Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Emerging

I am slowly coming back to the world.


For the last two weeks, I have been immersed in the world of King Arthur.  Reading this book, I have indeed gone beyond the mists into Avalon.  I have dwelt in Camelot and met the most amazing cast of characters.
The Mists of Avalon is on my list of challenge books for the Birth Year Reading Challenge 2012.   It's been on my one-day-I'll-read-that-book list for a lot longer. This was the perfect opportunity.

I didn't enjoy the slowness of the reading experience.  The prose is turgid to the point where I skipped some paragraphs and wished I'd taken an Evelyn Woods speed-reading course. I haven't read a fantasy novel for a very long time and then it was more science fiction  - as in parallel or alternate worlds.  I steered quite clear of the 'sword and sorcery' stuff.  This story  marries the two genres.  

But there were some things that I did enjoy and I'm glad I read it.  It was really interesting to review the Arthurian legend from the perspective of the female experience of that time.  And, maybe that's why it was so-o slow.  There was so much more emotion and feeling from the characters than was ever present in other accounts.  And, of course, it was more relevant to my own experiences as a woman.

Even more interesting to me, though, was the life-and-death struggle between the Christian and the Druidic religions for control over Britain.  This was a compelling narrative throughout the whole book.  And although we all know how the struggle ends, the theological discussions which take place between the characters are high level stuff.  It made me think which is always the mark of good writing.  If you pick this book up, be prepared to invest time and mental energy.  And be prepared to wade through the first third before you start to feel anything at all for the characters or the plot.  If you stick with it, you will be rewarded.

This is candle number two...hurrah!

7 comments:

Ginny said...

This is such a popular book, and I love the whole Camelot thing. I saw one of the movies at the theater quite awhile back and loved it. I think it was the one with Robert Goulet.

Ginny said...

I LOVE your Nemisia below!!! They remind me a bit of pansies. I have never heard of them, I wonder if we have them around here and I have just missed them?

Rudee said...

Congratulations on a big accomplishment. I know myself and am quite sure I'd have given up by chapter 2.

J.G. said...

Sounds like a great reading experience. Love the idea of a female perspective in this ancient "man's world."

Maria said...

I must admit that I read the book a very long time ago. But I loved this book. I even sought out the sequel.

fabricfan said...

I'll keep this book in mind.

Farm Girl said...

I have picked this up at the library so many times and I always put it back. I am afraid I got spoiled to Mary Stewart Aurthur so every time I get a hankering to visit I go read this but I liked your review so maybe I will try it again. I have a friend who reads it once a year. I think I would be interested in the Christian/Druid thing too.

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