Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Book Review: TWILIGHT OF AVALON by Anna Elliott

A must read of Arthurian legend. You know it is a really good book when you read 300+ pages in one day. I love the beautiful cover and the fast paced trail of deceit that legendary Isolde found herself running down at break neck speed.

Isolde, brave and mystical also possessed that intangible gift of courage that many other people are drawn to. Like moths on a lamp it seemed almost everyone could not help but be drawn into her but many found out if you get too close you might get burned. Isolde was alone in this life everyone she ever knew or cared about was dead. Isolde was the granddaughter of Morgan, friend of Myrddin, daughter of Gwynefar, and so many others who were lost to her. The pain still continued and was started anew with the loss of her husband Constantine. When her husband Con died it started a domino effect in the Kings council. Now that Constantine the high king was gone it was now time for the council to vote for a new high king. Refusing to remember the past Isolde buried it deep inside her with the gift of sight that her grandmother Morgan her was the gift that came from the ancient ones. They never really left her and when the wind shifted she could her them, Morgan, Arthur, Gwynefar and Myrddin.

Some considered her a witch because even though her grandmother had been gone for some time it does not mean that the past had not been forgotten. People knew Isolde had been raised by Morgan and that her grandmother had taught her everything she knew of the old ways. It was how she became a healer, Morgan made sure that she was taught the many secrets of using the earth’s natural remedies for treatment. She made sure to put it to good use and since Brittan was constantly at war with the Saxons it was a calling of Isolde to heal the sick and wounded the best she could. They still called her a witch even while she cleaned and dressed the men’s battle wounds. The king’s council that consisted of all the kings of the surrounding areas ran into so major problems when the vile Lord Marche King of Cornwall started traitorously climbing his way over other to win exalted position of high king where Con once had sat. He forced Isolde into marriage by blackmailing her and after less than one day with him she had no other choice but to run while she still could.

On the run Isolde had no one to turn to for help, no one she could trust and it seemed like everyone close to her was slowly being eliminated. During her first night alone in the woods she was startled to awake to her hands tied with a man and a child saying they needed a “healer”. The curious pair of outlaws led her eventually to who really needed her help. Coincidence as it was it was one of the escaped Saxon prisoners she had treated at the castle before she ran. I think it was fate that Isolde was brought to him because Arthurian legends are anything but simple and nothing ever went as planned. As fate would have it the Saxon escapee Trystan became her only hope of survival.

5/5+ A magically delightful adventure that is a jewel of Arthurian legends that any historical fiction lover would die for. I really loved this one; Isoldes memories were mesmerizing and all so real at the same time. This is one of those books that if you do not know the legend than you are easily brought up to speed. I knew hardly anything but the basics of King Arthur and really I was not lost in this story. I am really looking forward to the next one “Dark Moon of Avalon” because Anna Elliott based it off of the earliest version of the Arthurian legend recounted by Geoffrey of Monmouth. The third book in the series will be releasing some time in 2012 and will be titled "Sunrise of Avalon". A highly recommended good read a must for historical fiction lovers.

FTC- Sent to me by publisher
R-Rating for Blood and gore

Twilight of Avalon: A Novel of Trystan & Isolde (Twilight of Avalon Trilogy)Dark Moon of Avalon
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  1. Great review Lizzy! I am so excited to begin this series. This time period is pretty new to me, but one I have always wanted to get lost in... it sound like this is a great place to start!

  2. Svea, you are right this is the perfect place to start and I was in the same boat. There is so much out there on this period that it is hard to find the right place to start.

  3. Thanks for this review Lizzy - I have been ignoring this book for awhile (I don't know why) but it sounds fascinating now that I have just gotten interested in the King Arthur legend.

  4. Dolleygurl, I did the same thing until I got the review offer. I am glad I finally did read it. It is like how could I have waited so long because I loved it. I just finished the second one and LOVED that one too. I can not wait for the last one.

  5. I had trouble with the secodn one, but it may have been my state of mind at the time I was reading it. I LOVED TOA! The set-up, the characters, I wished I had gotten to know Con better even. I will still read the third when it comes out becuase Elliott's writing is beautiful regardless of whether you like the story or not. Her descriptions are poweful.

  6. I agree Jenny Girl, her writing is beautifully eloquent with the harsh realities of the times. I have to admit the second one was not my favorite either but it does have a good ending and like you I am really looking forward to the last book in the series. My review for Dark Moon will be up shortly and you can see what my issue was with the second one. Oh and YES I wish that there would have been more on Con also but I think that could have taken a whole book on its own to cover. It would have been a good read though.


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