Morgiana's Reviews > Sword of Avalon

Sword of Avalon by Diana L. Paxson
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Dec 20, 09

liked it
bookshelves: fiction_fantasy, arthurian
Read in December, 2009

The latest in the Marion Zimmer Bradley/Diana Paxson Avalon books. Chronologically, this comes after Ancestors of Avalon and before Ravens of Avalon; it's not necessary to have read Ancestors to understand the series, but it might help to read the summary, at least.

I've read all the Avalon books and several of Paxson's historical fantasies (though not her Westria series), and she is generally good at that genre. They are all enjoyable reads, but none have stayed with me in the long run. While I liked Sword of Avalon, I don't think it was one of her better efforts. It's pretty much a rehash of the other stories, particularly with regards to the characters. The Bad Guy, Galid, was particularly cartoony, and Our Heroes (Anderle, Tirilan, Mikantor/Woodpecker, and Velantos) are awfully derivative of Morgaine, Arthur, and Lancelet from The Mists of Avalon.

Plot-wise, this is the book about how and why the sword Excalibur was forged. That doesn't actually happen until the last hundred pages or so. I liked the parts about Mikantor's travels on the continent, and thought the book dragged until he left Britain about a third of the way through. Paxson set the novel about 1200 BCE, which was a really interesting time period in European archaeology. She clearly put a lot of research into smithcraft, and those sections are among the parts I liked best.

Overall, it's not a bad book. I liked it and I had fun reading it. Will I still remember the story by the time the next Avalon novel comes out? Probably not.
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