This story was so well-written that it is timeless. At no time when I was reading it did I feel like I was reading a book that was written 30-years ago. I was completely enthralled with the well-developed characters and storyline. It was one of those books, that when I wasn't reading it, I was thinking about events that had happened up to the point I had read and when a book does that, I know it's good.
I enjoyed reading this book, it views a different angle of the Arthur legend. I don't agree with many of the views of the characters; that being said, it was not hard to keep reading. It shows the pagan vs Christianity conflict of the time, much of which I did not know about.
I love how the author uses so many female characters' points of view to tell the story, not just one. I couldn't put this book down, it drew me in. Great read.
I love a book that is long enough (900+ pages), and complex enough, to hold my attention for a couple of weeks. Most books I can knock out in a day or two, but this one drew me in and kept me there; I was stealing quick reads while fixing dinner, in the morning, etc. And while I wasn't reading it, I was thinking about it.
In short, this book focuses on the women involved in the Arthurian legend, particularly Morgan le Fay, who narrates. I'm not a huge fantasy reader and not especially into the Arthurian legend, but it didn't matter; this was a classic that anyone could enjoy. The themes were complex and interesting: religious tolerance, spirituality, female power, and more.
This is one of my favorite books, and I go back to re-read it about once a year or so. I enjoy it that much. It is a lovely read. Strong female characters, in fact, the male characters are kind of weak in comparison. Very interesting take on a very familiar story.
Mists of Avalon is a unique take on the Arthurian Legend. It is a great read if you enjoy reading a book over a long period of time, or savoring a book. The book is mostly female driven and it is a sharp reinvention of the classic legends.
I absolutely loved this book. Woven throughout the plot is the dynamic struggle between the old religion of Goddess worship and the rising spread of Catholicism. I found that fascinating. The characters are rich and real. You can love them or hate them. Morgaine was my favorite. I loved her strength and wisdom. This book will take you back to a time forgotten. I could imagine myself living at Avalon, working alongside the priestesses and the Druid priests, traveling to Camelot, living in the castle surrounded by servants, etc. This is an engaging and captivating book. I highly recommend it.
Just outstanding. One of my all time favorites. The writing is beautiful. The tale of King Author from a woman's perspective. If you like the tale of King Arthur give this one a try. One of Marion Zimmer Bradley's best books of all time.
I'm a fan of Sherri S. Tepper and Tad Williams. Someone mentioned that "Mists of Avalon" would be the best of both worlds: a long, detailed story with an amazing scope and amazing characters, and a feminist theme to carry it along. Just so you know, I read it ignorant of all the hype. I was skeptical of the "3 Months on the New York Times Best Seller List!" sticker on the front. Round about chapter 18 I was joking with my husband that it stayed on the list that long only because that's how long it takes to READ the blasted thing. Needless to say, I wandered to a stop before I reached chapter 20. I never even made it halfway.
Writing: Dull, lifeless, unevocative, boring.
Characters: Unpredictable, poorly motivated.
Story: Nothing good to say. (I don't know the original Arthurian legend from a Beatrix Potter tale. Maybe that would have helped me.)
Feminist theme: Excellent in terms of spotlighting how the men treat the women and what men's expectations of women are. Poor for the trite depiction of the priestesses and the constant ridiculously over-dramatic references to the Goddess. (Elizabeth Hand plays a better song with "Waking the Moon" -- go try that one.)
Religious Theme: Christians = bad. Got it.
Despite the fact this book was a waste of my time, it obviously wasn't a waste of time for a thousand others. (Check out the reviews here. Can you believe it?) So I'll moderate my thumbs-down with an acknowledgement that this book has impressed and entertained many people, and that counts for something. (Right?)
"There is no such thing as a true tale. Truth has many faces and the truth is like to the old road to Avalon; it depends on your own will and your own thoughts, whither the road will take you." The Mists of Avalon is a story of another time and place. It's the legendary saga of King Arthur and his companions at Camelot, their battles, love, and devotion, told this time from the perspective of the women involved. Viviane is "The Lady of the Lake," the magical priestess of the Isle of Avalon, a special mist-shrouded place which becomes more difficult to reach as people turn away from its nature- and Goddess-oriented religion. Viviane's quest is to find a king who will be loyal to Avalon as well as to Christianity. This king will be Arthur. Gwenhwyfar, Arthur's Queen, is an overly pious, fearful woman who successfully sways her husband into betraying his allegiance to Avalon. Set against her is Morgaine of the Fairies, Arthur's sister, love, and enemy - and the most powerfully believable person in the book - who manipulates the characters like threads in a tapestry to achieve her tragic and heroic goals. The Mists of Avalon becomes a legend seen through new eyes, with details, majestic language, and haunting foreshadowing that hold the reader through its more than 800 pages.
