Trailer ✓ The Mists of Avalon PDF by Ö Marion Zimmer Bradley There is no such thing as a true tale Truth has many faces and the truth is like to the old road to Avalon it depends on your own will, and your own thoughts, whither the road will take you Again, I feel the need to put my thoughts down about some of the books that changed my life and made me into the guy I am.
Those who know me just one tiny bit also know that The Lord of the Rings is my favourite book ever Go a little bit deeper, and you also know that Frank Herbert s Dune is high up on my list of all time favourites The point is that those two books were the first real fantasy books using the term loosely here I read in my life But in reality I have a holy trinity of fantasy books from my childhood The three books that made me love fantasy in the first place and go to explore other worlds and the magic between the pages of masterpieces.
I ve already confessed my undying love for LotR and Dune The third aspect of the trinity is The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley.
Like I already wrote about in slightly detail in my review of Darkover Landfall , Marion Zimmer Bradley is, despite it all, one of my favourite authors This book is what introduced me to her works.
But as I write these words, I realise one sad fact about this wonderful story I remember nothing of it Not one bit Unlike the other two books mentioned in the beginning, I have never read this one again after the first time And now I m scared to actually do it Because I don t want to sully childhood memories with the harshness of reality.
The only thing I do remember is that I absolutely loved it And still do, passionately so And that s the important part, right So, depending on whether or not I eventually read this again, and depending on whether or not I have thoughts to think and words to write, maybe there will be a full review about the loveliest work of Arthurian fiction at some pointAnd so, perhaps, the truth winds somewhere between the road to Glastonbury, Isle of the Priests, and the road to Avalon, lost forever in the mists of the Summer Sea This is my favourite book about the Arthurian legend and I have read possibly than I can remember Marion Zimmer Bradley succeeded in breathing new life into the Arthurian saga, and at the same time, she didn t step too far away from the spirit of it Placing the emphasis on the fascinating female characters that shaped the fate of Arthur and of Camelot, she created a monumental work that is now the basis on which most of us rate the works about King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table.
Morgaine is our eyes and ears in The Mists of Avalon It is through her perspective that we come to know Igraine, her mother, Gorlois, her father, Uther, Arthur, Gwenhwyfar, Morgause, Merlin, Vivianne, Lancelot, and all the other well known figures of the Arthurian Tales Is our perspective limited since we get to see the story mostly through her eyes In my opinion, no, because the writer has created Morgaine in such a way that she comes across as a reliable narrator She is not a fanatic, but I can feel that she is a good judge of characters and I can relate to her In stark contrast to her stands Gwenhwyfar, the only character in the book that can be described as a snooze fest With her obssessive views about religion, her lack of education, she is so irritatingAnd of course, her actions are far away from what she names as Christian love , and we all know that she is a hypocrite.
The male characters are the heroes we have come to know from the Arthurian myths Arthur is Arthur, clever and willing, but weak in judgment and in spirit I never liked Lancelot much and in Marion Zimmer Bradley s version, he is even unsympathetic Mordred s voice comes across strong and clear, voicing desperation and rage against the neglect of his parents and the manner he was begotten, asking for what he feels is his by right I must confess I ve always sided with Mordred in every version of the myth I have come across Two very interesting male characters besides Mordred are Accolon and Kevin the Bard.
In my opinion, what makes this novel so powerful is its ending It depicts completion, the way life comes full circle, and the fact that we may give different names to people and places and elements in our lives, but most of the times we all mean the same thing, fighting over thin air, really.
Here Is The Magical Legend Of King Arthur, Vividly Retold Through The Eyes And Lives Of The Women Who Wielded Power From Behind The Throne A Spellbinding Novel, An Extraordinary Literary Achievement, The Mists of Avalon Will Stay With You For A Long Time To Come My final book of 2017 I did not think I would finish it before the end of the year I started it back on October 1st and it was slow going I often found myself not reading it for days at a time It really wasn t capturing my interest But, with a week to go in 2017 and about 300 or so pages left, I buckled down and finished it at around 8 15 on December 31st You might think that my opinion of this book will not be stellar considering it was slow going About a week ago when I committed to finishing it before the end of the year that was where I thought it would end up, too However, the story really came together for me and I actually quite enjoyed the storytelling It is indeed a large book and quite a commitment, but if you love fantasy and Arthurian legend, it is worth checking out.
In some of my discussions with my book friends we were trying to figure out what Bradley was going for with this book Having finished, I am not sure it is much clearer Here are a couple of topics that came up frequently Feminism If she was going for the feminist viewpoint, why are pretty much all the female characters unlikable and devious throughout the book Some of them do come around, but it seems to make women generally seem either sneaky or annoying Christianity vs Paganism What amazed me the most about this was that many said they did not remember the opposing religious viewpoints from the book when they read it that seemed to be the main point of the story Reading up on Bradley it sounds like she was a practicing Pagan, so it would make sense that she might want to bring this discussion in, but it seemed quite repetitive after a while It does definitely come into play with the overall resolution of the plot, but I am thinking if you don t like reading debates on religion on Facebook, you probably wouldn t want to read 876 pages of it either.
