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La sacerdotessa di Avalon (Avalon #4)

4.01  ·  Rating Details  ·  12,839 Ratings  ·  160 Reviews
Nell'ultimo episodio del Ciclo di Avalon la protagonista principale è Elian, nata da Rian, Somma Sacerdotessa di Avalon. Cresciuta in Britannia alla corte del padre, Re Celio di Camulodunum, istruita ai grandi misteri della magia per diventare sacerdotessa come sua madre, il suo destino seguirà invece un'altra strada. Elian si innamora perdutamente di Costanzo, valoroso e ...more
Paperback, 436 pages
Published January 1st 2003 by Tea (first published 2000)
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I'd give this book three and a half stars. I liked it well enough and it was well written but for me, it lacked some of the magic that made The Mists of Avalon such a fantastic book. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying this book is bad, it is not. It simply didn't enage and inspire me the same way as Mists did.
Here we follow the live story of Eilan, the daughter of one of the tribe's king's daughter, who is send to Avalon but later will become the mother of Constantine, the first Roman Emperor t
Jen Six
Oct 26, 2008 Jen Six rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Marion Zimmer Bradley fans and fellow pagans
After having read Mists and then the Lady of Avalon, I went next to the Firebrand which I didn't particularly find myself liking though it did strengthen my beliefs in the Goddess. But when I started Priestess I thought, okay, here we go, will this make me happy or just frustrated. The beginning was everything that I had loved of Bradley's other novels, teachings on Avalon and the study/discovery of the ancient mysteries of the Goddess. As it split when Eilan left Avalon with her husband, I bega ...more
Shannon Winward
Mar 06, 2012 Shannon Winward rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recently I read "Priestess of Avalon" by Marion Zimmer Bradley and Diane Paxton. I picked it up somewhere months ago in a bargain book stack, and from a purely critical standpoint that's pretty much all it's worth. While "The Mists of Avalon" still stands out as one of my all-time favorites (I've actually read the thing twice, which is rare for me), the sequels and prequels to that book are generally thin on plot and character and just leave a lot to be desired.

But I loved the book anyway. Given
Apr 22, 2009 Anna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The second prequel of The Mists Of Avalon I've read in the serie so far. Though it can be clearly seen on the writing style that this book was finished by Diana L. Paxson - her writing style is surely poorer and more simple than Marion's - I still enjoyed Helena's story very much and it was very touching too. It's more of a historical fiction novel that introduces the reader to the life in ancient Rome, and we can also learn more about the Mysteries. I think that all Avalon-lovers should read th ...more
Ronda  Tutt
Jan 12, 2010 Ronda Tutt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another great read

The story of Helena and Constantius was great and I was so glad that they did not die after their first communion like most of the stories in this series and was glad that MZB carried on their life story and the child of prophecy was indeed born. However, I didn't like it when Helena and Constantius life was separated because of the Roman law requiring Constantius to be married to a woman who had status and could be recognized.

The characters in the story were something else. I
Nick Sweet
Apr 25, 2015 Nick Sweet rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Marion Zimmer Bradley's Avalon series ranks among one of my all time favorites, and "Priestess of Avalon" stands out as my favorite. Drawing on the real life historical figure of Helena, mother of the Roman Emperor Constantine, Bradley intricately weaves Helena's origin story into that of Britain and the Isle of Avalon. Helena is a character you will root for from the very beginning, as she makes her way from the Isle of Avalon to Britain to Rome to Jerusalem. Helena here is a woman for the ages ...more
Truly interesting exploration of the Roman world at the time of Constantine. The main character, a priestess of Avalon, moves into the world of men to be the wife to one emperor and mother of another.

At times the text felt somewhat unwieldy; the pace slowed in the second half of the book and at times I wondered what the point of it all was. However, it was a great look through one person's eyes at the world at that time, and piqued my interest in the Late Roman Empire.
Sep 23, 2014 Marissa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a very moving book. I found myself empathizing with the life of Eilan/Helena, sharing in her joys as well as grieving for her losses. Very well done. One of the best books I have read in long time.
Sherrill Watson
A historical(?) novel set during the time Romans converted to Christianity, told from the viewpoint of the illegitimate mother of one Emperor and his son, Constantinas and Constantine. Way to many referances to places, people and times; you have to look them up to see to whom and where she is referring, if you even care. (Perhaps this is due to Paxon's influence?) Poor Helen / Eilan (and us) is drug around Europe from A.D. 249 through A.D. 328. HOWEVER. It gives a very good understanding and ble ...more
Mar 31, 2009 Alisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fluff read that kept my interest throughout. Interesting religious undertones...honor to the Goddess combined with the roots of Christianity.
Contains spoilers, so if you don't want that, don't read!
Be warned this book doesn't play in Avalon for the most part of the story! So I hope there won't be much of a disappointment from those who love the just Avalon stuff only.
I really enjoyed this book and especially the character of Eilan/Helen. It was so easy for me to relate with her. I soo understood what drove her and the love she fet towards Constantius and not being able to give this love up. I felt all of her emotions, her joy, her
Zara KillingRomance1112
Die Priesterin von Avalon ist Eilan und hier erfährt der Leser ihre Lebensgeschichte und ein Teil der Geschichte Roms. Das Imperium unter der Konstantinschen Herrschaft ist groß. So durchreist der Leser viele Länder. Es geht hauptsächlich um die Findung und Prägung der Religion.

