No passive by-standers, these earthy priestesses from Avalon literally breathe life into a musty, oft-told tale. In Book One: Mistress of Magic, the Lady of the Lake - Viviane - brings about the marriage of her younger sister, Igraine, to Uther Pendragon. Their only child, Arthur, is believed to be the last hope in the long standing war between Saxons and Romans.
Meanwhile, Morgaine, Igraine's daughter by her first marriage to Gorlois, has come under the apprenticeship of Viviane at Avalon. In spite of her great love and hope for Morgaine, Viviane is driven by an unrelenting vision. Miserable, but duty-bound, she tricks Morgaine and Arthur into becoming lovers during the night of the ritual fires. Enraged and shamed by what her aunt has done, Morgaine plans to rid herself of the child that has resulted from their union. Book one ends with Arthur's coronation and Morgaine's decision to leave Avalon.
Return to Camelot: listen to more in the Mists of Avalon series.
©1982 Marion Zimmer Bradley; (P)1993 Recorded Books, LLC
"An epic novel of violence ... and haunting enchantments." (Publishers Weekly)
I've loved and reread "The Mists of Avalon" since I discovered it many years ago. Davina Porter does an excellent job with the narration. My only gripe is that the book is broken into FOUR short parts, instead of TWO longer parts or being sold as a 2 credit option. This makes for one VERY expensive read for the complete book. I bristle.
Listening to this book, and the other three in the series, was sheer joy. The reader introduces just enough difference in the charactes' voices to distinguish them but not so much that the "acting" overwhelms to narration. The story itself is endlessly fascinating. I've read this novel a few times the old-fashioned way, in book form, and found that listening to it was a different but equally engaging experience. Highly recommended!
The start of the Authur legend told from his mothers point of view...interesting mix of cultures and religions. A good story, I listened to it as an Audio Book and the female narrator did a really good job.
This tale was a first listen to see if I would like the series. I think the writing is good, but would have to read it as a written piece. The audio book was a bit long, but it was very good from a plot and narration view point. There was a depth of detail and cultural back story which made the story enjoyable, and with the slight twists on characters...like "the Merlin" and "the Lady".
The story is a lot closer to reality than most I have read.... definitly not a "Disneyfied" version of the story. The island of England at a cross roads and the influance of the women who mored it forward to what we know today.
A completely different take on an old story. So well done that it actually seems plausible. Told from the woman's point of view. Unfortunately, I agree with an earlier reviewer who points out that it was originally sold as one book (which I own in hardcopy but haven't read in a VERY long time
I expected Davina Porter's narration to equal the exceptional quality she brings to Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series, but she is rather anemic here. There seems little dramatic input, and she does not differentiate characters by accent very much. But even so, she does a competent job.
The story -- the Arthurian legend, told from the viewpoint of Morgan le Fay -- is a great one, and Bradley fleshes out the mythical world wonderfully. Great stuff! [Just a bit sorry it is in 4 installments, instead of 2 longer ones]
I listened to this book as I rode my motorcycle cross country. The people & places came to life around me as the mile rolled along each day. I lost myself in the twists & turns as new themes arise. This book is what fantasy is susposed to be. I am looking forward to her other books.
This is a good book and a good series as well. When I first started listening, I was a little bored with it, but it got better as I got more into it. It ends so well that you will want to hear the second third and fourth book, and they just get better. I love tales of the mid evil ages and this one makes the characters come to life in my head. I love Davina Porter's voice and she does not dissapoint in this series, as she did not dissapoint in the Outlander series. If you like stories of castles and ladies in court check this one out.
I was first introduced to this book very soon after it was initially released in hardcover. I had had very little interest in it when I heard it was "just" the King Arthur story. My friend convinced me to give it a chance, given that it was not only written from the perspective of the women in the saga, but that it would also resonate with me, given that it also explored spiritual perspectives that I share. I agreed to give it a go, and my friend actually read it aloud to me. (Yes, the entire book over the course of a couple of weeks!) It was the first book I ever experienced first in a purely audio/vocal way. It was fascinating. It became a great love. I've read the print edition once a year (during the Beltaine season...) for the past 20 years. I took to this saga as many others have The Lord of the Rings.
I joined Audible when I found out that this book was (finally) released in an unabridged format. Like other reviewers, I was disappointed that it was broken into four separate "books," but I was, still, just thrilled to have the opportunity to "have it read to me" again.
I have given this book 5 stars - and by doing so, include the "other three" audiobooks which make up this one actual book. Ms. Porter as the narrator does adequate and sometimes very good work here, though her pacing is somewhat flat. She is subtle, gentle, and at times very effective.
By way of contrast, Rosalyn Landor (the narrator of Marion Zimmer Bradley's "The Forest House" and "Lady of Avalon") would have been much more effective as the reader of this book. As I've written in other reviews, I have absolutely loved Ms. Landor's reading of the Avalon books; whereas Lorna Raver (the narrator of "Sword of Avalon" and "Ravens of Avalon") is the least effective of the three narrators in the Avalon series. Ms. Raver's precise-ness, forced diction, and American (as opposed to English) accent, is sometimes very difficult to listen to in this context.
I love The Mists of Avalon. Ive loaned it out and purchased it after those loans three times :-) As a listen, though, its very dry. The narrator isnt bad necessarily - I just dont feel the tension and pacing that are there when I read it. So, I give the book 5 stars, the audio 3 and split the difference at 4.
This is a long series of books, and while I did enjoy Davina Porter's interpretation, the book itself did not hold my interest. It was like homework I had to do before I could listen to something I really wanted to "read." I needed more action, more passion, and a reason to get the next book. I didn't find it. Was it Davina Porter? Was it MZB? Did the book not age well? Who knows. It just didn't work.
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