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The Mists of Avalon | [Marion Zimmer Bradley]

The Mists of Avalon

A posthumous recipient of the World Fantasy Award for Lifetime Achievement, Marion Zimmer Bradley reinvented - and rejuvenated - the King Arthur mythos with her extraordinary Mists of Avalon series. In this epic work, Bradley follows the arc of the timeless tale from the perspective of its previously marginalized female characters: Celtic priestess Morgaine, Gwenhwyfar, and High Priestess Viviane.
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Publisher's Summary

A posthumous recipient of the World Fantasy Award for Lifetime Achievement, Marion Zimmer Bradley reinvented - and rejuvenated - the King Arthur mythos with her extraordinary Mists of Avalon series. In this epic work, Bradley follows the arc of the timeless tale from the perspective of its previously marginalized female characters: Celtic priestess Morgaine, Gwenhwyfar, and High Priestess Viviane.

©1982 Marion Zimmer Bradley (P)1993 Recorded Books

What the Critics Say

“[A] monumental reimagining of the Arthurian legends...” (The New York Times Book Review)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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  •  
    Carolina REDDING, CT, United States 07-13-12
    Carolina REDDING, CT, United States 07-13-12 Member Since 2015
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    "Davina Porter brings an old favorite back to life!"

    I first read this book more than a quarter century ago as a college student. I had very fond memories of it, but hadn't reread it until I found it on Audible last month. Not only that, it was narrated by Davina Porter, who has become my favorite narrator through her reading of Diana Gabaldon's "Outlander" series.

    I find Marion Zimmer Bradley's characters to be very real, and their interactions genuine. I love the general sweep of the story, and the elegance of the prose. And Porter's narration brings that depth of character development and storytelling to a new intensity.

    One thing, if you are looking at the four-part "series" of this book, note that "The Mists Of Avalon" is the collection of the other four (Mistress Of Magic, The High Queen, The King Stag, and The Prisoner In The Oak). The full book costs one credit, and the parts also cost one credit. Save yourself three credits and buy the complete version at once.

    100 of 102 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeanette Manhattan Beach, CA, United States 10-15-12
    Jeanette Manhattan Beach, CA, United States 10-15-12 Member Since 2010
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    "Don't want it to end..."

    I am in love with anything Davina Porter narrates, but in the Mists of Avalon, I am also re-captivated by the story of Camelot as told through the eyes of the key women. It is refreshing and thought-provoking in ways I would not have expected; an aspect that only adds to my enjoyment!

    19 of 20 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Leila 08-26-13
    Leila 08-26-13
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    "The Mists of Avalon Unabridged includes all 4 bks"
    What did you love best about The Mists of Avalon?

    I absolutely loved Davina Porter's reading of this series. I was pleasantly surprised to find that when I purchased the Unabridged version of "The Mists of Avalon," I had purchased all four books of the series using just 1 credit. Other reviewers had not commented on this, so I thought I would share and suggest that you do the same as the rest of the books are interesting. The story comes to life in this reading and it is well-researched. Zimmer Bradley conducts a fantastic feminist reading of the Arthurian legends.The production is equally fantastic- featuring Davina Porter who is one of the best audiobook readers.


    What other book might you compare The Mists of Avalon to and why?

    If you are interested in Porter's reading of this, you might also enjoy her reading of the Outlander Series (though a completely different type of historically-based drama).


    Which character – as performed by Davina Porter – was your favorite?

    She particularly excels in her Scottish accents.


    18 of 19 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Toni 03-04-13
    Toni 03-04-13
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    "A picturesque take on the King Arthur Tales"

    Davina Porter takes you through the days of Arthur and his court with her usual talent and emotion. I love a long story and Ms. Porter never gets boring with her characterizations.Marion Zimmer Bradley is a wonderful weaver of tales. If you like this genre - it is a Great Choice. These women can take you out of this world and into theirs like magic. Take your time and enjoy the " The Mists of Avalon."

    17 of 18 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 09-25-12

    I love switching back and forth between reading and listening.

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    "As great as I remembered..."
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Mists of Avalon to be better than the print version?

    Well performed and as immersive as the book I read in college.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The old ways, magic, and the lore are endearing....bringing each of the characters to life. You will feel for each of the women as they make their own destinies.


    Any additional comments?

    I laughed and cried all the way through as when oread it, but s somehow returning to it after all these years reminded me why it's valuable to re-read and re-listen to great books. So much is richer when you bring decades of experience to it.

    This performance is like scene great show, but one which lasts 36 hours.... like great season of drama.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 02-18-13
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    "What a treat to listen to after reading it 3 times"
    Would you listen to The Mists of Avalon again? Why?

    Yes, It is just a good story and Davina has a pleasant voice.


    Any additional comments?

    I've read this book three time over 25 years, I passed it on to family and friends after first read and it spread like wild fire.

    10 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joshua ASBURY, NJ, United States 10-07-12
    Joshua ASBURY, NJ, United States 10-07-12 Member Since 2011

    Choreographer. Director. Actor. Educator. And lover of audio books! They are theatre for the mind!

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    "It should be considered a classic!"

    Simply amazing! The storytelling of these books is so clever and fresh even though they were written 30 years ago. If you love stories that have been reworked and reimagined you will love this! The storytelling is epic. It should be considered a classic!

