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The Forest House (Avalon, Book 2) Mass Market Paperback – June 5, 2007


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 462 pages
  • Publisher: Roc; Reprint edition (June 5, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451461533
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451461537
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.2 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.3 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (137 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #119,937 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

YA-The setting of this historical/fantasy novel is Roman Briton. Eilan, a Druid girl who has been raised in the cult of the Goddess with the priestesses wielding the power, has fallen in love with a young Roman named Gaius. He is a half-Briton whose mother was of the Druid tribes and whose father is a powerful officer in the Roman legions. The clash between these two cultures and the eventual hope of unification through Eilan and Gaius's son is one of the book's many story lines. Bradley does a masterful job of creating the flavor of the period and the two diverse cultures, as well as strong female characters. With its elements of love story, intense emotions, and mysticism, Forest House will appeal to YAs.
Susan B. McFaden, Fairfax County Public Library, VA
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

The forbidden love of a druid priestess and a Roman soldier mirrors the clash of cultures in Roman Britain in the latest novel by the author of The Mists of Avalon (Ballantine, 1985). The novel evokes an age when three major religions maintained an uneasy coexistence on the island of Britain. Eilan, a daughter of goddess-worshiping druids, and Gaius Marcellius, a half-British Roman, live for the coming of a legendary future king to unite the warring islanders. Bradley envisions the "old religion" as a refreshing blend of classic and revisionist concepts, adding a distinct flavor to her seamless weave of history and myth. Most libraries will want this for their fantasy collections. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 12/93.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Marion Eleanor Zimmer was born in Albany, NY, on June 3, 1930, and married Robert Alden Bradley in 1949. Mrs. Bradley received her B.A. in 1964 from Hardin Simmons University in Abilene, Texas, then did graduate work at the University of California, Berkeley, from 1965-67.

She was a science fiction/fantasy fan from her middle teens. She had written as long as she could remember, but wrote only for school magazines and fanzines until 1952, when she sold her first professional short story to VORTEX SCIENCE FICTION. She wrote everything from science fiction to Gothics, but is probably best known for her Darkover novels and for her Arthurian novel, THE MISTS OF AVALON.

In addition to her novels, Mrs. Bradley edited magazines, amateur and professional, including Marion Zimmer Bradley's FANTASY Magazine, which she started in 1988. She also edited an annual anthology called SWORD AND SORCERESS, which is still published annually under the title MARION ZIMMER BRADLEY'S SWORD AND SORCERESS.

She died in Berkeley, California on September 25, 1999, four days after suffering a major heart attack.

Customer Reviews

The end came at you rather too quickly and I think it could have been better explained.
Juniper MoonFlower
It's the tragic and Heartwrenching story of a roman soldier who falls in love with a Celtic girl dedicated to serving the goddess as a priestess.
Amazon Customer
I just want one book where they weren't all shown as heathen sacrificers and the Christians show them how to be civilized, "good people".
D. Wright

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

58 of 59 people found the following review helpful By Jana L. Perskie HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 22, 2004
Format: Paperback
Marion Zimmer Bradley's "The Forest House" is a prequel to her bestselling Arthurian novel, "The Mists of Avalon." Both novels revolve around the goddess religion in early Britain. "The Forest House," set in 1st century Roman ruled Britannia, is the home of Druidic priestesses who keep the ancient rites of learning, healing, and magic lore. Ms. Bradley writes of the Roman conquest of Celtic Britain and the political and religious implications of the occupation. Roman rule also impacted the role of women in Britain. Goddess worship, women's freedom and power waned under the Romans. This novel gives the author's historical version of Avalon and the Lady of the Lake.
Eilan, the daughter of a Druidic warrior and granddaughter of Ardanos, Arch-Druid of Britannia, is gifted with the "sight" and has longed to serve the Goddess as a healer-priestess in the Forest House. She meets and falls in love with Gauis, a half Roman-half British youth, and son of the Roman Prefect Macellius Severus, second-in-command in Britainnia. They want to marry but are forbidden. Heartbroken, Eilan fulfills her original wish and dedicates herself to the Lady. Ms. Bradley blends a fascinating story with accurate research to give the reader a good picture of early Britain and the various political, cultural and religious factions, both local and Roman, which vied for power there.
Bradley's narrative is clear and her plot is believable, as are her characters. I prefer "The Mists of Avalon," not just because of the subject matter, but because the plot and characters are more complex. However, this is a solid novel with a sound plot and worth the read.
JANA
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By "mcknightc" on March 15, 2000
Format: Paperback
I read the series backwards, and all three books were equally wonderfull. The Mists of Avalon I actually think is the best one, but the Forest House is the first in the series and is positively beautifull. I wish I would have started out in the right direction. This book practicly glues you to the story in the first chapter and keeps you there till the end. You endur the trials and feel the strength of the characters as if you were really there. Bradley works her magic bringing you into a realistic story that spins you into a world full of magic, action and romance. This is a can't miss book.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Jeanne Tassotto VINE VOICE on July 15, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
this prequel is still excellent.
The story is set in the days of Roman occupation of Britain. Gaius, a young Roman officer and son of the local Roman commandant with his British wife has met and fallen in love with Eilan, the daughter of a powerful Druid family. Neither family approves of the match and forces the two apart. For the rest of their lives they met again and again only to be torn apart. Ultimately their unfulfilled love sets the stage for the events in MISTS OF AVALON.
The story is again told, at least in part, from a feminine point of view. As in MISTS there is a greek tragedy feel of unescapable doom. The characters are engaging and 'feel real', the plot is compeling making this a book that is hard to put down. It does not quite live up to MISTS due at least in part, to its more simplistic story line. Unlike MISTS' numerous story lines THE FOREST HOUSE focuses on Eilan and Gaius with Caillean, a priestess of the Forest House filling in gaps. This prequel is also significantly shorter. Still for any fan of MISTS OF AVALON this is a must read and would be enjoyable on its own as well.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 23, 1999
Format: Paperback
"The Forest House" (or "The Forests of Avalon") is a good book, no doubt - but it is not as good as "The Mists Of Avalon", by any means. The book is too long compaired to the content of the story, but it is written very well - if not as good as "The Mists...". The characters are very well described, but not always totally realistic. The force of the book is the historical facts about the Roman occupation, and it gives a new perspective to "The Mists..." because the celtic religion is described. Also, a lot of information about the religious background of the characters in "The Mists..." is given. Should be read if you liked "The Mists...". (P.S. I'm sory that my english isn't perfect.)
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 2, 1999
Format: Paperback
Bradely has out done herself with this book. The characters were so alive, all of them. When they went through their hard times I felt like I was right there with them. I cheered on Eilan and booed Ardanos. And in the end I felt the pain they went through. This whole series has been so spell binding that's it's uncanny. To think that a mere mortal or human wrote this series, is simply unfathomable. I feel they have given me inspiration and happiness among many other feelings. Marion Zimmer Bradley has made me laugh, cry, love, and hurt with her series of books, and I can only pray that there's more where this has come from. The woman behind these books should be more recognized. I hope there is a day when the name Marion Zimmer Bradley is a name that is known in every family. I would also recomend this book to anyone who likes to read Arthurian Legend. And for these people I have one more piece of advice. I read this series out of order. I would suggest that you read Forest House first. Then Lady of Avalon, then Mists. I praise Bradley for the hundreds of pages of joy and amazment she has given me. Thank you very much.
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