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Twilight of Avalon: A Novel of Trystan Isolde (Twilight of Avalon #1)

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  1,029 Ratings  ·  84 Reviews
Book One in the Twilight of Avalon Trilogy

She is a healer, a storyteller, a warrior, and a queen without a throne. In the shadow of King Arthur's Britain, one woman knows the truth that could save a kingdom from the hands of a tyrant...

Ancient grudges, old wounds, and the quest for power rule in the newly widowed Queen Isolde's court. Hardly a generation after the down
ebook, 448 pages
Published May 5th 2009 by Touchstone (first published January 1st 2009)
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Twilight of Avalon was sent to me when I won a giveaway done by a friend, and I've been meaning to read it for quite a while before that. It's a version of the story of Tristan and Isolde, with a mostly historical background -- based on bits from Geoffrey of Monmouth's history, and the few snippets we may know about the "real" Tristan -- and with a few hints at what may or may not be magic. It's very different to most other Arthurian interpretations I've read, starting with the family tree. Isol ...more
Not a real review, just stating why I gave up with only 50-60 pages left. I liked the premise a lot, but the execution failed, at least for me. I didn't find any chemistry between the two, and while I understand it wasn't written as a love story I still wanted to see something. I didn't get why Trystan was calling her by her first name on practically the first meeting (worse yet, but a nickname "Isa") when they are strangers and she's the High Queen FGS. I couldn't ascertain whether Trystan was ...more
Mary M
May 23, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of "Mists of Avalon" or "Outlander"
I just read Marion Zimmer Bradley's "The Mists of Avalon" for the first time about six months ago, and "Twilight of Avalon" was the perfect complement. It came just at the right time, just as I was missing "Mists." It picks up after Morgan's death and imagines the next generation struggling with the fallout of Arthur's death and the continuing Saxon invasions.

But this book is not merely another add-on to "Mists" - Elliott creates her own story and her own characters here. They're all interestin
For centuries past the Arthurian legend has been passed down from generation to generation. Thankfully, the myriad of variations of the tale have been keeping modern day authors as busy in the retelling as the ancients bards were.

The latest version to hit bookstores is Anna Elliott's Twilight of Avalon, the first of what will eventually be a full trilogy recounting one of the earliest known versions of Arthurian legend, that of Trystan and Isolde.

For those aficionados of the genre, it seems only
Mar 16, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arthurian
Twilight of Avalon was one of the best books I have read in months. It is a very readable, lightly-paced story in the tradition of 20th century Arthurian literature. If you like Mary Stewart, Nancy McKenzie or Rosemary Sutcliff, you may like Anna Elliott.

This book has a mystical feel without having a heavy fantasy storyline. In this volume so far, we see Merlin, Morgan and Isolde with the power to "see," but is that magic or simply a gift? Isolde questions this herself as she also struggles with
Jun 13, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"All about them, the dusk was drawing in. Twilight, the time of
changing, when the selkies swam in from the ocean and shed their sealskins to become the fairest of men." pg. 240

Take most of what you know about King Arthur and Camelot and forget about it. This is a grim and gritty story about the struggle for power during one of Britain's most turbulent times. Change is a constant theme in this story. It takes place in 6th centuray Britain, a time of great change. There is the continual threat of
Dec 05, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The wonderful thing about Arthurian legends is they’re all so different. Some versions want to approach characters, that are by now well familiar to many of us, from a historical perspective, as if they really existed. The creative license to execute such a fiction is left to assembling their dialogue, their mannerisms and behaviors--the idea that Arthur, Guinevere, Merlin, and Morgan le Fay need only the imaginative coaxing of an Author’s talent to be released once again into a world they inhab ...more
Existem lendas que perduram para alem das vidas e do tempo, que se alteram pelos valores e ideias que a época presente lhe adiciona. Mas há coisas como os ideais que não mudam para assim puderem continuar a ensinar e encantar todas as gerações vindouras. A lenda de Artur, com tudo o que ela representa, é assim. Alterável mas intemporal. E por mais adaptações que lhe sejam feitas, perdurará no imaginário de muitos por vários séculos.
A adaptação de Anna Elliott passa-se após a queda de Artur em Ca
Amy Bruno
Sculptured from one of the earliest tellings of the legend of King Arthur, Geoffrey Monmouth’s History of the Kings of Britain, author Anna Elliott weaves an enchanting and spell-binding tale of Trystan and Isolde in her debut novel Twilight of Avalon.

