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Lady of Avalon

(Avalon #3)

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  16,147 ratings  ·  309 reviews

Set in the time before King Arthur, this novel by Marion Zimmer Bradley brings the mesmerizing world of Avalon brilliantly to life with epic grandeur-telling the story of three remarkable women who alter the fortunes of Roman Britain as they fight to reclaim the magic and traditions of a once glorious past...

Paperback, 460 pages
Published May 1st 1998 by Recorded Books LLC (first published 1982)
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Average rating 3.90  · 
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 ·  16,147 ratings  ·  309 reviews

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Jul 23, 2007 rated it really liked it
Although Bradley set up much of Avalon and Britannia in The Mists of Avalon, the stories in Lady of Avalon actually take place beforehand, and Bradley spends the first third of the book describing Avalon as it was before it was closed off in mists, and Britannia before Christianity had really taken hold. Because there are actually three stories told within the context of one novel, Bradley must introduce the reader to the changes that have taken place over time at the beginning of each new tale. ...more
Karen’s Library
This book is the prequel to The Mists of Avalon and I've read it quite a few times over the years when I would binge read the entire series. There are actually 3 novellas that make up this book. The first is the direct sequel to The Forest House and tells us when, why, and how the secret Avalon was created by the High Priestess. The second novella is the story of a priestess who is made to marry a Britannian Admiral to tie Britannia to Avalon. The 3rd novella gives the back story of Viviane.

Lauren Stoolfire
Nov 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Lady of Avalon (Avalon #3) by Marion Zimmer Bradley is an excellent prequel to The Mists of Avalon. I'm a sucker for anything at all related to King Arthur.
Drew Patrick Smith
Review from the PFS Book Club

What I Liked: This book, unlike the more popular The Mists of Avalon, is swift and uncomplicated. The characters are still interesting - it was especially nice to see Viviane's backstory, since she was one of the characters that made Mists so great, and the plot zings along at a breakneck speed.

The three-part book, basically a trilogy of novellas, is smart and different from most books on the shelves these days, so it was a nice change from the usual. And, in general
Ronda  Tutt
Jun 05, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
More great stories by MZB. I enjoyed reading the three parts in this book. However, I have to say that this book along with Priestess of Avalon should of been one book but in chronological order so the reader can enjoy and understand the story instead of going back and forth between the books.

Part I of this book is the direct sequel to "The Forest House" and I really enjoyed reading about Caillean's foster son (Eilan & Gaius Macellius son) Gawan and the Fairy Queens daughter Sienna's trials, bu
Things heat up. The plot gets more intense. Gwenwyhfar is an illogical, self-righteous little twat. Her theology is so propagandized and not really actually reasoned. I keep getting mad and wondering why somebody doesn’t just say, “You’re a bigot. Why are you so afraid and hating? The Roman Christians violently invaded this land, came and started a war, murdered the original inhabits into submission, and then have the audacity to say our culture and religion is evil????” And the way she judg ...more
Jun 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Definitely a satisfying read although the mother/daughter relationship irked me no end.
I didn’t love this half as much as I loved The Mists of Avalon and maybe that’s to be expected. Mists is as legendary as the subject of Arthurian legends itself and coming as a prequel, Lady of Avalon has plenty to live up to. Nevertheless, Marion Zimmer Bradley's talent for creating some of fantasy’s most powerful women is as formidable as ever in Caillean, Sianna and of course, Viviane. Her characters are complex, layered with the sublime and hence, prove to be all the more human when events t ...more
Robin Taylor
Jul 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing

My collection went out with the recycling last week!

Lady of Avalon, continues Caillean's story from where we last see her in 'The Forest House'. With her vivid descriptive narrative and masterful story teller's art Marion Zimmer Bradley shows us a world as it may have been but touched by Magic. We see Avalon become the home of the priestesses of the great Goddess. Through the cycles of the year and the lives of three of Avalon's high priestesses, Caillean,
Jan 09, 2018 added it
Abandoned because I couldn’t be bothered to care and then I started reading about scandals and the author instead and her work felt repugnant to me. I hope I can still re-read The Mists of Avalon without feeling gross.
Jenni Buchanan
Jul 17, 2019 rated it liked it
3 and 1/2 stars. I liked this better than The Forest House, but not as well as TMOA. This is really 3 shorter stories in one, all having to do with a different Lady of Avalon. The stories end up all following kind of the same trajectory, so it gets a little repetitive, but they were just the right length.
May 27, 2018 rated it liked it
I've been reading this series and this book was a little different because composed of 3 stories. All of the books I've read so far at the start of this series were well written. Her feminine perspective is amazing and the does a great job interconnecting the stories
Jun 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Precursor

