Ancestors of Avalon

Ancestors of Avalon

Book - 2005
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The full sweep of the rich history of Avalon - from the fall of Atlantis to the founding of a new temple on the mist-shrouded isle of Britain - is finally revealed in this magnificent tale. The priests and priestesses of Atlantis have known for many years that the Sea Kingdoms were doomed. But now the final destruction has arrived they find themselves less prepared than they had thought for what lies ahead. Micail and Tiriki, prince and princess of the last island to fall, as well as priest and priestess, are separated during the final escape. Micail and his cousin, Prince Tjalan, successfully arrive at their planned destination, a trading post in the Hesperides (the British Isles) where Tjalan loses no time in taking charge. He dreams of continuing the traditions of Atlantis and founding a glorious new empire - whether the local tribes like it or not. Micail and the other priests dedicate themselves to fulfilling an ancient prophesy that they will build a great temple in this new land - and set about finding a way to shift the huge blocks of granite that will become Stonehenge. Micail's beloved wife Tiriki also arrives in the Hesperides, but, blown off-course by a storm, her ship lands on the wrong shore. She and the elderly priest Chedan lead their small group in forming a new community in harmony with the local population at the sacred Tor (Glastonbury). Once the two groups become aware of each other, conflict will become inevitable. A deeply moving and utterly convincing tale of faith in the face of adversity, filled with memorable characters and haunting landscapes.
Publisher: London, HarperCollins,, 2005.
ISBN: 9780007138456
Characteristics: 399 pages : map ; 18 cm.
Additional Contributors: Paxson, Diana L. - Author


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Jul 05, 2014

I read Mists of Avalon back in high school, and though I don't remember the details, I recall that I loved it. So I picked Ancestors of Avalon up at a library fundraiser book sale, with the intention of reading the series in timeline-order (not publishing-order).

I'm glad I recall nothing of the finer plot pots from before, because this is clearly a different story (although the author's note at the end explains the common thread throughout). Apparently each novel in the series stands alone, but builds on the character of previous books as reincarnated versions of themselves. I loved this device in Katharine Kerr's Deverry series (coolest interpretation of a love triangle ever!), but it fell a little flat here.

The characters went through some lovely growth, humility, independence, etc in a way that felt very natural. It just wasn't very engaging for me- and I'm not sure why. There was magic, hardship, journey, loss, love...but it just felt distant. It bothers me that I can't exactly put my finger on why, but maybe the novel felt a bit rushed.

Either way, this was a fine story, and clearly part of a larger epic. I'm impatient, so I'm skipping over the next two Avalon novels and jumping right to Forests of Avalon. I'm hoping it'll feel more engaging, but even if it doesn't I'll continue the series- I like having backstory!

In all, I recommend this to fans of magic, Atlantis and a mystical early Briton/Wales, the mystery of Stonehenge, non-steamy romance, and Marion Zimmer Bradley (or Diana L. Paxson, who compiled this novel after Bradley's death, from her notes) style of storytelling.

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