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The Forest House (Avalon #2)

3.81 of 5 stars 3.81  ·  rating details  ·  12,062 ratings  ·  266 reviews
Later known as The Forests of Avalong
Inside the walls of the Forest House, in a remote part of Britain, a circle of Druidic priestesses guards the ancient rites of learning, healing & magic against the Roman Empire.
Nearby, Eilan, born to a family steeped in the Druid's lore, is ripening toward womanhood & an inner force she hardly dares dream of. Already she hears...more
Hardcover, 429 pages
Published April 1st 1994 by Viking Books/Penguin Group (NYC) (first published 1993)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Ronda  Tutt
I really enjoyed this book. I was so glad to see that the book picked up where the book "Ravens of Avalon" left off.

The Arch-Druid Ardanos, Lhiannon(High Priestess of Vernemeton - the Forest House), and Caillean (senior priestess assisting Lhiannon - also Lhiannon's adoptive daughter)are characters from the book "Ravens of Avalon" who survived the fire and take over of Mona. These individuals move on to Vernemeton and rebuild the hertiage of the Priestess and Druids with the consent of the Roman...more
3.5 stars
Most of the book was agonizingly slow. Each time the main characters met was a chance meeting at a festival. When a festival was coming up, I braced myself for them to meet. I am hoping that this was a set up for the next book, and that The Lady of Avalon will be better.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
good, but too sad/fatalistic/heart wrenching, like "mists"... at least it didn't torture me for as long, since it wasn't as long. liked learning about the druids and romans before the "mists" story, though. and i'm going to read the middle book too, but i don't expect to enjoy it (no matter if it's well-written and gripping, like the others... now that ken follett has shown me the pleasures of good historical fiction with a positive view of history... why keep torturing myself? i don't know... g...more
Pleasantly surprising. Pre-dates "Mists" and King Arthur. All about the war between Romans and Druids - made me want to read the "real" history of this time period! Eilan, grand-daughter of Arch Druid, falls in love with Gauis, son of bigwig Roman.
mrs. fig
i guess because i loved 'mists' so much i expected more from 'forest house' and 'lady of avalon' and i was alittle disappointed. but the books were good, just not great.
Jen Six
Nov 06, 2008 Jen Six rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: zimmer fans
Most people don't like Zimmer's books as much as they do Mists of Avalon but after reading the Forest House I realized that all the other books enrich the entire backdrop that is Avalon. You appreciate Mists more because of the others who've played a part in Avalon's story. I liked Eilan and the role she played though it seemed very much slanted that she had very little chance for happiness. I found myself disliking the priests entirely and felt that Lhiannon allowing them so much power was tota...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Terry (Ter05 TwiMoms/ MundieMoms)
I expected to like this book better than I did since I loved Mists of Avalon. The story is pre-Arthur and as a story it had a lot of possibilities. Somehow it seemed kind of disjointed. It is the story of Eilan who is the daughter of a Druid during the time when the conquering Romans are taking over the land. I just could never really connect with Gaius, the soldier that Eilan falls in love with and whose live is entwined with hers. He was a mere human after all and I suppose I wanted him to be...more
This book is a prequel to the Mists of Avalon which I haven't read yet and judging by the rest of the reviews, it's probably just as well. The historical content was what interested me most. I love the Roman era and I'm also really interested in the Druid period so it was interesting to see them clash. Originally, I liked the characters of Eilan and Gaius but as the book progressed, their actions continuously annoyed me and I wanted to smack their heads together. It all seemed pointless at some...more
Nicole Acheson
The forest house is a good book and the characters are very realistic. I realized something though while readiing this book after reading lady of avalon. The first story in lady of avalon is a continuation of the story in the forest house. I suggest that anyone who is thinking of reading lady of avalon should read the forest house first. The story has a little bit of everything in it, life and death, suspense, romance and of course some religion ie; Celtic religion, mithraism and some mention of...more
This book was the weakest of all of Bradley's books I read. She imagines King Arthur as descended from a Celtic Priestess and a Roman soldier. I was not drawn to either of the main characters and, for a book ostensibly about the Druids there was very little detail about them. She breifly mentions the founding of Avalon, but the one detail that stands out is that the head Priestess put the least intelligent woman in charge of the kitchen. Awful! Details of Roman life were interesting but, overall...more
Donna Swindells
A great surprise, a book that was so enjoyable.
This is the tale of the Druids & the Romans, trying to live in an
uneasy peace. Also, its a love story between the son of a powerful
Roman officer & a young druid girl. Fate & love are not always kind
to us, or people in this story.
We are given a peep into the "forest house" where young maidens
come to learn, serve and become Priestesses. There are still, despite
Rome, Pagan festivals celebrated. And at them, the High Priestess, like
the Or...more
A beautiful, but frustrating book. The strength of the women characters in the face of an increasingly patriarchal world made me both proud and upset. Character growth was phenomenal--you could feel the two main characters grow older, from an exuberant and naive youth to experienced adults forced to survive (and shaped by) the consequences of their decisions in a difficult world. I would have like more magic, but what was there was believable and satisfying.
Alicia Rogers
While the book itself is great, it's author is not. I used to think she was, but I have since learned that MZB raped and abused her two children with Walter Breen, who also raped and abused his children along with several other young boys. In fact, he died in prison, serving time of sexually abusing a young boy. In legal depositions, MZB stated that she knew of her husband's pedophilia, yet she never did anything to stop it, and even convinced people that he was safe around children. MZB was als...more
Seminole County Public Library
(Submitted in the 2014 Summer Reading Grand Prize Drawing)

