- Hardcover: 394 pages
- Publisher: Viking (2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0670910236
- ISBN-13: 978-0670910236
- Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.2 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 76 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,196,740 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Priestess of Avalon (Avalon, Book 4) Hardcover – May 7, 2001
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From Publishers Weekly
The Mists of Avalon (1982), a feminist goddess-oriented retelling of the legend of Arthur, won acclaim and a crowd of lifelong fans for Bradley, also author of the Darkover series. Now, after Bradley's death in 1999, this prequel coauthored by skilled fantasy writer and friend Diana L. Paxson (Hallowed Isle) completes her story of the women of mystical Avalon and their attempts to influence a world caught in the grip of unavoidable change. In A.D. 296, young British princess Helena goes to the Isle of Avalon to learn the path of the goddess. Helena grows in spirit and wisdom, awaiting the day when her initiation prophecy will become real and she'll meet the man of her dreams. He turns out to be Flavius Constantius Chlorus, fated to become the Roman emperor. Her aunt, High Priestess Ganeda, aims to wed a more biddable girl to the Roman power structure, but when Constantius chooses Helena, Ganeda exiles her from Avalon. Helena gives birth to Constantius's son, Constantine, and counsels her lover through the intrigues of a vast and dangerously unbalanced empire. Separated by civil demands from her family, Helena seeks the answers her troubled soul demands during a pilgrimage through the Holy Lands. The message that all religions call on the same higher power should go over well with fans of Mists. Paxson's own skill at bringing historical characters and places to vivid life enriches Helena's story. This final book in the Bradley canon is sure to please her devotees and win her more. (May 7)Forecast: This title will get an extra boost from The Mists of Avalon miniseries starring Anjelica Huston, Joan Allen and Juliana Margulies, due soon to run on TNT.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
Though destined to achieve distinction as the pious mother of Constantine, the young woman once called Eilen or Helena first served as a priestess of the old deities on her native island of Briton. Returning to the alternate version of Arthurian legend created in her best-selling Mists of Avalon, Bradley creates a powerful tale of magic and faith that enlarges upon pagan and Christian traditions to express a deeper truth. Though Bradley died before she finished the novel, veteran fantasy author Paxson brings to completion this last work of a master of the genre. For most fantasy collections.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top customer reviews
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The book is carried out in the same style as the other Avalon books, although I can detect a bit of Paxton's writing as well. All in all, it's not a bad book, if you take it from the view that it doesn't center around Avalon, but on a priestess who makes a life for herself after losing the blessing of Avalon. If you're looking for another novel about Avalon, King Arthur, or the Forest House, you're out of luck. In fact, the book fits into the time line around the time of the high priestess Dierna and Teleri's marriage to a man not of Avalon in Lady of Avalon.
I wouldn't recommend this book to people who aren't familiar with at least Mists of Avalon, unless they have plans to read it. It's not the same type of book as Mists, it's more like The Forest House, which struck me as a totally different kind of book than mists, a historical romance instead of a retelling of a legend. All in all though it's not a bad book, and if you've read the other three books, you should probably read this one as well.
The placement of this book is rather tricky in "The Mists of Avalon" series. I tried very much to figure out whether I should be reading this book before "Lady of Avalon", after, or before "The Forest House." I found that it actually falls in between the first and second sections of "Lady of Avalon." The whole series starts with "The Fall of Atlantis," then continued in "Ancestors of Avalon," a break of time then, but the following novel is "The Forest House" which is immediately followed by the first part of "Lady of Avalon." The story in "Priestess of Avalon" starts the story that is continued in the second part of "Lady of Avalon" which actually follows Dierna's story once she becomes a priestess. I hope that helps others figure out the order if they are trying for a chronology as I was.