Finally, I can say that my overall feelings about this book were skewed by what I found out about the life of the author when I was partway done with the book I won t go into it here, but if you Google her or check out her Wikipedia page, you will see what I am talking about.
Summary Many will enjoy this book It is a big commitment Some subject matter may be controversial and preachy but, some really good storytelling.
The Arthur myth from the point of view of Morgaine le Fay, pagan priestess Supposedly a feminist take on the old legends There is one main problem with this approach let s face it, women s lives in the dark ages were pretty boring And rather than break out of this mold with strong female characters, Bradley talks a lot about spinning, weaving, and having babies The female characters are either contemptible or irritating, or both The male characters are cardboard Arthur is as heroic as a limp dishrag, Merlin just an old man sitting in his rocking chair The pagan Christian thing is overwrought and shrill, devolving mostly into interminable theological debates between characters that cover the same ground over and over and over again.
A lot of things irritated me about this book, but nothing than the simple lack of a compelling narrative construction Nothing happens There is dialogue, which mostly rehashes things that were already talked about And then there is monologue, in which the weak and mostly contemptible characters thrash around in their heads so much that it would make Dostoyevsky cringe It makes me angry that you could even try to tell the Arthurian legend even from a feminine point of view without looking at the epic clashes between the knights of the round table and their enemies.
Horrendously disappointing For a fantasy novel, George R.
R Martin s A Game of Thrones does everything that this book tries to do, and does it ten times better For of a historical view, Bernard Cornwell s The Last Kingdom is a much fun and interesting look at the clash of Christian and pagan civilizations, and even has characters that you don t hate.
OK I admit, when I told my college Arthurian Lit professor that I d read and enjoyed this book, he proceeded to give me a quick before the next class comes in lecture about how Marion Zimmer Bradley s interpretation skewed wildly from the genre.
But I don t care It s a difficult book long and utterly depressing, but it takes the first in depth look at both women and the pagan Celtic religion of Britain, which Christianity usurped around that time Evil sorceress Morgan Le Fay is transfered into multi faceted Morgaine, a woman deeply committed to her family, especially her aunt, Viviane, half brother, Arthur, and cousin, Lancelet Gwenhyfar, the simpering Christian princess, was my least favorite, but even she had some complexity, an unhappy childhood, inferiority complex made worse by her bareness, and obvious jealousy issues with Morgaine concerning the womens relationships with Arthur and Lancelet Perhaps the most dour of Morgaine s familial ties is that with her son, Mordred, the illigitimate heir of her brother, whom she foolishly put up with her aunt Morgause, easily the most shallow and greedy woman in the entire book.
Religion wise, I found it impossible not to root for Morgaine s Avalon, not only because I knew it was destined to recede into the mists, but because it was matriarchal, and so much comforting to me than the expansionalist, narrow minded and mysoginistic version of Christianity prevalent during those times At the end, Morgaine herslf shows the most tolerance and versatility for diverse cultures she outlives most everyone else, and grows to accept that her mother goddess is now worshipped as the virgin mary Quite the contrast from the crone like Morgan Le Fay, whose only purpose is to destroy the kingdom of Camelot.
My favorite fantasy novel written by
This is one of the few books that I hate I m a feminist and I love King Arthur stories and The Mists of Avalon makes me vaguely nauseous I read the whole thing hoping it would get better, and it didn t, though there are a few good bits Overall I found it offensive to the Arthurian legends, to history, and to women, and being a 15 year old girl who liked fantasy novels did nothing to change this opinion.
Good lord, I haven t ever hated a book as much as this one.
I picked up The Mists of Avalon because I really love Nordic myths, and usually any stories about King Arthur Everyone seems to adore this book even my librarian told me that this was a really good Arthurian tale Well, it s not It s horrible.
First, let me say how turned off I was by all the bashing and hating there was of Christianity And I m saying this as the atheist that I am I don t believe in God, yet that doesn t mean I am not bothered by the unnecessary, and often narrow minded hate towards a religion That s all there was in the first 150 pages, and it was a very recurring theme throughout the book As if having one stupid priest wasn t enough, the author just had to fit in several and call each stupider than the previous.
