The Mists of Avalon

, #1

Paperback, 884 pages

English language

Published April 12, 1984 by Ballantine Books.

ISBN:
978-0-345-35049-7
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OCLC Number:
14986193
Goodreads:
402045

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4 stars (85 reviews)

The Mists of Avalon is a 1983 historical fantasy novel by American writer Marion Zimmer Bradley, in which the author relates the Arthurian legends from the perspective of the female characters. The book follows the trajectory of Morgaine (Morgan le Fay), a priestess fighting to save her Celtic religion in a country where Christianity threatens to destroy the pagan way of life. The epic is focused on the lives of Morgaine, Gwenhwyfar (Guinevere), Viviane, Morgause, Igraine and other women of the Arthurian legend. The Mists of Avalon is in stark contrast to most other retellings of the Arthurian tales, which consistently cast Morgan le Fay as a distant, one-dimensional evil sorceress, with little or no explanation given for her antagonism to the Round Table. In this case, Morgaine is presented as a woman with unique gifts and responsibilities at a time of enormous political and spiritual upheaval who is called โ€ฆ

29 editions

When reality bends to belief

4 stars

This was my father's book. He said his mother read King Arthur stories to him as a child, I wish I knew which ones. For me the most interesting connection to my world is the idea that our collective and even individual beliefs shape our shared reality. The religious and political dimension of the story is a battle for mindshare where power flows toward the most influential zealots and extremists, remaking the world. There were a lot of other dimensions too, making it a more thought provoking read than I expected.

Review of 'The Mists of Avalon' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

A very detailed retelling of the legend of King Arthur, viewed entirely through the eyes of the women in the legends. Puts an interesting spin on the story reading it from the opposite than normal perspective; reminded me a bit of Atwood's Penelopiad in that way.

Bradley has clearly done a staggering amount of research, because whether or not you like her new story version, you can't create a detailed revision like that without first knowing the source material inside and out.

Review of 'The Mists of Avalon' on 'Goodreads'

1 star

Notes for the reader: The first hundred pages has a plot. The other 500 hundred are sex scenes smeared with talk of sex and no remaining plot. By page 250, every paragraph is about sex. The plot is lost.
It destroys any beauty in ancient myths and legends. If you enjoyed King Author's myths and histories, don't read this! At least she changed the names a bit, so maybe people can re-read the King Author stories without the taste of bile in their mouths.
Just because it's popular to write mixed gender porn, doesn't mean it's necessary.
It would have been nice to read a novel from the females of the time's point of view. They thought about far more than sex!

What ages would I recommend it too? Only those who are comfortable reading about sex, rape, and incest.

Length? Many days.

Characters? Memorable, several characters.

Setting? Fantasy.

Written โ€ฆ

Review of 'The Mists of Avalon' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

I enjoyed this telling of the "Arthurian Legend" more than the others that I have read (Once and Future King, White; and Story of King Arthur and His Knights, Pyle). Boring tales of knights fighting for their king, winning over beautiful maidens, and questing have left me tired of the genre....

This telling is dark, real, and touching. I felt the despair of the characters, especially Morgaine. Refreshing, actually.

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Subjects

  • Arthur, -- King -- Fiction
  • Arthurian romances

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