Mists of Avalon and why you must read it

Published in 1982, The Mists of Avalon Marion Zimmer Bradley’s novel is a breathtaking book. It presents to us the intertwining threads, the questions asked and answered by religion, by love, by war, by doubt and the devil himself that weave into the fabric of perceived reality. Bradley’s fingers dance upon her keyboard like a loom. As she uses these very threads are used to weave us an age-long story: King Arthur and the Round table. 

This story, like every story in fantasy and in reality, has many perspectives, many lives, and endless fractured truths, reflecting like a broken mirror, from limitless angles, bending the light in different ways. The Mists of Avalon is the story of King Arthur from the women’s perspective. This 1982 novel tells an enchanting tale that challenges the strongest and most certain of intellects as much as it dances and plays upon the emotion. Matching with either of those, its crafty construction leads us into a quicksand that holds the depth of this plot. Interwoven into Bradley’s loom are the real and multidimensional characters who we are both cursed and blessed to watch change, to watch fall, and to watch rise.  All that is holy is rended and and all that is cursed reaches salvation. 

This book is relevant on a multitude of levels, even today, 40 years from when it was written. Let yourself be spun into the trance of a story, let yourself listen to the heartbeat of the spinning wheel: to the fingers dancing upon the harp’s strings, and the words of Morgaine, of Gwenyfar, of Igraine, of Vivane, of Raven, Nimue, of all the quiet voices, the forgotten sacrifices, the tapping of the keyboard and the flying shuttle in this loom. 

Cynder Malin-Stremlau


14 years old

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