Rosalind Miles’ Tristan and Isolde trilogy is a great blend of Arthurian literature, mythology, and history. Unlike some other Arthurian novels that attempt to set the ancient characters firmly within the confines of history, Miles blurs the lines and weaves an entertaining love story from the blend of fact and fiction.
While the trilogy is primarily a re-telling of a famous tragic love story from the Arthurian legends, Miles makes sure her characters are well-rounded. The readers get to watch as Isolde goes from bratty princess to a strong-willed Queen while Tristan morphs from an immature boy desperate to prove himself to the brave knight that we all know and love.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Friday, October 31st, 2014||No Comments »|
There have been many re-tellings of the legends of King Arthur, but none that weave the myth of Tristan and Isolde as well as adding in a pinch of historical realism. Although many talented authors such as Marion Zimmer Bradley and T.H. White have tried their hand at spinning a good Arthurian yarn, Anna Elliott’s Twilight of Avalon is a breath of fresh air in the historical fiction genre.
The first book in her Avalon trilogy, Elliott introduces us to her version of Isolde, who is the daughter of Modred and is the granddaughter to both King Arthur and Morgan Le Fey. As the widow of Arthur’s heir Constantine, she rules what is left of Britain after the battle of Camlann, but she is feared for her powers of the second-Sight and healing. However, her world is turned upside down when she meets a Saxon spy named Tristan and unlocks the memories of her childhood that have long been buried.
Elliott’s dutiful historical research allows her to accurately capture the feel of Britain as it must have looked in the Dark Ages, while still keeping that sense of wonder and magic that is so integral to the Arthurian lore. She incorporates many of the Celtic myths and beliefs, including the second Sight, knowledge of healing herbs, and the idea of the isle of Avalon being located in another world.
Her heroine Isolde is also not just another damsel in distress either. While her mother Gwenevere wasted away in a convent, Isolde mirrored her infamous grandmother Morgan Le Fay. While both are beautiful and rumored to be witches for their skill at the healer’s craft, they are fiery, stubborn, have a strong sense of compassion, and a quick wit too.
Elliott’s adept hand allows readers to gain a glimpse of Dark Age Britain as well as give a new interpretation to ancient myths.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Monday, December 2nd, 2013||No Comments »|