This was my 2nd time reading “The Forest House.” I first read it about 20 years ago after falling in love with Mists of Avalon by the same author. This book is a prequel.
I remember loving it the first time but this reading fell completely flat. I couldn't connect with the main characters-they remained un-developed and rang false to me. There was a lot of tragedy which is fine in & of itself but it go tedious. The pace of the book was...more
Rob Cantrall
I think it is nearly in the class of The Mists of Avalon in terms of characterization, plot, and just generally creating a believable world that is fantastical, yet grounded in something like historical fiction. Enjoyed it.
Honestly, I really, really loved this book. It was the perfect combination of history with romance, beautifully balanced and... heck, just read this book. I couldn't put it down after I picked it up.
Joanne Rock
I didn't love it as much as Mists of Avalon, but I'm excited that this leads into Lady of Avalon so smoothly. Am reading that one now.
Half-baked, badly researched, over-written tripe. My ancestors would have eaten Zimmer Bradley's Celts for breakfast.

Entrada en el diario 1 de Faedyl desde City Bell, Buenos Aires Province Argentina en lunes, 15 de febrero de 2010
8 de 10

La historia de Arturo y por ende, la de Avalón, es un ciclo contado a través de eras y eras, de distintas formas.

Esta no es una más. Este es un relato contado desde las mujeres protagonistas. Una hermosa mirada de esta historia en donde la brujería es sólo una cuestión de ángulos. Donde la religión es vivida desde su forma más mítica y donde la tradición tiene un papel esencia...more
The Forest House is the second book in the Avalon series, coming after Mists of Avalon, but actually preceding it in the timeline.

It tells of the time just after the slaughter of Mona, when the priestesses were confined and controlled by the druids in a small complex in the woods. Rome was still in charge and a rebellion was rising up against them. So when Eilan, a girl born of a druid family, falls in love with a half Roman half British man, their love is denied and she enters the Forest House...more
The Forest House by Marion Zimmer Bradley is one of the books in her Avalon series. The story is set during the Roman occupation of Britain about a generation after the uprising of Boudicca. Much of the story is centered around the Forest House, which is the sanctuary for the Druid priestesses that was established after the destruction of the Druid complex on the isle of Mona by the Romans, and the woman who serve there. All of the books in this series have elements of romance, but it is a parti...more
Would probably give this 3 and a half stars. I liked it, but had a harder time getting into it than I expected, given how much I remember loving The Mists of Avalon. That's one of my all-time favorites and one I've read several times. However, my most recent re-read was probably 20 years ago, so maybe my tastes have changed a bit since then. Or maybe this one just wasn't quite as good. Or maybe I'm just pickier now. :)

I had mixed feelings about the characters in this one; they didn't all seem co...more
Ancora un altro capitolo della saga di Avalon, sempre estremamente affascinante. Mi piace davvero molto come la Zimmer Bradley riesce a unire storia e leggenda alle sue personali invenzioni. I suoi personaggi sono sempre ricchi, complessi e imprevedibili, insomma, incredibilmente vivi. Le sue storie sono sempre permeate di ingiustizia e ineluttabilità del fato, ma non sono deprimenti, o almeno io trovo in esse alla fine anche molta serenità e speranza.
Mi dispiace però che i libri di questo cicl...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Let me start of by saying, that like many I probably started reading this book because I loved The Mists of Avalon. MZB has been criticized a lot, but in spite of the fact that I probably agree with a lot of that criticism, the way she tells her stories has always spellbound me.

So after all these years I finally got my hands on this book and read it. Right from the beginning though, this book had a very tragic feel about it and I realized it was based on Norma I understood why I felt that. Eila...more
While it's not an epic adventure like The Mists of Avalon, it does have a lot of Bradley's trademark beautiful visuals and it makes an enjoyable prequel.

The Forest House was much easier to place in real time, as they reference both the Roman emperors and Joseph of Arimathea (when they reference the queen Livia, wife of Caesar Augustus, I had a much better idea where (when?) both Forest House and Mists of Avalon were set. I was hoping for the births or childhoods of some familiar characters from...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Chandra Leigh
very much enjoyed this book, though with most of the Avalon books I can't get over the amount of nearly blind hatred that is more based in modern feminist ideas than in history.

Eilan makes Gaius do many things that go against his wishes, things that she insists are for the best, then hates him for following her orders. There's an evil man for you, he does what you ask him to, like the horrible mysogynist they all are, trying to take the power away from... uh, her father? Who despite being part...more
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  • Return to Avalon
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Marion Eleanor Zimmer Bradley was an American author of fantasy novels such as The Mists of Avalon and the Darkover series, often with a feminist outlook.

Bradley's first published novel-length work was Falcons of Narabedla, first published in the May 1957 issue of Other Worlds. When she was a child, Bradley stated that she enjoyed reading adventure fantasy authors such as Henry Kuttner, Edmond Ham...more
More about Marion Zimmer Bradley...
The Mists of Avalon (Avalon, #1) Lady of Avalon (Avalon, #3) Priestess of Avalon (Avalon, #4) The Firebrand Darkover Landfall (Darkover, #1)

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“Remain true to yourself, child. If you know your own heart, you will always have one friend who does not lie.” 2589 likes
“Rome was mud and smoky skies; the rank smell of the Tiber and the exotically spiced cooking fires of a hundred different nationalities. Rome was white marble and gilding and heady perfumes; the blare of trumpets and the shrieking of market-women and the eternal, sub-aural hum of more people, speaking more languages than Gaius had ever imagined existed, crammed together on seven hills whose contours had long ago disappeared beneath this encrustation if humanity. Rome was the pulsing heart of the world.” 10 likes
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