Thursday, September 24, 2009

Twilight of Avalon: A Novel of Trystan & Isolde

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


Annette said...

I love the cover also! Lovely to look at.
I don't usually read fantasy novels, but I've written the title and author down to read it.
Thanks Becky!

Megan Donovan said...

Anna Elliott has crafted a powerful and romantic tale of Trystan and Isolde, one that puts aside the chivalric notions of the Middle Ages and places it squarely in the age in which they would have lived. Elliott fills her story with believable characters and a compelling plot. This is a book I know I'll find myself reading again and again . . .

Kailana said...

I really like this cover!

I liked the book, too. I am looking forward to book two!

A Buckeye Girl Reads said...

I loved the movie of Tristan & Isolde and may have to give this book a chance. Thanks for the low-romance warning.

kay - Infinite Shelf said...

I have this one on my TBR pile. After reading your review, I really think there's a high chance I'll enjoy it!

Nina said...

The cover is stunning. I love it. The story also sounds so good. Thank you for your review.