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mondez Durden Atlanta, GA, United States 04-20-13
    Mondez Durden Atlanta, GA, United States 04-20-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Simply Outstanding"
    What made the experience of listening to The Mists of Avalon the most enjoyable?

    The Narrator was absolutely amazing!


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Morgain. She comes off as a tragic character but is essential like any person trying to navigate great changes while trying to keep her faith alive.


    Have you listened to any of Davina Porter’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Never have but I adore her voice and the spirit inwhich she worked.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Yes. Oddly I did find myself becoming extremely sorrowful by an unsettling incident that happens in the book.


    Any additional comments?

    If you like fantasy formed by REAL concepts of faith and real magic then you'll love this. This showed magic closer to its real nature but still managed to show the awe of it and took no power away from it though it ceased to be played out like the ridiculous
    magic systems of Harry Potter or most fantasy books. Simply put: it comes off more real than most fantasies.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark oshkosh, WI, United States 08-14-12
    Mark oshkosh, WI, United States 08-14-12
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    "Good Read Even Better When It's Read By Davina"
    Where does The Mists of Avalon rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    One of the best. It's long, but what a great story and fun ride. Davina does a marvelous job.


    What other book might you compare The Mists of Avalon to and why?

    I'm not sure. I'll have the think about that.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Morgain with the Chalice. If you've read the book, you know it, if not, I won't spoil it.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    From maternal to paternal, the court of King Arthur as witnessed by his women.


    Any additional comments?

    If you have the time, this is a fantastic bargain - 50 hours of enchantment for one credit.

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joyalina California 07-16-12
    Joyalina California 07-16-12 Member Since 2015
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    "SO MUCH LOST POTENTIAL"

    I should start by saying I really, really wanted to love The Mists of Avalon. How could I not, when it had so much potential? A “feminist” retelling of Arthurian legend set in the late 5th to early 6th century, the peerless Davina Porter as narrator, and decades of praise from critics and readers alike; added to the fact this 50+ hour audiobook combines four separate books into one -- I didn’t think a credit could be better spent!

    Reluctantly, however, I find myself forced to admit that none of those things can make up for the fact that this book got lost in its own grandiosity. Ms. Bradley’s heavy-handed treatment of themes such as fate vs. free will felt like an emotional bludgeoning with her don’t-you-see-the-point-yet sledgehammer as we, the listener, are subjected to hour upon dragging hour of unrequited love, foolish pride, grating piety, and constant self-absorption from characters you want to like but can never really identify with. The protagonist, Morgaine, devolves into a rambling bore; her counterpart, Gwynhwyfar, is weak and irritating; and the plot twist revealed at the very end by the “villain” Morgause is given such short shrift I wondered if it was added-in as an editorial after-thought. And the men? Arthur is a one-dimensional “hero,” Lancelet is a sexually confused martyr, and Kevin is simply tragic. Strangely, I liked Mordred, although by the time he enters the story I was mostly over it.

    That said: Do I regret buying this audiobook? No. Would I listen to it again? Probably not. Would I recommend it to others? Possibly. Davina Porter is a wonderful narrator, the time and place are well-researched and extensively detailed, and the premise is still unique. However, the story lags and the characters are emotionally exhausting. If you are going to give this book a chance, I would recommend having something a little more light-hearted on hand so you can switch between the two books. [Think Tina Fey’s “Bossypants,” Mark Tufo’s “Zombie Fallout,” or Kresley Cole’s “Immortals After Dark” series.]

    8 of 11 people found this review helpful
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  • Pat Dobson
    Gloucester, Gloucestershire United Kingdom
    2/11/15
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    "The best version of the Arthurian legends"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    It will make you think about many topics and question your understanding.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The fact that's is such a long story yet the narrative keeps it interesting to the end.


    Any additional comments?

    This story is written from the point of view of the women of the legends, roles are reversed and deserved homage is given to the 'old' religion and it's tolerance of 'new' religions.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Teresa Cooper
    7/2/15
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    "The story of the Isles"

    Good book with fantastic narration. This thing about this era is it's an authors paradise as there is so little reliable sources and facts compared with another era such as the Tudors. The hard copy is tough going but I've found the audible version to be much more accessible. Not to everyone's taste but I would recommend it to others.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Debbie Mullen
    12/14/14
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    "Mists of avalon"
    What did you like best about The Mists of Avalon? What did you like least?

    What I liked best about this book was Davina Porter's narration.She is very good in bringing the characters to life and making each character unique. Male or female each character was accented and toned
    What I didn't like about the book was that it told the story from the women in Arthur life points of view. Also on Arthur getting the sword and the holy grail were vague.I would very much prefer it if the book w as told from Arthur s or even Merlin.When Arthur went out in battles or his knights on quest there were only mentions of It.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    The most interesting bits were when Arthur and his his knights were involved in the book.


    What about Davina Porter’s performance did you like?

    Davina Porters narration was excellent and could not be faulted in any way.


    Was The Mists of Avalon worth the listening time?

    I don't think this book was worth the listening time as he rambled on things that at times did not matter to the book .If it wasn't for the narration I think I would have given up listening to it.


    Any additional comments?

    If you would like to hear about the legendary King Arthur from another point of view .Then this is the book for you.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful

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