Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Fully titled Marion Zimmer Bradley's Ravens of Avalon, this book is the second Avalon book written by Paxson, though she had earlier collaborated with Bradley and completed Priestess of Avalon after Bradley's death. The book takes place after Ancestors but before the other books, at a point where the Druid priests and priestesses are still teaching on the island of Mona. The book travels down two intertwining but distinct paths: one of the struggle of the Britons against Rome and the other of the Druids as they try to save their ways and faith from obliteration. The connection between the two is Boudica, a student at Mona who will later united the tribes of Britain in an uprising. It is via her friend and mentor her Lhiannon that this book connects to the later Avalon works. Paxson is fairly adept at weaving together the various story strands in a believable way, while combining details about the daily lives of the Britons and their mythology, the clash between occupiers and the occupied, historical information, and the spirituality that runs throughout the Avalon books. Fans of the series will not want to miss this one, nor will those interested in Boudica, who did exist. (I found this book more accessible than Manda Scott's Boudica books). Newbies, however, might want to begin their journey into Avalon with one of the other books. --Inanna

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