Yeah, there were dumb evil priests and followers of that religion who did horrible things, but there will always be bad people who call themselves followers of a religion However, this amount of blabbering about stupid, mean, cowardly priests did nothing to advance the plot At all I mean if you wanted to write a book in which the antagonists were all evil Christians then you re on the right track, but this was supposed to be a book on King Arthur, dang it, not of your personal hate issues with Christians Personally, I really don t like it when authors bring up religions in books that aren t nonfiction theology psychology history works Stuff gets brushed over and embellished to make the book in question seem interesting and it s infuriating what you ll read That s exactly the case with The Mists of Avalon Keep that in mind, Marion Zimmer Bradley You can rant to a therapist, but don t take it out on a book THAT IS SUPPOSED TO BE ABOUT A WELL LOVED FANTASY TALE Just don t take it out on a book in general What s worse, the author couldn t seem to create a halfway decent female protagonist in all the 800 pages and the countless women characters.
Igraine No She s a whiney pushover who convinces herself she s in love with a man her husband hates because she hears a prophecy that she s supposed to bear that man s child if I heard a prophecy like that, I d run away Okay, she didn t love Gorlois, but he was good to her up until she started spending time with a man he clearly distrusted and told her to stay away from not that I really like Gorlois, but wouldn t you be freaking mad if your wife husband got all cozy with someone you consider evil And besides stabbing her husband, Igraine doesn t do anything She just sits at home Wow, my new hero.
Vivianne plotted adultery and incest, acted like she loved everyone, but in reality, did horrible things to them She was even surprised when Galahad, who she barely had anything to do with, didn t love her Also, did anyone else notice how Vivianne always corrected people and told them All gods and goddesses are one and then proceeded to ridicule the Christian God and call him and his followers morons Hah Ha ha I don t know if that was meant to be funny, or if Ms Bradely was just too stupid to notice the contradiction Morgaine failed at everything in life I felt bad for her at being used like that, then for being rejected by Lancelet But then again, she couldn t care less for her child, hated pretty much innocent Gwenhwyfar, and came up with plans to have Lancelet sleep with her even though she knew he didn t love her so whatever sympathy I had for her went pretty quick And it gets even better she gets married, sleeps with several people, goes to Avalon again and acts like she s the main goddess, even though she did so many un goddess like things I loved how Niniane thought She should be here in my place, the GREAT Morgaine of the Fairies HAH What did Morgaine ever do besides sleep with her own brother Gwenhwyfar was worse than Igraine On the other hand, it was so obvious that Bradely created her solely to make fun of Christians She must have been like Oh, I ll create this woman who s a dumb little bitch in heat who everyone will hate And, bonus I ll mention how beautiful she is every two pages to make sure all the female readers will be jealous of her and hate her even Then I ll make sure to have her pretend to be a pious follower of Christ even though, in reality, an adulteress is not a pious follower of Christ and I ll have created a perfect epitome of all Christian women to show the world what nasty morons they are Yay I mean really And a lot of people actually agree with this exaggerated, biased, ridiculous nonsense.
When I was browsing through 5 star reviews of this book to try and understand why exactly human beings love this trash, someone actually said this book makes me want to leave behind my life and become a pagan That wasn t the exact quote, but that was the gist of it I just I can t even Oh yes I can Become a pagan, then, and have a baby with your own brother at a drunken bonfire Next, make sure you neglect your child and run around effing tons of other men By the way, back then protection didn t exist so be sure not to use any of that either, and see how many STDs and unwanted pregancies you ll get Homeless and vulgar, isn t Morgaine s portrayal of a pagan lifestyle just wonderful Back to the characters the males were all one dimensional and flat They were all extremely handsome and extremely skilled knights and extremely horny Coughs A little originality, please, Bradely Maybe divert from your view that all men are chauvinist pigs The one character I kind of liked was Morgause she s independent, seemed to have a good relationship with her children, and kept Morgaine s secret But she wasn t anything I really cared about.
There also seemed to be a whole lot of describing boring day to day activities that, just like all the Christian hate, did nothing to advance the plot It s like, somebody gets up, stares in the mirror and thinks about some complicated love web, goes downstairs, starts knitting, talks to an old woman who came in from the cold 47 pages later something tiny happens that helps the story along Then another good 1 5 of the book was made up of describing how beautiful this and this person was, and then another person is introduced who is WAY MORE beautiful, and so on and so on In Morgaine s case, it was terrible One minute she s plain, then someone calls her beautiful, then she s called ugly, then she s supposed to have an inner beauty, then Morgain does something horrible so I can t see what inner beauty they re talking about, then she s beautiful, ugly, beautiful, uglyLike, did the author have bipolar attacks while writing this I honestly don t spend a whole lot of time detailing characters faces Tell me they re tall, red haired, have a scar on their face and that s just perfect I m interested in the plot, not the size of everybodys big toes Seriously The writing itself could have been okay, but because its subject was crap, it was not okay This book was bad, it really was After a good 150 pages, I just skimmed another 500, and then skipped the last part and skimmed the epilogue I honestly could care less what happens stupid.