This is one of the handful of books I have read that I can honestly say "changed my life". The way Bradley wrote from each different perspective had a lot to do with it. She was so completely inside of each character and understood each perspective so well that she awakened my own understanding to each in turn. So thoroughly unbiased from both the christian "side" and the pagans (within each character). When I finally set the book down after reading it for the first time, I had gone through all the stages of awakening toward true religious freedom and non-judgment. Beginning with confusion, and then anger, followed by more confusion (and admittedly more anger), then a flicker of understanding, (somewhere in there was a night of nightmares bringing up all my fears from childhood of church tainted with lies, bigotry, and criticism) then finally... true understanding. I grew and wizened right along with Morgaine as she grew and lived and loved and learned, and by the end I saw the truth of it. The unity of each person loving the same god, but under a different name and with a different perspective (steeped in vastly different cultural teachings). I could finally see not just the reasoning but the justification that each side was holding for their (sometimes violent) actions. The right and wrongness melted away as I began to feel an understanding (lined with sorrow and empathy for their adolescent choices) for both sides, and realize they all just wanted the same thing: To worship their god/goddess that they held true and dear in the way they honestly feel is the best for them. When we can all do this along side each other, with no judgement, and no projecting of expectation, then we will all be getting somewhere. Somewhere Marion Zimmer Bradley already is.
Plus it was a rockin' Authurian telling I had never heard from the female perspective. Incredibly detailed period read that felt alive. Read this book.
One of the best fantasy books ever written. It is the whole Camelot tale, but told from a very different perspective. I am giving up this, my 2nd copy, only because I received this as a hardback book as a gift.
I lived and breathed this book. SO much brought tears to my eyes, and brought anger to my heart. This books is a book that sucks you into THIS reality, and part of you will forever stay there. LOVE, LOVE, LOVED this book- 10 out of 10 stars every day!
The legend of King Arthur gets a feminist twist with a Christian slant. Melodramatic as all these epic legend type books tend to be, the reconsidering the legend from an unexpected perspective was, however, novel. No where near as compelling as George RR Martin's first two books in his series "A Song of Fire and Ice," but not terrible either if you like this sort of thing. I had it on my to-read list for a while, and am glad to have checked it off, but that's about it.
I consider this the real story of the age of King Arthur. Its a wonderful story that any seasoned Witch can relate to: the wonder of learning, the power of making things happen, and the saddness that magick can sometimes bring in the form of ultimate sacrifice. Fantastic read again and again.
The Mists of Avalon is a fantastic book that makes you think. In most books on the legends of King Arthur, only the men get credit for anything. The women are only background, and they never seem to do anything worthy. Guinevere is portrayed in most books as being the cause of the downfall of Camelot. Morgan le Fay, is shown as an evil sorceress. It was nice to read a book on Camelot with the women playing important, good roles
I have had a hard time finding a "favorite" book out there with so many to choose from but once I read this I knew it was it. Take the time to read this book, it is long but it is so worth it and when your done you going to wish it was longer.
I had to give up on this book. I didn't care for any of the characters at the beginning and didn't find them interesting at all. This is only the 3rd book I've started and couldn't finish. Maybe it got better further into it, but I just couldn't force myself to read anymore when I had so many other books in my TBR pile! I
1/2010 I origionally read this book when I was about 14 years old. (I am 40 now) I loved it then and love it still. This is a wonderful look into the King Arthur times from a WOMANS prospective. It is a fantastic read and now have it, so I can read it over and over. (Previously copy belongs to library) I DON'T collect books. But this is the ONE book I will always keep.
Amazing book. loved (and hated!) the characters. Sad when it was finished! It is a long book but is was actually not long enough for me. just wanted more! Couldn't get the story out of my mind. The story of Camelot jumps off the pages and haunts your mind.
Loved the movie on TNT, so maybe I was a little biased. But I just could not get into this book. I know the King Arthur legend and from the movie, I know the roles the women played, but I think the book just dragged too much. I found myself skipping pages to get to more interesting sections.
There is the darkly bewitching Morgaine,half sister to Arthur and a
high priestess in the enchanted land of Avalon,where women rule as the creators of life and keepers of knowledge.The fair and lovly QueenGwynhefar is torn between her duty to her king and the new God,and her passion for the dashing Lancelot.876 pages
I love to read. This is by far the greatest story I ever read. I love the depth Zimmer-Bradley gives into so many of the women. She shows that everyone has good points and bad points, everyone does things they regret, but most people do remarkable things. I especially love the background given on Christianity. The prequels are also terrific (The Lady of Avalon and The Forest House).
This is my favorite Marion Zimmer Bradely books, and it is 1000 times better than the made for tv movie! It is a version of the arthurian legend told from his half sister Morgan Le Fey's point of view. The book is long, but it encompases an entire lifetime, and is very well worth the time to read. It also puts a less negative light on Mordrids existance. I loved it through and through.
I've heard this was really good but I read the first page and I find that I have lost interest in the book. That is not to say it's not as good as others have said but that my interest and taste has changed.
One of the few books I threw down in disgust. No attempt at any authenticity of either the legend or history. I was not surprised to read of the author's horrendous abusive behavior towards her daughter: