Title: Dark Moon of Avalon
Author: Anna Elliott
Release Date: September 14, 2010
Genre: Historical Fiction
Rating: 4 out of 5
Dark Moon of Avalon picks up where Twilight of Avalon left off; as a result, there may be SPOILERS for the first book in this trilogy in the summary and review.
Isolde and the High King Madoc are trying to decide how best to fight the treacherous Marche and his Saxon allies, bracing themselves for the onslaught they know is coming. They need more allies, and Isolde decides it is up to her to bring them into the fold. With Trystan nowhere to be found, she must rely on her own strength to unite the rest of Britain against Marx and the Saxon hordes.
I really enjoyed Twilight of Avalon, the first in Anna Elliott’s trilogy revamping the legendary story of Tristan and Isolde, so I was eager to read Dark Moon of Avalon. There was just one problem: it had been a long time since I’d read the first book, and I remembered it being complicated. Would I be able to recall enough in order to enjoy this book, or would I be lost, constantly having to look up characters and figure out situations?
Anna Elliot does a solid job of easing the reader back into this complex story. She provides a great reminder for readers about the overall story of the first book, though it might not be enough for a new reader. There were still a few areas I was fuzzy about, and it took awhile to really feel like I remembered the first book, but if you’re in the same situation I was, you don’t need to worry about rereading the first book prior to starting this one.
The story in Dark Moon of Avalon was gripping, though I felt like Isolde took a lot of unnecessary risks. I understood why she felt the burden of Britain’s future rested on her soldiers – after all, she was the former High Queen. I also appreciated that she was smart and capable, trying to find her way forward as best she could. She wasn’t afraid to depend on others for protection and support, yet when it came down to it, she wasn’t willing to risk their lives for her plans, hence the crazy risks she took.
The love story between Isolde and Trystan is a bit stagnant in this novel. Elliott somewhat artificially keeps them apart to build tension, which I understand. If the lovers get together too quickly, a major storyline of the trilogy will be wrapped up. But it can be frustrating to readers who know they’re eventually going to be together.
Once again, I was very impressed by Anna Elliott’s handling of the history of the time. One of the things I love about these novels is how they take actual British history and meld it believably with Arthurian lore. It’s different than anything else I’ve ever read, as it deals with the aftermath of Arthur’s rule. Elliott continues to display that talent in this book.
I hate that Dark Moon of Avalon is already over and I have to wait once again for the third book. If you haven’t read the first one yet but are planning it, I’d actually recommend waiting until the third one comes out and reading them back-to-back. The story is very complex, and I think readers would get more out of them if the overall plot was fresh in their minds. I’m certainly planning on doing a reread of the first two before the third is released.