The Mists of Avalon: Book Beginnings and Friday 56

Can you believe it’s Friday already?  Where has the week gone?!

Book Beginnings on Fridays

Book Beginnings on Fridays is a meme hosted at Rose City Reader where you share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. Please remember to include the title of the book and the author’s name.

The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley

I read this book years ago.  And then I read it again.  And again.  I was totally hooked on the legend of King Arthur.

The Mists of Avalon is told from the perspective of the women behind the power.  Arthur’s half-sister Morgaine has always been portrayed as evil and manipulative for her own ends.  Here she is the victim of the manipulation of others.

The Mists of Avalon tells a magical story of the rise and fall of King Arthur and the people behind him.

From the Prologue:

Morgaine speaks…

In my time I have been called many things: sister, lover, priestess, wise-woman, queen.  Now, in truth I have come to be wise-woman, and a time may come when thee things may need to be known.  But in sober truth, I think it is the Christians who will tell the last tale.  For ever the world of Fairy drifts further from the world in which Christ holds sway.  I have no quarrel with the Christ, only with his priests, who call the Great Goddess a demon and deny that she ever held power in this world.

The Friday 56

The Friday 56 is a meme hosted at Freda’s voice.

*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader
(If you have to improvise, that’s ok.)
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it)
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post below in Linky. Add the post url, not your blog url.
*It’s that simple.

Here’s a blurb from page 54.

If she went on tossing about like this, Igraine thought, Gorlois would wake. If she wept, he would wish to know why.  And what could she tell him? Silently Igraine slid from the bed, wrapped her long cloak about her naked body, and went to sit by the remnants of the dying fire. Why, she wondered, staring into the flames, should the Merlin of Britain, Druid priest, advisor of kings, Messenger of the Gods, meddle this way in the affairs of a young woman’s life? For that matter, what was a Druid priest doing as king’s councillor at a court supposedly Christian?

If I think the Merlin is so wise, why am I not willing to do his will?

I wanted to blog about this book as a lead-in to my upcoming review on King Arthur Legend of the Sword movie.

What about you? Are you a fan of King Arthur?  How about historical fiction?

39 Replies to “The Mists of Avalon: Book Beginnings and Friday 56”

  1. i remember reading a book by marion zimmer-bradley {witch hill} and was enchanted by her vision of women. that’s when i realize i have a witch inside me {we all have}, and started trying to make it come out.


  2. I do love reading books that focus on women and this one sounds really interesting. The legend of King Arthur is something that does intrigue me, and while I don’t read a lot of historical fiction, I could definitely see myself enjoying this one. Thanks for sharing it. 🙂


  3. I love, love this book! It’s one of my favorites! 🙂 Then again, I love Arthur and the Camelot myth and have since I first read The Once and Future King when I was 12! When I teach my British lit class every semester, I so look forward to their reading Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and excerpts of Sir Thomas Malory’s Le Morte d’Arthur. So many of them only know the Arthur stiry from movies and TV that it is a delight to take them all the way back to the 15th century!


      1. Oh, my goodness yes! I could completely fan girl about Arthur, Lancelot, and Guinevere! I’m dying to see the new movie, and I’m not a movie person unless it is just out of this world! When I visited England, I did the tourist excursion to visit Glastonbury Abbey where Arthur’s body was supposedly found and buried depending on what legend you read, and then Tor where the Isle of Avalon was supposed to have been..I completely embarrassed my mom! HAHAHA! It was amazing!


      2. Oh. My. God. I was Glastonbury 2 years ago and LOVED it!!! We will have to share stories about this! There was such an amazing energy there, I could have stayed there forever ❤


      3. Wasn’t it fabulous! I kept saying I felt as if electric charges were sparking all around me…kind of like you feel before and during a thunderstorm, but my mom thought I was crazy. I really did feel like I’d stepped into an area where the dimensions changed, if that’s even possible! Like I could have passed my hand through an invisible wall and been in another world, lol! I was 18 at the time and fanciful, so I’m attributing my feelings to that!! I’m really not crazy I think I was hoping it was possible anyway!


      4. There are no words! I felt that amazing energy, too! We climbed the Tor several times when we were there and I loved walking High St. It was magical. A place like no other.

        We stayed 5 days and returned to London before heading home. It might have been the trip that wore us out but our energy levels plummeted when we left Glastonbury. My boys kept saying they want to go back. They still say the best part of their trip was Glastonbury! We had 5 incredible days in London before even going to Somerset but they loved it!


      5. Yes! I’m so glad that I am not the only one who felt it, lol! I definitely want to visit again one day and bring my husband. I think he would enjoy it as well and feel the energy too! There were places in Ireland that I felt that same energy, so I completely believe that there is something magical about certain places!


      6. I want to go back, too…that is part of my retirement plan! I’ve never been to Ireland, though I can totally see it having its own energy. I’d love to go there someday! Yep, some places are just magical. Sounds like a good blog post!


      7. That does sound like a blog post, lol! I can’t imagine Ireland not having a bit of magic or Scotland either! That would just ruin all the folklore if it didn’t 🙂 I hope you get to go back, and I hope I do too, lol!


  4. Hi Jo-Ann,

    Thank you so much for deciding to stop by Fiction Books this week. I always enjoy ‘meeting’ new people, love to receive comments and discuss all things bookish and beyond!

    This probably isn’t a series for me, although that doesn’t stop me from enjoying the excerpts you shared.

    I live in the south of the UK, in the County of Somerset, close to the town of Glastonbury, which claims some rather tenuous links to King Arthur, so this is a subject I already know a little about …

    I guess that you must have enjoyed this one given its re-read status, have you also read any of the other books in the series?

    I have searched for you on Goodreads without success, it would be great to become friends (if you want to of course) my profile is set as Yvonne (Fiction Books)

    I hope that you are enjoying your weekend so far 🙂



    1. Hi Yvonne! Wonderful to meet you! How lucky you are to call Somerset your home! My husband and I took our two sons (18 and 11 at the time) to London for 5 days followed by 5 days in Glastonbury. That was 2 years ago, and they STILL to this day take about how much they love and miss Glastonbury! I wanted to go there because of the connection with Mists, but it was also a central point for visiting Bath, Stonehenge, Avebury and of course the Dr Who museum in Cardiff!
      I’ve read one other book in the series and started another but got distracted. I will pick it up again eventually.
      I’m heading over to Goodreads now to find you. My Goodreads should be in the sidebar, I will double check and make sure it links up properly.
      Having a great weekend here with some gorgeous spring weather 🙂 I hope you are having a wonderful weekend also!


  5. Hi Jo-Anne,

    Thanks for visiting my blog. You know, this is a real blast from the past for me, I’ve not read MZB in ages. Now I want to!

    By the way, I’m hungry now. What a tasty blog header! lol

    Have a good week, and speak again soon!



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