Elliott, Anna. 2009. Twilight of Avalon. A Novel of Trystan and Isolde. Simon & Schuster. 448 pages.
The dead man's eyes were weighted with gold.
Loved the cover, liked the book. That's not to say that the book was a disappointment. I think it had its magical moments where it worked well. For example, Elliott was great at world-building. Her envisioning of ancient Britain was incredible. I felt immersed in it. (Which is what you want in a good fantasy novel.)
Isolde is the granddaughter of King Arthur. The daughter of Modred and Gwynefar. The widow of High King Constantine (or King Con). When we first meet her she is alone and vulnerable. But it would be a mistake to count her out. She is far from finished with her destiny.
It's a novel with ambition and power plays. A novel where men try to use each other--and women as well--as pawns in a game. As widow of the High King, there are men who would marry Isolde for their own selfish reasons. Her lands. Her wealth. Her position. But Isolde can see through a lot of these men. She knows that all is not as it appears. She suspects the worse--the very worst--in some of these men.
I think those who love a blending of politics with their action will love Twilight of Avalon. I think those who are looking for empowered heroines may enjoy this one as well. If you come expecting a passionate romance or a compelling love story, then you'll likely feel let down. That's not the book's fault by the way. It is what it is.
© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews
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