Lady of Avalon (Avalon Series #3)

Lady of Avalon (Avalon Series #3)

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by Marion Zimmer Bradley
     
 

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New York Times bestselling author Marion Zimmer Bradley brings the mesmerizing world of myth, romance and history to life in the spellbinding novel of epic grandeur!

Before the legend of King Arthur and Camelot, there was Avalon, a beautiful island of golden vales and silver mists. A land where the lives of three powerful priestesses shape the destiny of

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Overview

New York Times bestselling author Marion Zimmer Bradley brings the mesmerizing world of myth, romance and history to life in the spellbinding novel of epic grandeur!

Before the legend of King Arthur and Camelot, there was Avalon, a beautiful island of golden vales and silver mists. A land where the lives of three powerful priestesses shape the destiny of Roman Britian as they fight to regain the magic and traditions of a once gallant past...

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Bradley's The Mists of Avalon (1983) remains one of the best lovedand bestsellingreworkings of the Arthurian cycle. Now Bradley has written a splendid prequel (which she also links to her novel The Forest House), in which she traces the High Priestess of Avalon and the sacrificial Sacred King through three cycles of reincarnation and mythic destiny. In the first century of Christianity, Lady Caillean raises her orphaned grandson, Gawen (whose mother was killed in The Forest House). Initiated as the Pendragon and Sacred King, Gawen dies, but has fathered a child by Sianna, a daughter of the Fairy Queen. After his death, Lady Callean transports Avalon to a separate magical reality. Sianna's descendants continue to shape the history of Britannia, however. Lady Dierna marries her daughter Taleri to Carausius, who becomes Emperor of Britannia and dies defending the land. A later descendant, Lady Ana, calls back to Avalon her daughter Viviane, who is united with Vortimer, her era's Defender of Britannia. But it is Lady Ana's child Igraine, whom Viviane raises, who will culiminate the bloodlines. A pillar of the fantasy field, Bradley here combines romance, rich historical detail, magical dazzlements, grand adventure and feminist sentiments into the kind of novel her fans have been yearning for.
VOYA - Margaret Miles
Bradley closes the gap between The Forest House (Viking, 1994) and The Mists of Avalon (Knopf, 1982) with the stories of three High Priestesses of the hidden Isle of Avalon. Around the beginning of the second century A.D., Caillean's foster son Gawen, as Pendragon, sacrifices himself to accomplish Avalon's separation from the world. Toward the end of the third century, Dierna's hope to preserve Britain by supporting Carausius as independent Emperor of Britannia ends in his death as sacrificial king. In the mid-fifth century, discontented Viviane comes to terms with her position, first as daughter of the High Priestess and then as Lady of Avalon herself, in the days just before the time of Arthur. Unlike Bradley's major science fiction corpus of Darkover novels (most recently The Shadow Matrix [DAW, 1997]), which has grown over the years into an imagined world greater than the sum of its individual parts, her feminist-Arthurian world arrived fully fledged in The Mists of Avalon; satellite novels attached to such a monumental and groundbreaking work inevitably suffer in comparison, and even backhandedly lessen the impact of the central novel. Taken on its own (though anyone who has read Mists will find this impossible), Lady of Avalon is solid feminist historical fiction, exploring the traditions of Goddess worship. Historical and metaphysical aspects are well handled; characterization suffers somewhat, perhaps because the book is really three linked novellas about different characters instead of one continuous novel. Readers who enjoy feminist history and historical novels are those most likely to enjoy this. VOYA Codes: 3Q 2P S (Readable without serious defects, For the YA with a special interest in the subject, Senior High-defined as grades 10 to 12).
Library Journal
This three-part fantasy, set in Roman-occupied Britain, creates the link between The Forest House and The Mists of Avalon and should satisfy fans of both those books. Spanning almost 400 years, it tells the stories of the high priestesses and ladies of Avalon. Recommended for fantasy collections. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 2/1/97.]
Kirkus Reviews
This smoky mix of magic, legend, people both mythic and real, and the ancient savageries of war supplies a chronological link between Bradley's The Forest House (1994), set in first-century Britain, and her Arthurian saga, The Mists of Avalon (1983).

Here, again, is Avalon, seat of the Goddess Mother religion, its artifacts crafted by those Old Ones from Atlantis. This time, the High Priestesses, hounded by male-dominated Christianity, wrestle with their powers as they see visions and seek out incarnations of the Sacred King who will save Brittania. The boy Gawen (introduced in The Forest House) will be raised in Avalon by the High Priestess Caillean—it is she who magically separates Avalon from the world outside—saluted as the true "Son of a Hundred Kings," be given a miraculous sword, and ritually unite with his beloved Sianna (none other than the daughter of the Faerie Queen). Gawen is killed by Romans but will appear again in other incarnations to fulfill his destiny as Defender of Brittania. The next Incarnation—the future Emperor of Brittania, Carausius—is discovered by the High Priestess Dierna, who should be his Queen/Bride but mistakenly arranges a marriage for him with one who would help in his defeat. Vortimer, son of the High King, is the third to swear to save Brittania's ancient ways and freedom. There are flights and pursuits, carnage on land and sea, sacred artifacts (cup, lance, etc., later to be Christian symbols), shuddering visions, and plenty of travel between real and magical worlds.

