AUTHOR/EDITOR: Diana L. Paxson INFO: Softcover, Historical Fantasy Fiction, 394 pages PUBLISHED: Roc Books, 2008 ISBN#: 978-0-451-43211-4 HOW’D I GET IT: Bought it
FROM THE COVER/PUBLISHER:
Discover the dawn of the mythical legend of Avalon in this long-awaited prequel to The Forest House – expanding Marion Zimmer Bradley’s legendary saga with the story of two remarkable women who defied one of the greatest empires the world has ever known….
“Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Ravens of Avalon follows the journey of Boudica, a Celtic princess, and Lhiannon, a priestess who is Boudica’s mentor on the Druid’s Isle. When the Romans conquer Britain, Lhiannon fights them while Boudica marries a king who has surrendered. Theirs is a great love story, but when he dies, the Romans brutalize Boudica and her daughters. In a rage, Boudica rouses the British tribes and nearly succeeds in driving the Romans from Britain, claiming a place in history. Lhiannon survives and becomes the guardian of the Druid traditions in the new Roman Britannia, as High Priestess of the Forest House.
Epic in its sweep and peopled by the remarkable women who have always inhabited Avalon, Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Ravens of Avalon is sure to please Bradley’s loyal readership and anyone who loves wonderfully told stories of history, myth, and fantasy.
MY TAKE: I really enjoyed this book and read it fairly quickly. I always knew about Boudica being a Celtic heroine, but had never read much more than that. The author(s) wove historical facts in seamlessly with the story of Avalon. I really want to learn even more about Boudica now.
This book veered a bit off the path from focusing on the story of the Isle of Avalon. It was primarily the story of Boudica and Lhiannon (both very strong women) and their life-long connection. I liked that the relationship between them was explored alongside and against their relationships with the men both loved.
There were many familiar aspects of the Avalon series, but this story was more about Boudica and the struggle with Rome than the priestesses and Druids. I felt the Avalon saga provided more of a back story or backdrop even.
I very much enjoyed this book and would recommend it to any who enjoy historical fantasy, the Arthurian legends, and especially Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Avalon series. If a reader isn’t familiar with the Avalon series, it would be helpful to start with “The Mists of Avalon” before reading this story. I think Diana Paxson has done a great job continuing this legacy and I hope to read more.