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The Mists of Avalon Paperback – May 1, 1984

4.6 out of 5 stars 2,653 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Even readers who don't normally enjoy Arthurian legends will love this version, a retelling from the point of view of the women behind the throne. Morgaine (more commonly known as Morgan Le Fay) and Gwenhwyfar (a Welsh spelling of Guinevere) struggle for power, using Arthur as a way to score points and promote their respective worldviews. The Mists of Avalon's Camelot politics and intrigue take place at a time when Christianity is taking over the island-nation of Britain; Christianity vs. Faery, and God vs. Goddess are dominant themes.

Young and old alike will enjoy this magical Arthurian reinvention by science fiction and fantasy veteran Marion Zimmer Bradley. --Bonnie Bouman

Review

"[A] monumental reimagining of the Arthurian legends . . . Reading it is a deeply moving and at times uncanny experience. . . . An impressive achievement."
--The New York Times Book Review

"Marion Zimmer Bradley has brilliantly and innovatively turned the myth inside out. . . . add[ing] a whole new dimension to our mythic history."
--San Francisco Chronicle

"Gripping . . . Superbly realized . . . A worthy addition to almost a thousand years of Arthurian tradition."
--The Cleveland Plain Dealer

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ 0345350499
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Ballantine Books; 1st edition (May 1, 1984)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 876 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 9780345350497
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0345350497
  • Reading age ‏ : ‎ 14 - 18 years
  • Lexile measure ‏ : ‎ 1030L
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 2.05 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6.07 x 1.57 x 9.18 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 2,653 ratings

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Marion 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, 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.

In addition to her novels, Mrs. Bradley edited many 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 for DAW Books.

Over the years she turned more to fantasy; THE HOUSE BETWEEN THE WORLDS was "fantasy undiluted." She wrote a best-selling novel of the women in the Arthurian legends--Morgan Le Fay, the Lady of the Lake, and others--entitled MISTS OF AVALON, and she also wrote THE FIREBRAND, a novel about the women of the Trojan War. Her historical fantasy novels, THE FOREST HOUSE and LADY OF AVALON are prequels to MISTS OF AVALON.

She died in Berkeley, California on September 25, 1999, four days after suffering a major heart attack. She was survived by her brother, Leslie Zimmer; her sons, David Bradley and Mark Greyland; her daughter, Moira Greyland; and her grandchildren.

Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5
2,653 global ratings
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Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on May 19, 2019
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Reviewed in the United States on May 15, 2017
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Reviewed in the United States on September 26, 2018
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Reviewed in the United States on October 27, 2015
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Top reviews from other countries

Rachel Stubbs
4.0 out of 5 stars Dreamy, deviant, dangerous - and also odd
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 4, 2019
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6 people found this helpful
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Scott C
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favourite books. (After re-reading after 35 years it’s my favourite book now)
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 27, 2020
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Kindle Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Mind-blowing read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 29, 2018
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Karen Sanders
1.0 out of 5 stars Story is great,but AVOID buying this version as unreadable due to poor paper and teeny print!! Penguin should be ashamed!!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 15, 2017
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Jo M
4.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 27, 2017
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