Dark Moon of Avalon: A Novel of Trystan & Isolde (Twilight of Avalon Trilogy)
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Loading Author Notes LC Subjects. Avalon Legendary place -- Fiction. Iseult Legendary character -- Fiction. Tristan Legendary character -- Fiction. Arthurian romances. She is a healer, a storyteller, and a warrior. Now she faces her greatest challenge in turning bitter enemies into allies, saving the life of the man she loves. The young former High Queen, Isolde, and her friend and protector, Trystan, are reunited in a new and dangerous quest to keep the usurper, Lord Marche, and his Saxon allies from the throne of Britain.
Dark Moon of Avalon (Twilight of Avalon, #2) by Anna Elliott
Their admissions of love hang in the air, but neither wants to put the other at risk by openly declaring a deeper alliance. I like the location and circumstance of their first meeting here in volume one. This story also gives a feel of Isolde's isolation. She is 20 years old, orphaned, a political bride, and she learns that the untrustworthy are all around. Men turn their loyalties to overtake a country and women from above and below stairs greedily seek power from these men. She also struggles to understand her magic and the faith of the Christian world, and has lived with the label of witch.
This is a great first installment in the series. It carries enough substance and doesn't feel like a wasted prelude as some parts of a series can do. The story holds your attention as mysteries are still to be solved and Isolde will still in some way battle the evil Marche in the story to come. Jun 13, Jennifer rated it it was amazing. Twilight, the time of changing, when the selkies swam in from the ocean and shed their sealskins to become the fairest of men. This is a grim and gritty story about the struggle for power during one of Britain's most turbulent times.
Change is a constant theme in this story. It takes place in 6th centuray Britain, a time of great change. There is the continual threat of "All about them, the dusk was drawing in. There is the continual threat of Saxon invasion, accompanied by the usual burning and pillaging of villages. The ruling class is in upheavel, due in no small part to what happens between Arthur, Gwynefar, and Modred. Isolde, the last of this ruling family, is not looked upon very kindly, even though she is married to the current High King, Constantine.
Isolde must learn to deal with her family's legacy to Britain. In doing so, Isolde eventually becomes as strong and independent as she can be. It's the 6th century, women can only do so much because they don't have any rights. Bear in mind that strong women tend to be labeled as witches also, whether there is truth to it or not. Isolde fights back against persecution and injustice, not only for herself but for Britain as well. Isolde becomes a leader, reminding the other feudal kings of their responsibility to the land and their people.
In doing so, Isolde gradually wins some people to her cause. With respect to the tragic love story between Isolde and Trystan, there are hints of it towards the end of the story. Maybe by book two or three this may be explored. Trystan also has some issues of his own to sort through, and this will probably be further delineated in the future as well. Right now there is too much upheavel occurring for a romance to develop, although there may have been some feelings between these in the past. It's at lease hinted at. Elliott's writing brings all of her characters to life, both the principal and supporting cast.
You despise the ones you should, and empathize with the ones who need the most love and understanding. There are a few scenes which were emotional for me, but remember these were brutal times. Elliott never forgets that and describes it as such. Overall this was a very enjoyable book. This is book one of a planned trilogy, therefore most of this story is laying the groundwork for Books two and three. Regardless, the story moved quickly and was quite interesting.
This is not a romance story, at least not yet. This is an epic and tragic retelling of turbulent times in Britain's long history, with an extremely strong and accomplished young woman at it's center. According to Elliott this story is a blend of legend and truth, and she is quite right. Isolde is certainly legendary in her own right. Dec 05, Erika rated it really liked it. Some versions want to approach characters, that are by now well familiar to many of us, from a historical perspective, as if they really existed.
Other versions take great advantage of the legend as a fairy tale, something that at one point may have been based in reality, but has now risen above the mundane and into the powerfully magical and fantastical. I enjoy reading both types of Arthurian legends. This, though, is a novel about Trystan and Isolde. Arthur and Modred, Myrddin and Morgan and Gwynefar lingering now only as voices in the wind.
