

    2 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 2005

    .....

    the book never seemed to end! but it does have some exciting moments when i just have to keep reading. and i just wanted kill arthur's wife! well overall it was an ok book. if you don't have anything better to read i say go ahead but don't get your hopes up.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 13, 2005

    Good, but boring...

    This book has a very interesting storyline, mostly because it's told from Morgaine's point of view, and my friend gives it 5 stars, but I think it's kind of boring. You'd like it if you enjoy extremely detailed descriptions in books...

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