Journey to a time before King Arthur in this prequel to The Mists of Avalon—a spellbinding story of three remarkable women who alter the fortunes of Roman Britain as they fight to reclaim the magic and traditions of a once glorious past.
Caillean, the young priestess fated to become Lady of Avalon, who rescues and raises the orphaned Gawen—heir to a mystic and dangerous royal line...Dierna, who must use all her strength, wisdom, and love to guide Avalon through treacherous political waters and veil the island from a hostile world...Viviane, Lady of the Lake and keeper of the Grail, destined for true greatness as she prepares Avalon for the coming of a legendary king...
Bestselling author Marion Zimmer Bradley brings the mesmerizing world of myth and magic, romance and history, brilliantly to life in this novel of epic grandeur worthy of fantasy’s finest storyteller.
Bradley's The Mists of Avalon (1983) remains one of the best loved--and bestselling--reworkings of the Arthurian cycle. Now Bradley has written a splendid prequel (which she also links to her novel The Forest House), in which she traces the High Priestess of Avalon and the sacrificial Sacred King through three cycles of reincarnation and mythic destiny. In the first century of Christianity, Lady Caillean raises her orphaned grandson, Gawen (whose mother was killed in The Forest House). Initiated as the Pendragon and Sacred King, Gawen dies, but has fathered a child by Sianna, a daughter of the Fairy Queen. After his death, Lady Callean transports Avalon to a separate magical reality. Sianna's descendants continue to shape the history of Britannia, however. Lady Dierna marries her daughter Taleri to Carausius, who becomes Emperor of Britannia and dies defending the land. A later descendant, Lady Ana, calls back to Avalon her daughter Viviane, who is united with Vortimer, her era's Defender of Britannia. But it is Lady Ana's child Igraine, whom Viviane raises, who will culiminate the bloodlines. A pillar of the fantasy field, Bradley here combines romance, rich historical detail, magical dazzlements, grand adventure and feminist sentiments into the kind of novel her fans have been yearning for. 150,000 first printing; $150,000 ad/promo.