Jessica's Reviews > The Mists of Avalon

The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley
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Sep 20, 13

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Recommended for: All people who love Arthurian legend and all girls aged 10 - 100
Read in January, 2008

This novel by Marion Zimmber Bradley was absolutley fantastic. I am a long time fan of Arthurian legends, some of my favorite books have been T.H. White's The Once and Future King and Mark Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, so when I learned there was a book that tells the story of Camelot through the eyes of female characters called The Mists of Avalon, I knew I was in for a good read.

First of all, this book is MASSIVE. 876 pages, to be exact. So you have to sort of be ready to dedicate yourself. What I loved about this book was that it offered a fresh perspective on a tale we've heard a million times before. Typically, in epic novels, female characters play minor roles and are left out of most of the story. But Bradley's novel includes the perspectives of women like Gwynyfar, Vivianne (the Lady of the Lake) and Morgaine le Fey, sister of Arthur and Priestess of Avalon and many more. I think that by using these characters as the lense through which the story is seen, it adds additional depth and meaning to the story as a whole. Instead of the story of one man, it is now the legend of competing dynasties, clashing religious philosphies and the ties that bind all these diverse people together.

On top of that, Bradley incorporates a broad and accurate knowledge of Druid and early Christian customs and culture. I appreciate historical accuracy in novels, it helps me build a more accurate image of the era this story takes place in. Reading this novel definately gave me a better understanding of the time period, the clash between paganism and Christianity, and the cultural realities of the time, for both men and women.

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