Lady of Avalon: Help, I’m lost in the mists of history!

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsfantasy book review Marion Zimmer Bradley The Mists of Avalon 3: Lady of AvalonLady of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley

Lady of Avalon is a set of three sort-of-related stories about priestesses on the Druid isle of Avalon, during the centuries preceding Bradley’s stunning Mists of Avalon.

And they’re OK, in general. I especially liked Viviane’s story; I learned more about what made that complex character tick.

Unfortunately, certain details of the history set up by Bradley in Mists were contradicted in Lady of Avalon. Don’t read this if you don’t want to get a headache trying to reconcile the two chronologies. The result of the ritual to enshroud the isle in the mists, as well as the backstory of Taliesin, were altered, along with a few other things. I suppose I could theorize that Marion Zimmer Bradley did it on purpose, and we’re supposed to assume that the “true story” was changed over time, so that the Mists characters had mistakes in their history. But the Druids were such meticulous loremasters, I find that difficult to believe. I think they’re just authorial mistakes.

Lady of Avalon is better than The Forest House, which was overly depressing and had unsympathetic characters, but it sure ain’t Mists.

 

The Mists of Avalon — (1979-2007) The Arthurian Legend from the feminist and pagan perspective. The Mists of Avalon is the original book. The later prequels were co-authored with Diana Paxson. They are listed here in order of publication, but here is the order if you want to read them in order of when the events occurred in Avalon: Ancestors, Ravens, Forest, Lady, Priestess.

Marion Zimmer Bradley fantasy book review The Mists of AvalonMarion Zimmer Bradley Diana L Paxson fantasy book reviews 2. The Forest House The Forests of Avalon 3. Lady of Avalon 4. Priestess of Avalon 5. The Ancestors of Avalon 6. Ravens of Avalon Marion Zimmer Bradley Diana L Paxson fantasy book reviews 2. The Forest House The Forests of Avalon 3. Lady of Avalon 4. Priestess of Avalon 5. The Ancestors of Avalon 6. Ravens of Avalon Marion Zimmer Bradley Diana L Paxson fantasy book reviews 2. The Forest House The Forests of Avalon 3. Lady of Avalon 4. Priestess of Avalon 5. The Ancestors of Avalon 6. Ravens of Avalon Marion Zimmer Bradley Diana L Paxson fantasy book reviews 2. The Forest House The Forests of Avalon 3. Lady of Avalon 4. Priestess of Avalon 5. The Ancestors of Avalon 6. Ravens of Avalon Marion Zimmer Bradley Diana L Paxson fantasy book reviews 2. The Forest House The Forests of Avalon 3. Lady of Avalon 4. Priestess of Avalon 5. The Ancestors of Avalon 6. Ravens of Avalon Marion Zimmer Bradley Diana L Paxson fantasy book reviews 2. The Forest House The Forests of Avalon 3. Lady of Avalon 4. Priestess of Avalon 5. The Ancestors of Avalon 6. Ravens of Avalon 6. Sword of Avalon


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KELLY LASITER, with us since July 2008, is a mild-mannered academic administrative assistant by day, but at night she rules over a private empire of tottering bookshelves. Kelly is most fond of fantasy set in a historical setting (a la Jo Graham) or in a setting that echoes a real historical period (a la George RR Martin and Jacqueline Carey). She also enjoys urban fantasy and its close cousin, paranormal romance, though she believes these subgenres’ recent burst in popularity has resulted in an excess of dreck. She is a sucker for pretty prose (she majored in English, after all) and mythological themes.

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