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Priestess of Avalon (Avalon #4)

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  14,935 Ratings  ·  190 Reviews
Long-awaited final volume in the Avalon series by bestselling fantasy author, Marion Zimmer Bradley. As the Merlin of Britannia keeps his vigil atop the Tor of Avalon, Rian, the High Priestess of Avalon, dies giving birth to her fifth child. The girl, named Eilan with her mother's dying breath, takes life. From the stars the Merlin draws forth her prophecy: 'The child that ...more
Paperback, 416 pages
Published July 1st 2002 by Roc (first published 2000)
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May 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Begun by Marion Zimmer Bradley and finished by Diana L. Paxon, "Priestess of Avalon" is the story of Helena, the mother of Constantine the Great.

It is historical fantasy. The book swirls with goddesses, priestesses, druids, and faeries.

Though part of a series, it isn't necessary to have read the others. Each one pretty much stands alone. An understanding of the workings of Romano-Celtic Britain will help, but it's not essential. The ladies were/are excellent researchers and their historical comp
Sep 22, 2014 rated it liked it
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
Shannon Winward
Mar 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Jen Six
Oct 25, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
Apr 04, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
Júlia Mestre
Dec 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was a really cool book!
I was expecting it to be just a lot of fiction but actually it wasn’t. Of course there were various fictional characters and events. But the majority of the book were things that actually happened in the Roman Empire circa 300 AC. Everybody knows that Constantino was the first christian emperor. But this book delves into this period in history and actually shows what happened and why. And since it’s written from the perspective of Eilan/Helena, Constantino’s mother, y
Ronda  Tutt
Jun 05, 2009 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 rated it it was amazing
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
May 11, 2009 rated it really liked it
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 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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.
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Goodreads Librari...: Change description 2 13 Dec 08, 2015 06:59AM  
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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
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)