As some one who as read many of the traditional King Arthur stories, I loved the way Bradley delved into and opened up the legends. She hits all the traditional moments that we know from Pyle, TH White, Tennyson etc.. while take time to really flush out some of the subtler themes (christianity vs paganism, the courtly French vs common English). It is this aspect of Bradley's story that makes Mist of Avalon and essential read for any one wishing to really understand the King Arthur Legends.
The story was enjoyable and easy to follow along. Davina Porter's narration makes the story even more enjoyable.
The book was quite good except for the over-arching religious theme, that in my opinion, became monotonous. I understand that religion was a major theme but felt that the two main female characters, Gwendolyn and Morgaine, were too over zealous to be believable.
Despite the conflict between the goddess of Avalon and Catholicism, the book was worth listening to. Many themes about love, friendships, loyalty and religion, of course, were examined and developed. You become attached to the characters as you follow them through youth to the end of life. The author has a good writing style and I enjoyed her take on this familiar Camelot story.
The books are a good value and the literary content is quality. So, if you can tolerate the many references to following the goddess and God/Christ/Mary, the conflict that arose because of opposing views, as well as character guilt that comes when not doing so with the true devotion of a follower of either camp, then I can recommend this book.
At close to 900 pages and 51 hours, this book is something of a daunting endeavor, but I can assure you the ending makes it worth it. Indeed, the ending has as much power as it does BECAUSE so much time and space is devoting to constructing Arthur's Britain. I highly recommend this book. Truly a seminal piece of work in feminist fantasy, but also in Arthurian adaptions.
I loved reading the book. But listening to it gave it life. I can truly say that this book was a better listen than read.
What I loved the best was the whole atmosphere that continues throughout the book. It's calm and serene, even in the most tumultuous parts. You can feel from the very beginning, the mysticism of the place and people. Davina Porter's voice is perfect for that calmness. Her character voices are superb, and you can sometimes forget that you're listening to just one person!
Well, of course, my favorite character was Morgaine because she is the one that you are right there with throughout the book. We hear her innermost thoughts, and so we cannot help but be on her side! She is mystical and powerful, even in the times she thinks she is not. Now, on the other side of things, the character I loved to hate was Guinevere! She was so bratty, selfish, and shallow! Everytime we heard things from her point of view, I really wished someone would just push her off a cliff.
The parts of the book that really stuck with me for some reason were the very first two paragraphs, when Morgaine says,
"In my time I have been called many things: sister, lover, wise-woman, queen."
All the way through to,
"And now, when the world has changed and Arthur - my brother, my lover, king who was, and king who shall be - lies dead (the common folk say sleeping) in the Holy Isle of Avalon, the tale should be told as it was before the priests of the White Christ came to cover it all with their saints and legends."
I think it completely sets the tone for the entire book, and Davina Porter's voice really brings it to life.
I didn't have any extreme reactions to this book, mostly because even the sad parts were cloaked in mystery and sereneness. You sort of glide through from beginning to end in an enchanted haze. It was different!
Before listening to this book, I had already listened to the entire Outlander series, which Davina Porter also narrated. Each audiobook is very long, so in total, I'd listened to about 326 hours of Davina telling the Outlander tale. I was craving more of Outlander after that, so I looked at what else she had narrated. The Mists of Avalon caught my eye, and even though I was hoping the narration would remind me of Outlander, it didn't! Her voice wasn't that different, but I found that I never thought about Outlander while listening to this book! That, to me, was an impressive thing! I was sucked in by the story, and not just the voice.
I love literary fiction and I occasionally delve into non-fiction. I love books that are suspenseful and am really into well-told stories.
Wow. I was so disappointed with this book as an audio book. I haven't read it since I was young, but I remember loving it so much that I could barely but it down.
I don't think it is produced or directed well. There is nothing wrong with the source material, so it isn't that. This just failed to grab me.