Author: Anna Elliot
Series: Twilight of Avalon
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
How Received: school library
The harpers' tales spoke of Morgan's fairness. Of raven-black hair and milk-white skin and a beauty to entrap and ruin a man's soul. But it was not for beauty's sake that Isolde was thankful, at times like this, if she was like Morgan, the daughter of Avalon. The grandmother who, for seven years now, had been nothing but a name in those same tales.
Isolde is a healer to the men who fall on the battlefield, Briton soldiers fighting for their country. Isolde is a storyteller, whispering the tales of those before them as she heals their wounds. Most importantly, Isolde is a queen without a throne.
The newly widowed Queen Isolde has no control over her court. Men quest for power, and there is nothing she can do to stop it. Her reputation as a witch leaves few trusting of her and even fewer she can trust - and when she knows her husband was murdered by one of the scheming lords, she can do nothing about it but sit and wait.
Her only ally lies in an escaped prisoner - Trystan, who cares not for the scheming and rumors and accusations but only of his own survival. Perhaps something more than an alliance can come from their relationship...
... and maybe Isolde can save Britain from destruction.
Going into this book without much knowledge of the Arthurian legends may or may not have been a good thing. I know the story of Arthur, or Merlin, of Modred - not of Isolde and Trystan. Yay or nay? I'll never know.
Knowing the basic history of the world, though, proved to be a good thing. Though I loved the story that Anna Elliot spun, those who do not know the stories prior to reading Twilight of Avalon will have a hard time keeping up. This story is definitely limited to Arthurian fans, or those who think they can keep up based on a quick history of the world and various mentions of the past. (Note: Elliot does cover everything that's needed to know, but it is hard to remember it all.)
That aside, though, I really enjoyed Twilight of Avalon, much more than I thought I would. One of my biggest pet peeves - flat characters - didn't creep up. All of Elliot's characters are three dimensional - interesting, well developed, and real. Isolde, in particular, stuck out to me, as did the dead Morgan. (Trystan annoyed me a bit when it came a certain major plot point and what he chose to or not to reveal about himself, but hey, I don't control the characters.)
The plot was excellent, a fantastic representation of what the real Isolde would have had to go through during that time period. I won't give too much away, but every bit of the plot I believed.
I also love that she didn't hold back in what actually went down. If there would have been rape, there was rape. If there would have been killings, there were killings. Nothing was hidden just because of the audience that it would have appealed to, and I give Elliot mad props for that.
Oh! And before I forget, this is one of those books that you need to sit down and read in one sitting. Maybe it was just me and my mood, but every time I put it down I got antsy because I had no idea what would happen next.
Twilight of Avalon or Book of Mordred: Maybe it's my love of reading a well created female character, but I preferred Twilight of Avalon over Book of Mordred.
Overall Rating & Final Comments: 10/10 - I don't think I would add it to my bookcases, simply because I'll be leaving for college soon and need to keep room for my favorites, but it's definitely worth buying if you're into the Arthurian legends.