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The Mists of Avalon

Posted: Tue Oct 20, 2009 5:02 am
by Rowan
While I normally read historical fiction, it was a later follow-up book based on this chunk o' literature (a whopping 800+ pages is a chunk to me) that caused me to want to read historical fiction. My thought processes went from being interested in that book (the title escapes me at the moment) to getting a copy from an old friend to thinking about the time period in which it was set: that of Ancient Britain.

I found The Mists of Avalon at a book stall at the local market a few months ago and finally decided to embark on this epic journey. Aside from making me want to wring the neck of every Christian involved in the story, I've enjoyed this fascinating tale of King Arthur and his Companions.

This is the second version of this tale I've read, though the other is a three book series and I've read only the first one. Bernard Cornwell does the story justice, I think, but tells the tale from a more masculine point of view. He focuses on the fighting done. His tale is also set during the period just as the Romans are leaving Britain. MZB sets the tale a bit later, but not by much.

I've also discovered yet a third trilogy about Arthur's life, which I look forward to reading in the future.

Has anyone else ever read this and/or any other books about King Arthur?

Re: The Mists of Avalon

Posted: Tue Oct 20, 2009 5:11 am
by Willow
The once and future king is a good one, it set up a lot of the arthurian archetypes for this generation.

If you want to go back to some of the older sources try Geoffrey of Monmouth's Historia Regum Britanniae.

Wagner's Opera Tristan und Isolde, is an offshoot of one of the arthur stories and is possibly one of the best operas of all time (my little side note).

Re: The Mists of Avalon

Posted: Tue Oct 20, 2009 5:34 am
by Rowan
I have read a version of the Tristan and Isolde story, Willow, but I cannot remember who wrote it. All I remember are the cavities it gave me. :-D :P Too sickly sweet a tale. Both of them have made an appearance in The Mists of Avalon, albeit a brief one. :)

Re: The Mists of Avalon

Posted: Tue Oct 20, 2009 3:49 pm
by Kitsune
I like Marion Zimmer Bradley's book, and I've often wondered how she much have felt about her Mists of Avalon book in her end years.

At that time, she had become a Christian and yet many pagan fans called her for information on pagan rites sometimes waking her up at very odd times in the night because this information was of "Importance".

The only thing about her work that pisses me off is that she has never cared much for continuity either from book to book, or even within the same book! While her writing is wonderful, I do wish that she have kept better notes. ](*,)

Re: The Mists of Avalon

Posted: Wed Oct 21, 2009 12:40 am
by Max
An absolute classic for books about King Arthur is the Mabinogion. It's a set of stories from medieval Wales (many argue that Arthur is of Welsh or Cornish descent). The sections that deal with Arthur are the tales 'Culhwch and Olwen' and The 'Dream of Rhonabwy'. I've only dipped in and out of the book, and not for years, but depending on the translation it's quite readable from what I remember. You could probably Wikipedia it for more info (as it is the fount of all knowledge O:) ).