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Marion Zimmer Bradley's Sword of Avalon Hardcover – December 1, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Paxson, Marion Zimmer Bradley's long time coauthor, delivers a gripping Bronze Age tale in this seventh installment of the Avalon series. Long before the events of Bradley's epic Mists of Avalon, young Mikantor, destined to be a king, is kidnapped from Avalon and sold into slavery. Mikantor learns much of leadership after being bought by a blacksmith prince. Evil sorcerer Galid is determined to dominate the land in the rightful ruler's absence, but Anderle, the Lady of Avalon, holds him at bay. Anderle's daughter, Tirilan, loves Mikantor, but believing him lost, she accepts the power—and celibacy—of priestesshood. Paxson's eloquent, strongly visual writing enhances a familiar but compelling story line; fascinating historical detail enhances the tale throughout. Fans of the series will be well pleased with this volume. (Dec.)
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"Paxson is an excellent choice as successor to Bradley for this series. Her style and the details of the plot retain the sense of the mysterious past and the feminist awareness that was an underlying theme in the originals." <BR>-<I>Chronicle</I> --Chronicle
[Audio Review] Anyone familiar with Arthurian lore knows of the magical sword given to Arthur by the Lady of the Lake, but the origins of the sword itself have been a mystery until now. Paxon continues Marion Zimmer Bradley's beloved Arthurian saga in this sprawling epic that traces the provenance of the sword to the iron of a meteor and the gods themselves. It's a detailed plot and a long listen, but Lorna Raver reads with the immediacy and intimacy of a fireside storyteller. She creates believable characters, juggles the diverse cast, adds pulsing momentum all while staying ethereal enough to convey all the romance and magic of the legend. --Publisher's Weekly
[Audio Review] Diana Paxson continues the Avalon series with this prequel, set at the end of the Bronze Age. The Lady of Avalon rescues the baby Mikantor, the son of a hundred kings and subject of a prophecy that makes him a target of the evil sorcerer Galid. Some of Lorna Raver's male voices, particularly that of Galid, sound a bit strained, but they re effective portrayals and do not detract from the overall quality of the performance. The intensity of her narration rises and falls with the drama of the plot. Raver clearly reflects the reverence of those who consider the Lady of Avalon their holy priestess and the passionate contempt shown to the lady by Galid. J.E.M. © AudioFile 2010, Portland, Maine --AudioFile --This text refers to the Audible Audio Edition edition.
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Top customer reviews
It is better than Ancestors of Avalon and -much- better than Ravens of Avalon (that for all it's historical interest doesn't make a good reading, being worst than her first Avalon novel, Priestess of Avalon, that isn't that good either). It shows that Paxson has really found her way into the writing and I look forward to see how she'll keep the story from now on (if she does).
I cannot speak to the Celtic influences in this story, however I find many Asatru parallels: Ragnarok represented as the battle between Britons with Hope and those without Hope; the formation of a Warrior Band/Commitatus around a hereditary hero (Son of a Hundred Kings); a foreign-born smith who forges the Sword of Power; initiation of the Warrior-King.
As a hand-spinner, myself, I appreciated the appearance of the Three Queens with their spindles 'spinning glistening threads from the flowing streams of light that swirled across the land...'. However, it is the drafting motion of the spinner's fingers which pulls the fibers down, not the weight of the spindle as described in the story.
A problem I have with most of the 'Avalon' series is that I find it creepy to see Marion Zimmer Bradley's credits without also acknowledging that she passed in 1999. I suppose that is an issue for the editor or publisher more than the author. We are fortunate that she had collaborated closely with someone so that the stories could continue with some consistency.