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The Mists of Avalon

Title: The Mists of Avalon
Author: Marion Zimmer Bradley
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: 5/10
# pages: 876
Date read: September, 2006

Summary: Mists of Avalon is a generations-spanning retelling of the Arthurian legend. Its protagonist is Morgaine, who witnesses the rise of Uther Pendragon to the throne of Camelot. As a child, she is taken to Avalon by High Priestess Viviane to become a priestess of the Mother Goddess and witnesses the rising tension between the old pagan and the new Christian religions.

After Uther dies, his son Arthur claims the throne. Morgaine and Viviane give him the magic sword Excalibur, and with the combined force of Avalon and Camelot, Arthur drives the invasion of the Saxons away. But when his wife Gwenhwyfar fails to produce a child, she is convinced that it is a punishment of God: firstly for the presence of pagan elements, and secondly, for her forbidden love to Arthur's finest knight Lancelot. She increasingly becomes a religious fanatic, and relationships between Avalon and Camelot (i.e. Morgaine and herself) become hostile.

When the knights of the Round Table of Camelot leave to search the Holy Grail, a young man seeks to usurp the throne: Mordred, bastard son of Arthur and Morgaine, conceived when the two were the center of a pagan ritual not knowing who the other was. Mordred seeks to re-instate the power of Avalon at all costs. In a climactic battle, Arthur's and Mordred's armies square off, and in the end, it is Morgaine alone who lives to tell the tale of Camelot. (From Wikipedia)

Review: I can't say I was too impressed. Well, obviously I liked it enough to finish it, but that was mostly out of plain stubbornness. It really seemed like everything that could go wrong, did go wrong. People weren't allowed any lasting happiness, and that annoyed me as it was the reoccuring theme throughout the book. Before long I kept on reading simply because I was thinking "Surely SOMETIME they'll find happiness? But no.

I'd love to know how accurate they are though. Well, I know that nobody really knows all that much about King Arthur, but how accurate they are in comparison to what we think we know about King Arthur. My only knowledge of him comes from the Prince Valiant cartoons, and I have no clue how accurate those are either ;)

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Tags: 2006: september, author: br, fantasy
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