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Dark Moon of Avalon: A Novel of Trystan & Isolde (Twilight of Avalon Trilogy) Paperback – September 14, 2010

4.2 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews
Book 2 of 4 in the Twilight of Avalon Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The second installment of Elliot's Twilight of Avalon trilogy returns to the tale of former Queen Isolde and her devoted champion, Trystan. Now that Britain is in danger of falling to treacherous Lord Marche and his ruthless Saxon allies, Isolde knows that her only chance to save the kingdom is a desperate alliance with Saxon king Cerdic, whose willingness is uncertain. Trystan escorts Isolde on her quest to find Cerdic and, in the process, she learns more than she'd like about their time apart, during which he endured everything from slavery to torture; their greatest challenge, however, will be to trust their love. Elliot brings the Arthurian world to rich life, creating a Britain both familiar and distinctly alien to fans of medieval romances. Though Tristan and Isolde's romantic hedging, an obvious play to prolong the sexual tension, can frustrate, fans of the first book should be satisfied with this intermediary episode. (May)
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Review

“Passion, conflict, danger and magic combine for an irresistible love story which will keep you turning the pages!” –Michelle Moran, Author of Nefertiti and Cleopatra’s Daughter
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Product Details

  • Series: Twilight of Avalon Trilogy
  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone (September 14, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416589902
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416589907
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,254,687 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Jennifer Rothwell VINE VOICE on August 8, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful novel that entertained from beginning to end. I very much enjoyed the first installment in this trilogy--"Twilight of Avalon"--and this second novel was even better. Ms Elliott's captivating descriptions of the wild, hostile landscapes of 6th century Britain are wonderful; almost as good as her complexly created characters.
Isolde herself is a strong and courageous woman who instantly inspires respect from the reader. Just as in the first book Isolde's past is still key to the inner battles that she faces, but throughout this novel we come to see her slowly start to take charge of her past, and use it to find the strength she needs to move forward.
Trystan on the other hand still seems all-consumed by his past, and it seems as though he is trying to cut out parts of his history from his memory (or rather trying to drink them away...)
Trystan is a very troubled character, and throughout the novel I found myself urging Isolde to declare her love for him, as I truly felt as though this knowledge would do wonders for his self-esteem.
When the final epiphany of their discovered mutual love does indeed occur it is a wonderful moment, skillfully and slowly brought together by Ms Elliot to create a very believable scene--not overly emotional or fantastical as many romance novels can be for my particular taste. Instead this is a love story that is grounded in truth, as let's be honest life isn't always that wonderful, especially when your war-torn country is under continuous attack from brutal Saxon War Lords.
In many ways Ms Elliot has made me feel as though Trystan and Isolde are perfect for each other, and are even better as individuals when they are together as a whole. However, I cannot help but wonder...Isolde has an obligation and dedication to her land that perhaps not even Trystan can cause her to sway from...
I cannot wait to read the final installment.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I liked this book better than the first one although it kind of got off to a slow start for me. The books are a different twist on the Arthur legend (they take place after Arthur's death) and different than the Tristan and Isolde legend I have read and that is in the movie (which is a favorite of mine and thus I pictured Trystan as James Franco throughout the books- nice). I rated the first book four stars but really had rounded it up from a 3.5 to a four. This one I will give a four to more willingly. I think the slow start was the lack of Trystan in the early part of the book after already reading an entire book waiting for something to develop between this legendary pair! I like Trystan a lot in this book, and Isolde is a good realistic character, but there are times I want to shake her. When life can be lost in an instant and danger is on all sides, it seems like it would be prudent to tell people what you know and what you feel because tomorrow may be too late. This is a tense book, not what I would call a relaxing read, but if you like the history and legend of 6th century Britain, it gives the reader a good taste of the times. The side characters came alive for me better in this book than in the previous one, friend and foe alike, as I found them a bit hazy in the first book. I always enjoy there being a dog or a cat in a novel, and Cabel, the war hound, was in both books. He had been the High King and Isolde's husband Con's dog and after his death in the previous book is now devoted to Isolde.

I put the third book of this trilogy on my TBR list and do hope to have some kind of "not tragic" ending for Trystan and Isolde. I know the usual ending of the legend, but so far legend has not played out in the traditional way.
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By A Customer on September 19, 2010
Format: Paperback
With the support of brutal Saxon warriors, perfidious Lord Marche sits on the throne of Britain. The usurped highly intelligent High Queen Isolde fears her kingdom is doomed unless she acts immediately, but needs strong allies as any other action would prove lethally rash.

High Queen Isolde still depends on her intrepid friend Trystan for protection from Marche's myriad of assassins. A healer she turns to the smaller kingdoms and the Saxon King Cerdic as an ally though Isolde has doubts he will unite with her as he may have already accepted the usurper as a done deal. With Trystan at her side, Isolde searches for the elusive monarch. On the treacherous trek, she learns of the ordeal her companion faced when they were separated. Isolde hopes they can one day pledge their lives without worrying who is creeping up behind them with a knife.

The second Trystan and Isolde Arthurian saga (see Twilight of Avalon) is an entertaining tale starring two fascinating lead characters whose love for one another is put on hold as they focus on lining up allies to save their people from an abusive false ruler. Enchanting as Anna Elliot builds from the original legend, fans will enjoy the medieval political intrigue although romance readers might want the heroic duet to end their personal sacrifices and instead expedite their love for one another. This is a wonderful compassionate thriller in which the protagonists dodge an abomination and his odious horde.

Harriet Klausner
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Format: Paperback
I reviewed this book for Romance Reader At Heart website.

RRAH's THOUGHTS AND PONDERINGS:

I advise all who read this version of the legendary lovers to throw everything they ever read about them out the window. This is much more than a romance; this has the feel of an epic tale and saga, filled with rich details of history and lore combined.

Isolde, accompanied by Trystan, is on a mission to persuade some of Britain's kingdoms to ally themselves with King Madoc in a fight against Lord Marche. Trystan and Isolde have grown up together, but now she is wife to Trystan's father, Lord Marche. Neither is willing to voice their true feelings for the other--Trystan, because of his deep feelings of guilt, and Isolde, from her own fear and self-reasoning. Their journey is fraught with danger, while both struggle to come to terms with their hidden desires. Their journey toward admitting and accepting the love they feel for each other is so poignant and real that the reader aches and rejoices as the story develops. And while some might think the pacing of this book is slow, I loved it and thoroughly enjoyed the initiation into a world filled with magic and danger; despair and sacrifice; passion and love.

I'm in awe of how real this book felt. The author has given so much care to every detail and aspect of it. Her characters were perfectly drawn then filled with colorful brush strokes, so that everything just jumps of the pages and magically draws the reader in. There is no escaping the pain that our hero and heroine feel at hiding their love and pain from each other, and there is no shortage of joy on the part of the reader when they finally confront their deep love for one another.
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