Drei Gründe warum man dieses Buch lesen sollte:
- man liebt eine ruhige ausformulierte Atmosphäre
- das magische oder göttliche Denken zieht dich an
- ein reiches und volles Leben fasziniert sich

Speziell bei diesem Buch gi
Of all the books in the Avalon series, this one took me the longest to get through. The first third of it, with Helena growing up on Avalon, training to be a priestess, falling in love with Constantius, and so forth felt very formulaic and not engaging. Even though it was narrated in first person it took me a while to feel close to Helena as a character. I've noticed throughout the series that when MZB writes young people, they never actually feel like young people so that's definitely a part of ...more
Jun 09, 2014 Melissa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
The Mists of Avalon took the story of Arthur and changed it so that the perspective was from a woman. And then a series was spawned from it. Priestess of Avalon is one of those books in the series, although I couldn't tell you what order they should be in as it doesn't seem to matter what order you read them in.

Helena, also known as Eilan, was born of the Lady of Avalon and also caused her death. She is sent to her father as a child and only returns to Avalon ten years later, to start her traini
Priestess of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley and Diana L. Paxson is the story of a priestess named Helena who was forced to leave her home at Avalon and live an entirely different life from what she was used to. The story follows her life and her pseudo marriage and tells of the different places that she lived in the Roman Empire. The story tells about her relationship with her children and her grandchildren and also about her feelings in regard to the rise of Christianity in the Empire and how ...more
Jun 28, 2012 Sierra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
My paperback copy of The Mists of Avalon is a worn and tattered wreck. But I would never trade it in for a new one. In fact, rather than lend it to a friend, I’d buy them their own copy. I know this is one book I’d never get back! Were I an author, and saw such a tattered copy of my book, I’d take it as a great compliment, for it shows that my words had enough influence on someone for them to read them over and over again. Marion Zimmer Bradley’s books have that very affect on me. Her worlds are ...more
Dec 17, 2012 Serena rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I suppose my star rating takes in account my eagerness to read a book about Helena (Eilan) which previous books by Marion Zimmer Bladley makes mention of her marriage and her children. This is a book which is supposed to be about her life, but gets most of the details we do now know wrong.

I don't expect a historical fantasy to have facts, but I do believe that a book such as this should use those facts to make the fantasy more realistic - rather than less.

This was mostly a message from Diana L
Cyndy Aleo
May 20, 2011 Cyndy Aleo rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Marion Zimmer Bradley's The Mists of Avalon was such an incredible book that when I found Priestess of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley and Diana L. Paxson, I thought even if it was only half as good, it would be worth the read. Unfortunately, I overestimated it by about a factor of 100.

::: Before There Was Camelot... :::

While The Mists of Avalon takes place in medieval Britain, Priestess of Avalon is its ancestor, taking place in the time of the Roman Empire. Eilan is born to Rian, the Lady of A
Mar 25, 2011 Enikő rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a very good read, perhaps my favourite of this series among the ones I have read so far. Although not quite as engaging as those in Ravens of Avalon, the characters in this book were well introduced and felt very real. No one was perfect, each person had their human flaws, including the heroine Eilan (Helena). She took fate in her own hands and defied the Lady of the Lake both to save her friend and to get what she herself desired, but the very next morning her ignorance was pointed out ...more
For the first real fantasy book I think I've ever read, The Priestess of
Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley was a good read.

I could easily have found this book extremely preachy, if it hadn't been so well written. The ideas of the theology that so permeates the life the main character, Elian, are intriguing and well- reasoned, even as she struggles on her path to understanding them. Priestess of Avalon continues in the vein of The Lady of Avalon and The Mists of Avalon (among others,) none of which
Athena Ninlil
A great combination of the traditional legend, of what is known about according to the Christian chronicles of Constantine's mother with Marion's other books and legends. We may never know for sure if Helen was born in England, there are many legends that say she did. If this was so, England was a melting pot of many cults, religions, and worships. It is possible she did not start out as a Christian but worshipped some of the older gods; if this was so did she keep those beliefs or did she becom ...more
Eleonore Caron
Apr 01, 2013 Eleonore Caron rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
Marion Zimmer Bradley is becoming my favorite author and I love listening to Roselyn Landor as narrator. The Priestess of Avalon is rich in the exploration of different religions including Christian and pagan. The life of Helena was full and spanned the globe and other worlds and she came full circle starting with Avalon and then after being Roman royalty then ending with Avalon at the end of her life with her great grand daughter. I only hope I live so long as to know my great grand children. S ...more
Nov 05, 2007 Linda rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, fantasy
Though I enjoyed this, it was probably my least favorite of the Avalon books. That's probably because except for Mists of Avalon, originally read years ago, I've read the subsequent books fairly recently and with relatively little time between them. When you read them so closely they start to look formulaic.