From before the tale of Arthur, the Lady of Avalon ruled. This story tells of the predecessors to the Lady of the Lake, the power of the Goddess and the Druids, and the conflict of Brittania vs. the rest of the world. Well done!
Lady of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley is a compilation of three novellas, each set in a different time period, and each with a different High Priestess or "Lady" of Avalon. Part one is a direct sequel to The Forest House and tells the story of how the protective mists that separate Avalon from the surrounding land were put in place by Caillean. Part two is about a priestess named Teleri who is compelled to marry a man she does not love in order to tie him to Avalon to ensure the safety of Brit ...more
Terry (Ter05 TwiMoms/ MundieMoms)
Jun 05, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Readers who like historical novels of this period and the Arthur legend
I thought this would be the story of the Lady of Avalon, but it is much more than that. It is the story of the very essence of the legend of Avalon, not one Priestess but three of them, and of more than one incarnation of the mighty King that will come to save Britain. It is, like the previous book, a prequel to Arthur. The beliefs of the Druids and the worshippers of the Goddess come to life, the presence throughout centuries of the Faerie Queen who watches, and at times has a hand in history a ...more
Jessica Gadziala
Following where The Forest House left off, Caillean flees with the young Gawen and establishes a life on the isle of Avalon. After that story comes to its end we follow Dierna and her young priestess Teleri. Then in the third part of the book, we get to watch the young Viviane (from the incredible Mists of Avalon) grow and we finally get a bit of insight into how she became what she was.

Perhaps the most slow-moving of the Avalon books I have read thus far... at times boring... at times leaving y
Jan 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
This novel is about three women - Caillean, Dierna and Viviane. Caillean is the first Lady of Avalon, who will raise Gawen, the Sacred King. Dierna is the next Lady of Avalon who will serve during Roman and Breton political rising. Viviane, who follows her mother, Ana, serves as the Lady of Avalon during Saxon invasions. We follow their lives through their service as priestesses of Avalon; their joys, pains and rebirths.

This novel is filled with the cycles of life. The reader follows characters
Bridges the gap between 'The Forest House' and 'The Mists of Avalon'. Enjoyable light reading but nothing to blow your mind. Split into three short novellas exploring the development of Avalon and the attempts to free Britain from the Romans.

I find owning Marion Zimmer Bradley books uncomfortable after the abuse allegations so will be donating this to Oxfam.
Mar 02, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
wish i could give it 3 1/2 stars. better than "forest house" but not as good as "mists." does a good job of setting up "mists", though... I almost want to read "mists" again now (but then I remember how miserable I was reading it this last time just a couple of months ago).
Mar 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book was almost as good as The Mists of Avalon, but not quite. I really do believe that everyone should read these books at some point, only if they do read the first one. If you are a fan of Bradley's other books then I definitely think that this novel is worth a read.
I've really enjoyed reading about Viviane and the other ancestors who made Avalon what it was in The Mists of Avalon. I love the sense of history in this series, and the spirits who are continually reborn together and are bound together through the ages.
Shirley McLain
Jun 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I have always enjoyed reading books about King Authur and his Knights of the Round Table. This book focus is on the Druid Priestesses. If you like fantasy you will love this book. It keeps you turning the page.
Elaine Cougler
Aug 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Lady of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley was a wonderful surprise, embracing pre-Arthurian myth instead of Arthur himself. This was refreshing. I particularly liked the explanation of the magical rites. They were clear yet whimsical. Avalon will have a new significance to me now. Great book!
Jan 13, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not as good as "The Mists"
JSA Lowe
Nov 08, 2013 rated it did not like it
Dee Mellott
Dec 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
the beginning of the Avalon saga
Feb 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
I will be reading the rest of this series throughout the year. Gotta love Arthurian legends!
Maja Helena
Judging from the other reviews I quickly looked though before I sat down to write my own, I think it’s safe to say that I’m in the minority on this one.. Maybe Bradley is just not the author for me? By now I’ve read 3 of her books and none of them have worked for me, so that is probably where the problem lies.

I often find myself able to make excuses for a somewhat lackluster plot if I found the characters interesting, but with this book pretty much nothing worked for me.

In Lady of Avalon we fol
Keso Shengelia
I am really enjoying this series. It's great to see a classic tale from a different point of view. There are elements of several genres in this book: historical fiction, fantasy, and romance, making it appealing to many different kinds of readers. But what will really appeal to people is the superb story-telling and the realistic and complex characters. Totally lyrical, but told, as always, in a way that will draw you into not only the lives of the characters, but the larger sociological scape ...more
Jun 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The mist of Avalon was the first "grown up" book I ever read. It was recommended by my History teacher in middle school (more than 15 years ago). Since then, Bradley is one of my favorite authors. For some reason, I read The mist of Avalon several times before I learn there was a lot of books from the same universe. And when I found out about it, I start reading them but not in any order. This was the last one I had to read and I don't even know how to express my feelings.
I just loved. The whole
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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

Other books in the series

Avalon (7 books)
  • The Mists of Avalon (Avalon, #1)
  • The Forest House (Avalon, #2)
  • Priestess of Avalon (Avalon, #4)
  • Marion Zimmer Bradley's Ancestors of Avalon (Avalon, #5)
  • Ravens of Avalon (Avalon #6)
  • Sword of Avalon (Avalon #7)

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