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Marion Zimmer Bradley, the author of THE MISTS OF AVALON, THE FOREST HOUSE and THE FIREBRAND, as well as the popular Darkover series of science fiction novels, lives in California.
Bradley's The Mists of Avalon (1983) remains one of the best loved‘and bestselling‘reworkings of the Arthurian cycle. Now Bradley has written a splendid prequel (which she also links to her novel The Forest House), in which she traces the High Priestess of Avalon and the sacrificial Sacred King through three cycles of reincarnation and mythic destiny. In the first century of Christianity, Lady Caillean raises her orphaned grandson, Gawen (whose mother was killed in The Forest House). Initiated as the Pendragon and Sacred King, Gawen dies, but has fathered a child by Sianna, a daughter of the Fairy Queen. After his death, Lady Callean transports Avalon to a separate magical reality. Sianna's descendants continue to shape the history of Britannia, however. Lady Dierna marries her daughter Taleri to Carausius, who becomes Emperor of Britannia and dies defending the land. A later descendant, Lady Ana, calls back to Avalon her daughter Viviane, who is united with Vortimer, her era's Defender of Britannia. But it is Lady Ana's child Igraine, whom Viviane raises, who will culiminate the bloodlines. A pillar of the fantasy field, Bradley here combines romance, rich historical detail, magical dazzlements, grand adventure and feminist sentiments into the kind of novel her fans have been yearning for. 150,000 first printing; $150,000 ad/promo. (June)
This three-part fantasy, set in Roman-occupied Britain, creates the link between The Forest House and The Mists of Avalon and should satisfy fans of both those books. Spanning almost 400 years, it tells the stories of the high priestesses and ladies of Avalon. Recommended for fantasy collections. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 2/1/97.]
"The novel Marion Zimmer Bradley's fans have been yearning for." -- "Publishers Weekly" (starred review)