A treat for the savvy initiate, and intriguing for Arthurian buffs, but others may find it too cloudy by half. Go with the flow, though: The prose is as smooth as those sacred stones on which so many interesting things take place. Bradley also includes helpful lists of people and places and a map.

From the Publisher
"Bradley here combines romance, rich historical detail, magical dazzlements, grand adventure and feminist sentiments into the kind of novel her fans have been yearning for." —Publishers Weekly Starred Review

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781101212783
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
12/04/2007
Series:
Avalon Series , #3
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
480
Sales rank:
67,910
File size:
1 MB
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"Bradley here combines romance, rich historical detail, magical dazzlements, grand adventure and feminist sentiments into the kind of novel her fans have been yearning for." —-Publishers Weekly Starred Review

Meet the Author

Marion Zimmer was born in Albany, NY, on June 3, 1930, and married Robert Alden Bradley in 1949. Mrs. Bradley received her B.A. in 1964 from Hardin Simmons University in Abilene, Texas, then did graduate work at the University of California, Berkeley, from 1965-67.

She was a science fiction/fantasy fan from her middle teens, and made her first sale as an adjunct to an amateur fiction contest in Fantastic/Amazing Stories in 1949. She had written as long as she could remember, but wrote only for school magazines and fanzines until 1952, when she sold her first professional short story to Vortex Science Fiction. She wrote everything from science fiction to Gothics, but is probably best known for her Darkover novels.

In addition to her novels, Mrs. Bradley edited many magazines, amateur and professional, including Marion Zimmer Bradley's Fantasy Magazine, which she started in 1988. She also edited an annual anthology called Sword and Sorceress for DAW Books.

Over the years she turned more to fantasy; The House Between the Worlds, although a selection of the Science Fiction Book Club, was "fantasy undiluted". She wrote a novel of the women in the Arthurian legends -- Morgan Le Fay, the Lady of the Lake, and others -- entitled Mists of Avalon, which made the NY Times best seller list both in hardcover and trade paperback, and she also wrote The Firebrand, a novel about the women of the Trojan War. Her historical fantasy novels, The Forest House, Lady of Avalon, Mists of Avalon are prequels to Priestess of Avalon

She died in Berkeley, California on September 25, 1999, four days after suffering a major heart attack. She was survived by her brother, Leslie Zimmer; her sons, David Bradley and Patrick Breen; her daughter, Moira Stern; and her grandchildren.

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Brief Biography

Date of Birth:
June 30, 1930
Date of Death:
September 25, 1999
Place of Birth:
Albany, New York
Place of Death:
Berkeley, California
Education:
B.A., Hardin-Simmons College, 1964; additional study at University of California, Berkeley, 1965-1967

Customer Reviews

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Lady of Avalon (Avalon Series #3) 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 46 reviews.
PeanutJim More than 1 year ago
Though I love the stories set in Avalon, this particular volume did not hold my interest as well as The Mists of Avalon had done. It seems choppy, almost rushed. Nevertheless, Marion Zimmer Bradley's writing style is always engaging.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The story was absolutely fantastic but- the three seperate stories are too abrupt. Although it gives a nice political view, it is almost hard to jump in a new story without getting confused. Good job, but not great job. It links the 'Forest House' to the 'Mist of Avalon' superbly though.
JLGadziala More than 1 year ago
Following where The Forest House left off, Caillean flees with the young Gawen and establishes a life on the isle of Avalon. After that story comes to its end we follow Dierna and her young priestess Teleri. Then in the third part of the book, we get to watch the young Viviane (from the incredible Mists of Avalon) grow and we finally get a bit of insight into how she became what she was. Perhaps the most slow-moving of the Avalon books I have read thus far... at times boring... at times leaving you feeling cheated out of the most interesting facts. Somewhat like The Forest House, too much emphasis was on the battle and not enough on Avalon and the priestesses. The highlight of the book was, of course, the part about Viviane because she was such a mysterious character in The Mists of Avalon (at times terrible, at times intriguing) but, again, I felt cheated out of knowing more about her as this was a very short section of the book. For a lover of Marion Zimmer Bradley and her twist on the Arthurian legends... a must read of course. But I suggest not reading the books in chronological order lest you feel disappointed before you even reach the masterpiece that is The Mists of Avalon.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have never been so captivated by any author as I was by M,Z,B.'s Avolon trilogy.I fell in love w\ Eilan and w/ Cailleen @ once.For the truth behind the throne of King Arthur,these 3 books are a must read.Sarting w/ 'the Forest House' ending w/ the 'Mists of- Avalon'.
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I sit in my masion
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