Sunday, January 30, 2011

Twilight of Avalon by Anna Elliott

Twilight of AvalonTwilight of Avalon by Anna Elliott

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Anna Elliott's historical fantasy novel, Twilight of Avalon, is based upon the Arthurian legend of Trystan and Isolde.

The story begins with the death of the High King of Britain, Constantine. As High Queen, Isolde suddenly finds herself a widow in a world of uncertainty, danger and deceit, where everyone is out to better their own with little regard as to who they hurt along the way. Forced into marriage to King Marche, at whose hands she suffers greatly, Isolde makes the difficult decision to flee in order to save her country from destruction.

During her journey Isolde befriends a group of outlaws: An escaped prisoner named Trystan, a mute Saxon called Hereric, an ex-soldier named Kian, and a vivacious young boy called Bran. With the help of these unlikely heroes, Isolde sets out to uncover the truth of Marche's secret dealings with the Saxon invaders, and his involvement in the death of her husband. 
As the granddaughter of Morgan (sister to Arthur), Isolde is blessed with the gift of "the Sight", which enables her to foresee events about to take place, and discover the truth of events that have happened in the past, although she is often unsure as to how to decipher the messages she receives. Trapped in a confusing existence, she finds comfort and stability in Trystan, a stranger whose past reveals the hidden secrets and forgotten memories of her own.

Anna Elliott has pulled Trystan and Isolde out of the depths of legend and placed them in a historical context that makes the characters and events of this story appear real, tangible and believable, weaving through it just enough magic to maintain the element of mystique and intrigue that brought about the legend in the first place. 

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