Twilight of Avalon – Anna Elliott

Title: Twilight of Avalon: A Novel of Trystan & Isolde
Author: Anna Elliott
ISBN: 9781416589891
Pages: 448
Release Date: May 5, 2009
Publisher: Touchstone
Genre: Historical Fiction, Fantasy
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

From the back cover:

Ancient grudges, old wounds, and the quest for power rule in the newly widowed Queen Isolde’s court. Hardly a generation after the downfall of Camelot, Isolde grieves for her slain husband, King Constantine, a man she secretly knows to have been murdered by the scheming Lord Marche — the man who has just assumed his title as High King. Though her skills as a healer are renowned throughout the kingdom, in the wake of Con’s death, accusations of witchcraft and sorcery threaten her freedom and her ability to bring Marche to justice. Burdened by their suspicion and her own grief, Isolde must conquer the court’s distrust and superstition to protect her throne and the future of Britain.

One of her few allies is Trystan, a prisoner with a lonely and troubled past. Neither Saxon nor Briton, he is unmoved by the political scheming, rumors, and accusations swirling around the fair queen. Together they escape, and as their companionship turns from friendship to love, they must find a way to prove what they know to be true — that Marche’s deceptions threaten not only their lives but the sovereignty of the British kingdom.

In Twilight of Avalon, Anna Elliott returns to the roots of the legend of Trystan and Isolde to shape a very different story — one based in the earliest written versions of the Arthurian tales — a captivating epic brimming with historic authenticity, sweeping romance, and the powerful magic of legend.

When I first heard about Twilight of Avalon, I immediately knew that it was a book I wanted to read. I love everything to do with Arthurian legends; I have read countless books on the subject, both fiction and non-fiction. I was eager to pick up Twilight of Avalon and see how Anna Elliott re-interpreted the story of Tristan and Isolde, the doomed lovers of Arthurian lore.

Elliott approached Twilight of Avalon not as historical fantasy, but as historical fiction. She tried to make everything as real as possible. Yes, there are some elements of magic thrown in here and there, but on the whole, I was pleasantly surprised at how much Elliott re-invented the story in order to make it real.

Twilight of Avalon isn’t the typical love story between Tristan (spelled Trystan in the novel) and Isolde. Instead, it’s a novel of intrigue and battle. There are a lot of vivid description of fighting and war wounds within the novel; Elliott wanted to make the consequences of war apparent. She redrew the story to take place after King Arthur’s death, when the petty kings of Britain were fighting among themselves without a High King to lead them. It’s a period in history that hasn’t been dealt with in literature much and gives Elliott a license to create an entirely new legend.

Twilight of Avalon is the first book in a trilogy, and I simply cannot wait for the sequel. The characters were so vividly drawn, the story so engrossing, and the historical details so striking that I couldn’t put it down. If you are at all interested in this period in history, or in Arthur legends, I highly recommend this novel.

Thank you to the publisher for sending me this book to review.

Comments

  1. I totally have to read this book. I agree. I LOVE arthurian legends! I think it’s because it has something to do with our desi roots. I know, it’s wierd, but we have similar myths, right? 🙂

    Hey, what did you think of nora’s visions in white? I’m curious to know what your opinion on that was.

    Great review!
    <3NIsha

  2. I totally have to read this book. I agree. I LOVE arthurian legends! I think it’s because it has something to do with our desi roots. I know, it’s wierd, but we have similar myths, right? 🙂

    Hey, what did you think of nora’s visions in white? I’m curious to know what your opinion on that was.

    Great review!
    <3NIsha

  3. Wasn’t it just a fantastic read? I loved this, and I DON’T read a lot of Arthurian legend. It is nice that it satisfies whether or not you do. I may have to start reading more Arthurian legend now.

  4. Wasn’t it just a fantastic read? I loved this, and I DON’T read a lot of Arthurian legend. It is nice that it satisfies whether or not you do. I may have to start reading more Arthurian legend now.

  5. This sounds like a great read — thanks for the review.

  6. This sounds like a great read — thanks for the review.

  7. This book has been on my wishlist since I first heard of it! I’ll have to get it when I go home since no UK publisher has picked it up to my knowledge.

  8. This book has been on my wishlist since I first heard of it! I’ll have to get it when I go home since no UK publisher has picked it up to my knowledge.

  9. Ohhh I love the story of Triston and Isolde. I will have to buy this book. Great review, I like the fact it was approached as Historical Fiction instead of Fantasy.

  10. Ohhh I love the story of Triston and Isolde. I will have to buy this book. Great review, I like the fact it was approached as Historical Fiction instead of Fantasy.

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  13. I’m reading this now and absolutely loving it! Thank goodness there’s a sequel to look forward to!

  14. I’m reading this now and absolutely loving it! Thank goodness there’s a sequel to look forward to!

  15. This book is so written for me!

  16. This book is so written for me!

  17. Thanks so much everyone! And thanks so much for the lovely review!

    There is a preview of book 2, Dark Moon of Avalon, up on my website for anyone anxious for a peak at where the story is going. I think I’m having a hard time waiting until the second book comes out, too! 🙂

  18. Thanks so much everyone! And thanks so much for the lovely review!

    There is a preview of book 2, Dark Moon of Avalon, up on my website for anyone anxious for a peak at where the story is going. I think I’m having a hard time waiting until the second book comes out, too! 🙂

  19. I had this book in my hot little hands last night at the bookstore, but I showed great restraint by not purchasing it. I’m sure it will only be a matter of time though! Glad to hear you liked it.

  20. I had this book in my hot little hands last night at the bookstore, but I showed great restraint by not purchasing it. I’m sure it will only be a matter of time though! Glad to hear you liked it.

  21. This sounds really good! I think I am going to have to read it very soon!

  22. This sounds really good! I think I am going to have to read it very soon!

  23. Oh my! This is a book that I must read. Great review and thanks!

  24. Oh my! This is a book that I must read. Great review and thanks!

  25. Sounds interesting. I know next to nothing about Arthurian legends.

  26. Sounds interesting. I know next to nothing about Arthurian legends.

  27. Nisha – It might be our desi roots, I never even thought about it that way!

    As far as Vision in White, I was a little disappointed with it. I’m still planning on reading the rest of the series, but the character development wasn’t there for me. The review will post at some point!

  28. Nisha – It might be our desi roots, I never even thought about it that way!

    As far as Vision in White, I was a little disappointed with it. I’m still planning on reading the rest of the series, but the character development wasn’t there for me. The review will post at some point!

  29. Good review, Got your review linked up to mine 🙂
    I also cannot wait for the rest of the series, I really enjoyed the story.

  30. Good review, Got your review linked up to mine 🙂
    I also cannot wait for the rest of the series, I really enjoyed the story.

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