Dark Moon of Avalon
One age is ended And another, perhaps, begun. Britain is without a leader and in danger of being overrun by Saxons eager to take over the countryside. Stuck in the middle is Isolde and Camelerd, all that she has left of her family. War is ongoing and now, thrown into the bid for power is Isolde and her land. As the smaller kings fight amongst themselves to win the High Kingship, Isolde is fearful of the man who may win the battle. Twilight of Avalon is a dark, brooding novel. But I doubt any of us who knew the man himself would find much to recognize in the stories you hear told and retold.
There are frequent references from the characters themselves to the tall tales already being told of people they once knew, of what they would delight in having said of them when they are gone. The land has changed and so has Isolde. Nothing particularly happens, except one or two things, over and over again: Isolde runs free and is captured, twice; Isolde is held on trial for witchcraft, twice; Trystan is beaten, many times.
I felt pretty bad for Trystan. He was never without bruises, lash wounds, or blood. These characters clearly had their assigned roles and little would be done to tear them free, until the end of the novel that is. We want to see Isolde succeed, if only to allow her time to breathe, time to mourn. Isolde has to go through her trials here in order to--hopefully--grow in the next book. She heals others and tells stories now to push back the time when she has to remember to heal from her own stories.
There is hope. I do want to say one last thing, before anyone walks away wanting to pick this up. The jacket copy refers to this book in passing as something of a romance novel. If there is romance, it waits on the other side, in the pages of the second or third book, but not here. Overall, I really, really enjoyed this novel.
Plus, the cover is a gorgeous John William Waterhouse painting Boreas ; he also did the infamous Lady of Shalott painting. His artwork is so hauntingly beautiful and this one in particular fits the novel well. Arthur, Mordred, Morgan, and Merlin are all larger than life figures that loom out of their place in history to affect even the characters they once walked alongside, lingering like ghosts.
While Elliott did approach Twilight of Avalon from a historical perspective, she also pays tribute to the fairy tale. For that, I think, she did a wonderful job! May 11, Amy Bruno rated it it was amazing Shelves: historical-fiction , read-in , read-in Her father Modred is often away fighting his father Arthur for the throne, so she is left in the care of her grandmother Morgan. Morgan is a known healer and seer, though some call her a witch and she passes on her knowledge to Isolde, though the gift of sight has all but left Isolde as the novel opens.
I think the first time I was so eager to keep those pages turning and know what was happening next and this time I was able to slow down and savor it more. Anna Elliott is a remarkable storyteller and has created a world that I could get lost in on a daily basis! Sep 26, Melissa rated it did not like it. I had to let it go. Life is too short to waste time on plodding lousy plots, weak characters, and ZERO passion. I don't just mean romantic passion - these characters were empty. The plot was empty of any soul or interest. You are suckered in by the "changed names" of Camelot, Merlin, etc.
If I am forced to read a 2nd book just to find out what happens to their abysmally spread over too thin plot line I'll just imagine it. My imagination is richer than this repetitive waste of good title and cover image. View 1 comment. Oct 15, Jayme rated it really liked it Recommends it for: People who love Authurian legends. Shelves: historical-fiction. At first, I had trouble getting in to this book. After the first chapter though, I had trouble putting it down. Elliot's writing style is beautiful. It reminded me of stories people would tell each other in that time period which I think is what she was going for so that was awesome.
I thought she did a wonderful job developing her characters and you really understood the struggles in the novel. Isolde is by far one of the best female protagonists I have ever come across. She is so strong but At first, I had trouble getting in to this book.
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She is so strong but you can see how she has to struggle to find that strength and anyone can connect with that. I can't wait to see how she develops further. Trystan was the mysterious one. I know this book is suppose to be about the legend of the romance between Isolde and Trystan but I didn't find much romance in this book.
Trystan came off as a jerk at times and a friend at others. I think I will understand him better once he has developed more in the next two novels. I can not wait for the sequels. Nov 25, Carina rated it it was ok. I was very excited to read this book because I've enjoyed stories with similar themes by Juliet Marillier and Marion Zimmer Bradley.
