978-1416589891 – Paperback – Touchstone – $16.00
This is a beautifully written book and immediately engrossing. I was, quite honestly, surprised to find out that this is Anna Elliott’s first novel, as the writing is so good. Another retelling of any part of the Arthurian cycle runs grave risks – these are stories many readers know well, and have strong feelings about. Elliott tells the story from a far different perspective than most modern versions, and I think is quite brilliant in her portrayal of the role of a strong woman in a particularly brutal time. There is much that is beautiful in this story, plenty of human warmth, redemption, strength of character and charm, even. But the author does not shy away from a realistic depiction of a dark and dangerous time in early European history. She manages the unfolding of her story well; I never lost interest in the characters, and was drawn deeply into the world Elliott creates, which after all, is the point of a mythological telling like this one. I am looking forward to the next two novels in the trilogy.
I enjoyed talking to this first time novelist about Twilight of Avalon and how she came to write it (or how it came to her). And I think listeners will be interested in what she has to say about this book, early British history and the unfolding of the Trystan and Isolde story through the three books in her story cycle. There is romance here, but there is also a strong woman whose connection to magic, healing and the realm of spirit has quite a bit to say to modern readers as we are ourselves living in perilous, sometimes dark, often dangerous times ourselves. Thanks Anna Elliott for the telling.