This book concerns Helena, the mother of the Roman emperor Constantine. Bradley and Paxson fill in the blanks in Helena's life starting with the idea that she was born in Britain and was a Pr
Alex Telander
It seems whenever an author dies that does not necessarily mean the end of his or her career, as there is always at least one more book to be published posthumously which the world has never seen. Marion Zimmer Bradley, who shocked the world with her retelling of the Arthurian legend from the woman’s point of view in Mists of Avalon died in 1999. Coauthored with Diana L. Paxson who finished off the novel after Bradley’s death, Priestess of Avalon is the last book in the magnificent Avalon series ...more
Terry (Ter05 TwiMoms/ MundieMoms)
This is the story of Helena who was consort of Constantius and the mother of Constantine the Great in the end of the third century and based on what historical facts are available about her life and of course the time period. If you are interested in this period in history and enjoyed Marion Zimmer Bradley's previous books this could be better than a three star book. Bradley passed away before this book was finished and it was a collaboration between her and Diana Paxson. I found the writing pre ...more
Sep 13, 2007 Rachel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of The Mists of Avalon.
Shelves: fantasy
If you've never read a Marion Zimmer Bradley book before, read The Mists of Avalon first - it is the cornerstone of this series. Lady of Avalon and Priestess of Avalon offered me slightly less satisfying return trips to the setting of Avalon, at different points in history from MZB's fantastic Arthurian tale.

In Priestess of Avalon, I enjoyed following Helena's life journey (described in first person), growing self-awareness, and grasping at timeless truths as she identified first with the Ma
Nov 08, 2009 Roopal rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book takes you on a journey of a woman's life (a priestess)through the various stages of being a young adult, a married girl, a mother, a grand-mother, and so on during the 3rd and 4th centuries. What makes it interesting is that the story is fiction wrapped around fact. The woman is Helena and she is the mother of Constantine the Great.

Besides the incredible detail of the life portrayed during those centuries, the author does an amazing job of intricately weaving major life milestones (birt
Die Priesterin von Avalon von Marion Zimmer Bradley set much earlier than "The Mists of Avalon" at the end of the 3rd/beginning of the 4th century A.D., telling of the rise of Christianity in the Roman Empire as seen through the eyes of an exiled priestess of Avalon, mother to Emperor Constantin.
Overall, a good book but it's quite clear that Bradley's best work is "Mists...".


comments originally written in 2006.
Dec 01, 2009 Rosie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Priestess of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley and Diana L. Paxon is the forth book of Avalon I have read, and I kind of think it might be my last. This novel chronicles the life of Helena, mother of Constantine. She faces the rise of Christianity in the Roman empire, and this super intense theme gave the story potential to be so awesome! But, alas. I believe that Marion Zimmer Bradley started writing this book and died before it was completed. Diana L. Paxon finished writing it. I have to say tha ...more
Megan McBeath Hay
When I read Mysts of Avalon I loved it! This book was kinda of disappointing next to that one. As a medivalist who had read several primary source accounts of the Early Christians and Constantine and his famous saintly mother it was somewhat difficult to read a story where she is painted very differently. Some of the liberties that were taken probably only bothered me because I know that period of time really well. Anyhow, it's a good story and an interesting story but you can kinda tell it isn' ...more
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Goodreads Librari...: Change description 2 12 Dec 08, 2015 06:59AM  
  • Ravens of Avalon (Avalon #6)
  • Return to Avalon
  • The Child of the Holy Grail (Guenevere, #3)
  • Queen of the Summer Stars (Guinevere, #2)
  • The Prince and the Pilgrim (Arthurian Saga, #5)
  • Kingdom of Summer
  • The Dragon Queen (Tales of Guinevere, #1)
  • Twilight of Avalon (Twilight of Avalon, #1)
  • Grail (The Pendragon Cycle, #5)
  • Foxmask (The Light Isles, #2)
  • Pendragon's Banner (Pendragon's Banner Trilogy, #2)
  • The Eagle and the Sword (Arthor, #2)
  • Dreaming the Hound (Boudica, #3)
  • The Moon Under Her Feet
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 about Marion Zimmer Bradley...

Other Books in the Series

Avalon (7 books)
  • The Mists of Avalon (Avalon, #1)
  • The Forest House (Avalon, #2)
  • Lady of Avalon (Avalon, #3)
  • Ancestors of Avalon (Avalon, #5)
  • Ravens of Avalon (Avalon #6)
  • Sword of Avalon (Avalon #7)

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