The Mists of Avalon – Marian Zimmer Bradley

915ZqRQRwVLMagnificent epic which retells the Arthurian legend focusing on Morgaine (Morgan le Fay), Arthur’s sister who fights to save the matriarchal Celtic culture as patriarchal Christianity threatens to remove women from power.  Women who are normally marginalized, such as Gwenhwyfar, Viviane, Morgause, and Igraine take center stage while King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table are supporting players. Here, Morgaine is depicted as good, not conniving.  She’s training to be a priestess and the next Lady of Avalon.  During a fertility rite, she and Arthur are unknowingly intimate, producing a son — Mordred.  Arthur’s wife, Gwenhwyfar, seemingly barren, thinks God is punishing her for not outlawing pagan religion, and for loving Arthur’s cousin, Lancelot.  As her fanaticism grows, relations between Avalon and Camelot deteriorate. Mordred tries to usurp his father’s throne.  In a climactic battle, their armies fight and Arthur is mortally wounded.  Morgaine leaves, taking Arthur back to Avalon.  

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4 thoughts on “The Mists of Avalon – Marian Zimmer Bradley

  1. This book has been on my list for a very long time! I love anything that has to do with Arthurian legend, and I’ve heard that this book gives a good, feminist twist to it!

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    1. I can’t recommend this book highly enough. It was just fantastic. I loved the way it focuses on the women, giving us an entirely new look at Morgan Le Fey. The women don’t seem to come off very well in the traditional legends. Morgan is a schemer; Geneviere is an adultress. This book changes some of that up. You’re right. It definitely has a feminist slant. If you love Arthurian legend, read it!

      Liked by 1 person

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