Arthurian Legends. They're a whole genre unto themselves. But Bradley does a few things different with her rendition of the famous Arthur and his court. She tells it from the eyes of the women involved.
We start with Igraine, married by her sister
the Lady of the Lake to a man for political reasons. She has a daughter
she names Morgaine, but later the Lady decides a different fate for her
and she bears a son named Arthur to the new King of the land.
Morgaine's and Arthur's fates intertwine in ways not expected and will
be friends, family, enemies and more. With Morgaine as a Priestess of
Avalon and Arthur drawn to the Christian faith, their relationship is as
contentious as any out there, especially since both believe they are
doing right by their people.
Morgaine is complicated. And I like
that Bradley didn't paint her as the evil witch so many of the Arthur
legends portray her as. She has depth, flaws, and caring in this book.
And she's probably the main character, which is a relief as I didn't
really enjoy the first part of the book that involved her mother.
Igraine wasn't nearly as interesting and tiresome in her complaining.
Arthur was somewhat weak in character in this book. I don't mean that
he wasn't a strong King and did well for his people to the best of his
ability, but more that he was easily led by the people around him.
Mordred was involved in this book, but I didn't really find him that
menacing or compelling. He was kind of just there.
forgotten just how dialogue driven this book is. Sure the characters
more around do stuff, but they talk and think about things more. And
some of the conversations can get repetitive whether it be about lineage
or the difference between Christianity and the Priestesses of the
Goddess. There will be some who are offended by the references to
Christianity in this book as well. They don't have a good relationship
with the people of Avalon and the distaste is clearly shown in the
book. You have been warned. But I do think that Bradley does a great
job of capturing some complex characters in this book. It may be wordy,
but for good reason, this is a tale drawn out over half a century with
several key players and intrigues that every detail has to count on.
you like complicated books, this is one to read. The movie isn't half
bad either. And, if you do like it, it became a series and there are
more books to read that coincide with this one.
The Mists of Avalon