Friday, June 21, 2013

Bella's Book Review: 'Avalon: A Novel' by Anya Seton

It is time for another Bella's Book Review!

Today I am writing about Avalon: A Novel by Anya Setton.

From Amazon:

"This saga of yearning and mystery travels across oceans and continents to Iceland, Greenland, and North America during the time in history when Anglo-Saxons battled Vikings and the Norsemen discovered America. The marked contrasts between powerful royalty, landless peasants, Viking warriors and noble knights are expertly brought to life in this gripping tale of the French prince named Rumon. Shipwrecked off the Cornish coast on his quest to find King Arthur's legendary Avalon, Rumon meets a lonely girl named Merewyn and their lives soon become intertwined. Rumon brings Merewyn to England, but once there he is so dazzled by Queen Alrida's beauty that it makes him a virtual prisoner to her will. In this riveting romance, Anya Seton once again proves her mastery of historical detail and ability to craft a compelling tale that includes real and colorful personalities such as St. Dunstan and Eric the Red."

For some reason, ever since reading the Mists of Avalon matter where I see the word "Avalon," that is what I always think of. I tend to forget that Avalon has a rich history devoted to it, outside of those books. When I picked up Avalon: A novel, I expected a book full of magic and Goddesses.

It did not take me long to figure out there would be neither of those in this book. It took me a bit to get into the story of Rumon, a French prince on his way to England to find something to do with his life. His ultimate goal is to find the fabled isle of Avalon, a place where he believes wonders await him.

Along the way he comes across a girl named Merewyn, and she quickly becomes intertwined in his story. Merewyn has a supposed royal lineage, but the truth comes to light and Rumon learns of her scandalous past. Follow both Rumon and Merewyn as they lead their lives, watch their fate dance and spin around each other; sometimes bringing them close together, and sometimes driving them far apart.

Marketed as a romance, this book is hardly a bodice ripper or sappy love story. Rich with history, it creates vivid mental imagery as you turn the pages. Evil Queens, lovesick lads, strong women, nuns, Vikings, and more await you within the pages of this book. There were times I could hardly see the words through the tears in my eyes, and at times I smiled in triumph and I even let out a little gasp of shock from time to time.

My favorite part of the book was what I call " The Viking Years," as I have a deep love of the Norsemen, and it was interesting to see how Seton wove their story in with Rumon and Merewyn.

I loved the book, and even got Jack to read it. He also thought it was very good, and this is one that I will read over and over. It has earned a permanent place on my bookshelves.

I give it 4 Stars!  

1 comment:

mxtodis123 said...

I am the same way. The Mists changed my life and I cannot get enough of Avalon.