The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley

The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley: An extremely long book, but that’s hardly surprising considering it covers the span of Arthurian Legend, from Ambrosius to Mordred and beyond. Though this tale is from the viewpoint of many of the women of the legend (Igraine, the Lady of the Lake, etc.), the primary characters are Morgaine (whom you probably know as Morgana or Morgan Le Fey), half-sister of Arthur, and Gwenhwyfar (Guinevere), Arthur’s queen. Many of the names are unusually spelled: Lancelet (Lancelot), Caius (Kay), Ectorius (Ector)…and yet, along with all these crazy names, Taliesin’s successor as the Merlin is named Kevin Harper. The name sticks out awkwardly, making me wonder if Bradley was honoring a friend named Kevin. But all that aside, it’s still a good read. The length isn’t all that noticeable because the story does not drag much at all. I did get bored of the near-constant religious arguing, with each side mindlessly clinging to notions just as crazy as the other, but in the end things are more or less resolved peacefully. I liked Morgaine, for the most part. Gwenhwyfar was an obnoxious harpy and I couldn’t figure out why Lancelet and Arthur were so smitten with her, but whatever. This book is perhaps better for those who, like me, are already quite familiar with the legend, because the way things are worked into this version are often quite ingenious. All in all, I’m glad I read it, but it didn’t make a lasting impression on me.

Also posted on BookCrossing.

  1. I read always wanted to read this book because I read another one by Zimmer Bradley and it was fantastic. But I’m not that into this sci-fi-whatever-mystery thing and so whenever it start a new book this one goes one more down on the “to-read-list”

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