Book Review: The Mists of Avalon

Book: The Mists of Avalon

Author: Marion Zimmer Bradley

Recommend: It was a great re-imagining of the author legend for most audiences…

Okay, does anyone remember when TNT (I think) made a movie based on this book? Well, at the time, I was a crazy busy college student and only caught bits and pieces of this three-hour long marathon film. However, what I saw, made me want to read it. At the time though, I had no time for heavy reading. So it ended up on my mental list of books I would eventually get to. Well, it’s been over 10 years. I’ve had it my hands multiple times but have just never gotten around to reading it until now.

Movie Cover

Take the legend of King Arthur and his knights. Flip it on its head and look at it through the eyes of Morgan la Fey. I would compare it to Wicked and the Wizard of Oz in that this tells the ‘villain’s’ story. This is the first time that I’ve read a decent excuse for Mordred.Ever. All of the characters have great depth and their motivations become very clear to the reader.

This is NOT a book for every audience. First, while it isn’t the central theme of the book and only put in for essential plot purposes, there is some mature sexual content. It was easy to deal with though. I think the bigger issue, to me, is the glorification of paganism that is prevalent through the book. While the author never directly attacks God or Christ, she does attack the intolerance of the church heavily. This would not be a good book for a Christian who is not solidly grounded in their faith or is easily swayed.

While it was a great read and an experience I’m glad I had, I don’t know that this one will be something I tackle again personally. Not a book for everyone but definitely a fabulous read.

Final Rating:

Get it new!

Buy it new 🙂

 

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5 Comments

Filed under 2012, historical fiction, mature themes and subject matter, Review, Summer book challenge

5 responses to “Book Review: The Mists of Avalon

  1. I have to issue with a couple of points in your review and for clarification, I have read this book several times.

    “I think the bigger issue, to me, is the glorification of paganism that is prevalent through the book. ” The Authurian legend is based on Celtic mythology, so how can it be a “glorification” of paganism if it based on a pagan tradition? It is not the “glorification”, it is just simply staying true to it’s Celtic roots and the fact many pagan traditions worship many gods but primarily the Goddess and her consort, which is the perspective we see in this novel.

    “While the author never directly attacks God or Christ, she does attack the intolerance of the church heavily.” Actually Marion Zimmer Bradley goes out of her way to be inclusive of the christian god, this is seen time and time again by ” All gods are one god” which Morgaine repeats often throughout the book. Also, the christian church has a long and sorted history of intolerance and violence. This is not an attack by the author, merely a play on historical fact.

    Finally, “This would not be a good book for a Christian who is not solidly grounded in their faith or is easily swayed.” why would this book be a problem for these people? Is not a good thing to be exposed to differing or opposing ideas, isn’t that how we expand our minds? Why must the “delicate” christian mind be protected? Are you afraid they might find another truth, another religion, or heaven forbid, abandon religion all together? That is a classic example of the christian intolerance I mentioned above.

    • While I enjoyed this book I see a flaw with the work. Instead of giving a balanced point of view, the author leaves out most of the negative, violent or intolerant portions of paganism. The author focuses on the negative portions of Christianity instead of giving a balanced view, instead of giving a balanced view that includes anything positive about Christians. For example, the author brushes off the violent parts of paganism or the Celtic belief system while never mentioning the good the church does like providing for the needy. The author only used the historical facts that suited her, instead of giving an unbiased view of both.

      The last statement is directed at the many Christian readers of my blog. I made it to help save young or new Christians from the confusion this book could cause. It doesn’t mean that they should never read it, it just means that they wouldn’t be ready for it yet. Some of the concepts in here sound good to the ear like ‘all gods are one god; but actually go against Biblical teaching. The warning is there so they are not confused by this idea when they are still figuring out what they believe. Many of the people who read my blog are mature Christians who mentor young Christians. I put this in there for their benefit.

      Some Christians would not recommend this book at all. I have read previous reviews of this book that warn Christians away. I think it has merit. However, it would not be fair to not mention the problematic material for those who are Christians. Remember that this is my personal opinion on this book. You are entitled to have your own.

      While I have no problem with the communication of opinion, I will remove any posts that I consider arguing or fighting.

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