Isolde’s family tree is quite bewildering. She is the daughter of Gwnefar, who betrayed Arthur with Modred, Arthur’s son with his step-sister Morgan. After Isolde’s birth, Gwen flees to a convent where she dies. Her father Modred is often away figh
David Pimenta
Jan 16, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
O Crepúsculo de Avalon é um romance histórico, tendo como raiz a lenda do rei Artur. A história começa sete anos depois da sua morte quando Isolda chora a morte do seu rei e marido Constantino. Toda a acção tem como protagonista Isolda, filha da traição de Mordred e Ginevra (esposa de Artur).
Depois desta morte é necessária a escolha de um Rei Supremo e aos poucos são apresentadas personagens ambiciosas por este lugar, especialmente Marche. Toda a história se desenrolará, recheada de acção e tamb
Sep 26, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
It is no wonder I could not finish this book, even though I trudged through 60% of it... I had to let it go. Life is too short to waste time on plodding lousy plots, weak characters, and ZERO passion. I don't just mean romantic passion - these characters were empty. Over 50% of the book is ad-nauseum coverage of her being a misunderstood possible witch, woe is me, flashback, flashback, etc etc-- and when her and Trystan meet they are asexual, uninteresting dead fish for so long, it adds to the b ...more
Oct 15, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who love Authurian legends
Recommended to Jayme by: The librarian at TCC
At first, I had trouble getting in to this book. After the first chapter though, I had trouble putting it down. Elliot's writing style is beautiful. It reminded me of stories people would tell each other in that time period (which I think is what she was going for so that was awesome). I thought she did a wonderful job developing her characters and you really understood the struggles in the novel.

Isolde is by far one of the best female protagonists I have ever come across. She is so strong but
Nov 25, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was very excited to read this book because I've enjoyed stories with similar themes by Juliet Marillier and Marion Zimmer Bradley. Oh, and I also love the tale of Tristan and Isolde!

In theory this book had all the elements that would make me love it... but the execution ultimately failed.

The book dragged on too much. I could have cut out one third of its pages by removing all the boring unnecessary stuff. It took a long time for me to find an emotional thread to the story and that's something
Sep 21, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I went 85 pages. Here is what I learned. Something happened SEVEN years ago. They only tell us that about once a page. The only interesting part was the porlogue, featuring Morgan. The whole family tree is whacked, but hey, if someone wants to tie Isolde to Pendragon and Constantine, it seems to be very creative. The worst part was that people DON'T TALK LIKE THAT. She's got these illiterate peasants speaking volumes in prose. I think I encountered an unnamed Tristan around page 90, but I couldn ...more
Dec 01, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: king-arthur

WARNING: Book contains a lot of sexual assault.

Overall impression: depressing

Think All Quiet on the Western Front meets The Crucible.

There’s nothing I can really fault with the author’s technique – but the sheer deluge of just the worst parts of the Dark Ages assaulting the main character left me feeling seriously depressed.

Maybe I’ll go watch Camelot and sing-a-long with Mordred about ‘The Seven Deadly Virtues.’

May 06, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this and am looking forward to reading the other two books in the trilogy. I liked the twist Elliott put on the story of Trystan and Isolde, especiallys Isolde's parentage. I thought the middle dragged a little bit with too many escapes and receptures, but some of the revelations at the end made up for it.
Jan 08, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this to be an interesting take on the Trystan and Isolde story. Isolde embodied the "Avalon sorceress" that I enjoyed so much in The Mists of Avalon. I enjoyed the storytelling and the voices in the wind that created the back story. Well done.
May 30, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
I totally ate this book up. I love the myth and the legend behind it, and the unique twist that Anna puts on it. You've heard of the legend of King Arthur. Picture grey skies, howling winds and cold seas; the cover is perfect for this tale. Quite a legendary story it is with Arthur and his son Modred, who are both killed at Camlaan fighting each other. Though Lancelot is not present in the legend that the author pulls from, Anna Elliott's story begins with Modred's daughter Isolde as she learns ...more
Susanna Shipman
Jun 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Historical fiction after Camlann

Nothing like the Trystan & Isolde stories you are used to but very entertaining & well written. I enjoyed it very much!
Leonor (Ner)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
O facto de um livro ter na capa uma pintura de John William Waterhouse é meio caminho andado para me chamar a atenção. Apesar de a edição original de “O Crepúsculo de Avalon” ter na capa a genial Boreas, também ficámos muito bem servidos com a Ophelia escolhida para a capa portuguesa. Aproveito para deixar o convite a visitarem a galeria de obras deste pintor, através dos links que deixei.