Oh, and I also love the tale of Tristan and Isolde! In theory this book had all the elements that would make me love it The book dragged on too much. I could have cut out one third of its pages by removing all the boring unnecessary stuff. It took a long time for me to find an emotional thread to the story and that's something I was very excited to read this book because I've enjoyed stories with similar themes by Juliet Marillier and Marion Zimmer Bradley. It took a long time for me to find an emotional thread to the story and that's something that should have happened right away.
I felt cold reading the entire first half. Usually I pick up a book and read it until the end right away. In 1 or 2 days I read it from start to finish. But with this book I could barely get through a couple of pages before putting it down and going something else. It took me over 20 tries over the past couple of months for me to finish reading it. Sep 21, Karen rated it did not like it Shelves: fiction , didn-t-finish. I went 85 pages. Here is what I learned. They only tell us that about once a page. The only interesting part was the porlogue, featuring Morgan. The whole family tree is whacked, but hey, if someone wants to tie Isolde to Pendragon and Constantine, it seems to be very creative.
She's got these illiterate peasants speaking volumes in prose. I think I encountered an unnamed Tristan around page 90, but I couldn I went 85 pages. I think I encountered an unnamed Tristan around page 90, but I couldn't take it anymore. And since it's a trilogy in waiting, I just don't have that kind of patience.
Dec 01, Kara rated it it was ok Shelves: king-arthur. May 06, Tanzanite rated it really liked it. I really enjoyed this and am looking forward to reading the other two books in the trilogy. I liked the twist Elliott put on the story of Trystan and Isolde, especiallys Isolde's parentage. I thought the middle dragged a little bit with too many escapes and receptures, but some of the revelations at the end made up for it.
Jan 08, Krista rated it really liked it. I found this to be an interesting take on the Trystan and Isolde story. I enjoyed the storytelling and the voices in the wind that created the back story. Well done. May 30, Marie rated it really liked it Shelves: own. I totally ate this book up. I love the myth and the legend behind it, and the unique twist that Anna puts on it. You've heard of the legend of King Arthur.
Picture grey skies, howling winds and cold seas; the cover is perfect for this tale. Quite a legendary story it is with Arthur and his son Modred, who are both killed at Camlaan fighting each other. Though Lancelot is not present in the legend that the author pulls from, Anna Elliott's story begins with Modred's daughter Isolde as she learns I totally ate this book up. Though Lancelot is not present in the legend that the author pulls from, Anna Elliott's story begins with Modred's daughter Isolde as she learns that her husband of seven years, the High King Constantine, is killed fighting the Saxons.
Isolde cannot trust anyone as she tries to make sense of what flashes she sees in her mind, and what is truth. Elliott meanders slowly through Isolde's path of Dark Age Britain so that we are treated to descriptive characterizations and settings which are well illustrated as she struggles with her thoughts of the past and the present. Isolde used to have the power for visions The Sight but as we meet her, we learn she had been stripped of those powers somewhere about the time that she had married Constantine.
Yet, somehow, she sees the event of Constantine's death, and learns that his death is not due to battle wounds but someone, although his face covered, supposedly on her side has murdered him. This knowledge she wisely keeps to herself as she treads lightly among the council members. She and the murderer know the truth, as she is quite alone in the world struggling for survival amongst power hungry warlords who believe Isolde to be a sorceress or a witch and would love to see her burnt at the stake.
Isolde is lucky to have crossed paths with Trystan, and she embarks on an adventure to save both her life and the Britain that her late husband had struggled to maintain. There is death, magic and survival all intertwined beautifully in the story that is legend for a reason. Anna Elliott uses the myth and lore to recreate the consequences of the Battle of Camlann in an enchanting tale that captures the reader from the start as we follow Isolde on her bitter journey. I found each page to be a thrill and I completely relished the story itself. I loved the easy writing style of Anna Elliott, the picturesque narrative was complete and fulfilling.
The author had to explain to the reader certain events of the past in order to make the present story work, requiring a lot of flashbacks with Isolde's grandmother Morgan appearing in quick visions or as a voice. Sometimes it fit well, other times it was a tad out of place as if it were forced in to help prove a point.