“O Crepúsculo de Avalon” é a obra de estreia da americana Anna Elliott, uma amante de ficção histórica e dos
Terry (Ter05 TwiMoms/ MundieMoms)
Jan 15, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Readers who like the Arthurian period
I had a hard time rating this book. It is a 3.5 for me so rounded it up. I love reading about this era, and this is taking up the legends of Arthur along with the legend of Tristan and Isolde but with a different twist - actually several different twists. This is Isolde's story but in this book she is the daughter of Modred and Gwnefar (that is a change!), and this begins seven years after Arthur and Modred killed each other. Some of the Arthur legend remains intact and some is different. Knowin ...more
Christina (Confessions of a Book Addict)
Isolde's husband, King Constantine, died by the hand of Lord Marche who now assumes Constantine's former role as High King. The kingdom is in chaos as there is no official High King, but Isolde knows the truth surrounding Constantine's death and is determined to make sure everyone else knows too. However, throughout the kingdom her reputation isn't always the best. Everyone knows Isolde is a powerful healer, but many feel she is a witch and now with Constantine dead, she must watch her every mov ...more
Nicole N.
I admit that this it the first time I've delved into the story of Tristan and Isolde. I enjoy King Arthur legends and retelling so for me, it was a no-brainer to pick up this book and read. However, I encountered a few problems in the beginning and almost turned me off to reading it entirely.

This is the first fantasy novel I've read by Anna Elliot. I thought this book would have been better written in first person POV. Maybe because it had something to do with the choppy sentences and lots of ".
Jan 16, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Sarah by: Laura
Anna Elliott's historical fantasy novel, Twilight of Avalon, is based upon the Arthurian legend of Trystan and Isolde.

The story begins with the death of the High King of Britain, Constantine. As High Queen, Isolde suddenly finds herself a widow in a world of uncertainty, danger and deceit, where everyone is out to better their own with little regard as to who they hurt along the way. Forced into marriage to King Marche, at whose hands she suffers greatly, Isolde makes the difficult decision to f
Jul 24, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Being honest, I accidentally happened upon this book while looking for another book. As I have always loved the magic, the knights, and the stories surrounding the Authurian (sp?) legends, I was instantly intrigued by the title. I must admit, I do not remember much of the tales/legends of Tristan and Isolde. I think I remember reading a version of them in highschool, but can't remember much more. And after reading the description, I couldn't resist....

Overall, I enjoyed the story, and found the
Mar 30, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Artur & Morgana, Tristão & Isolda: duas lendas transformadas numa só.
A primeira já conhecia das inúmeras adaptações já feitas (quer literárias, quer para o grande ecrã). Da segunda pouco ou nada sabia.
Há que destacar que esta adaptação traz algo de novo ao fazer de Isolda neta de Morgana e de Artur, o resultado de uma traição que conduziu o próprio Artur à morte e a Bretanha à guerra civil.
Compadeci-me do sofrimento de Isolda, apaixonei-me pelo corajoso Tristão,revoltei-me contra o ambic
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Vicky N.
Nov 13, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I've never read historical fiction before, so I wasn't sure what to expect. But I got to admit I'm a fan of the genre now. I had never heard of the legend of Trystan & Isolde, but as a fan of the Arthurian Legends wanted to know more about it immediately.

Anna Elliot's writing captured me from the start making Isolde's narrative seemed effortless and easy to follow. And the story itself was unique and charming. The only holes in the plot that I could not fathom how Anna Elliot had thrown int
May 28, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is not your traditional tale of Trystan and Isolde; be forewarned there is no romance or epic love story in this book. Instead Elliott makes Isolde the daughter of Modred and Guinevere from Arthurian legend. Isolde is raised by Mogan la Faye, who teaches he the Old Ways and herb craft. These blood ties lead to Isolde bearing the labels of witch and a traitor's bastard. As the novel begins Isolde is faced with the murder of her husband, the high king. This novel is very much a story of a gir ...more
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  • The Road to Avalon (Dark Ages of Britain, #1)
  • Isolde, Queen of the Western Isle (Tristan and Isolde, #1)
  • In Camelot's Shadow (The Paths to Camelot, #1)
  • Prince of Dreams: A Tale of Tristan and Esyllte
  • Guinevere: The Legend in Autumn  (Guinevere, #3)
  • Pendragon's Banner (Pendragon's Banner Trilogy, #2)
  • Guinevere (Guinevere, #1)
  • Beloved Exile (Firelord, #2)
  • Sons of Avalon: Merlin's Prophecy
  • The White Raven
  • Dragon's Child (King Arthur, #1)
  • Hawk of May  (Down the Long Wind, #1)
  • The Idylls of the Queen: A Tale of Queen Guenevere
A longtime devotee of historical fiction and Arthurian legend, Anna Elliott was expecting her first child when she woke up from a very vivid dream of telling her mother that she was going to write a book about Modred's daughter, Isolde. She was very grateful to her daughter for being an excellent sleeper even as a newborn and allowing her the time to turn her dream into a finished book! She now li ...more
More about Anna Elliott...

Other Books in the Series

Twilight of Avalon (3 books)
  • Dark Moon of Avalon (Twilight of Avalon, #2)
  • Sunrise of Avalon (Twilight of Avalon, #3)

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