Monday, 13 February 2012

Book Review: Sunrise of Avalon by Anna Elliott

Her raven locks caught on the wind.
She calls the magic from her heart
It runs through her fingers,
Like sand, like time.

- Sunrise of Avalon

Sunrise of Avalon picks straight back up from where Dark Moon of Avalon ended; Briton on the verge of an inevitable war with the Saxons and Isolde pregnant with Trystan’s child. Isolde spends her days tending to the sick & wounded, glimpsing what may or will be in the waters through use of The Sight, leaving herself in a state of constant anxiety fearing for her beloved’s life. Trystan, recently having set out on another quest in order to rescue his friend Fidach from the bloody paws of Octa the Bloody.
Trystan, has always held himself responsible for any ill or death that befalls any of his men and insists to his closest comrades that he is not worthy of Isolde’s love, little does he know that Isolde carries his child and that they are ultimately, each others perfect half. After all they have been through and their personal sacrifices for the greater glory of Briton and her people; the new dawn shines down upon them, banishing the darkness leaving Trystan & Isolde united.

The Legend of Isolde & Trystan is legendary and I’m happy that Anna chose to steer away from the traditional tragic ending to that of the earlier Welsh version, a much happier ending where the lovers remain united. An ending which I had been secretly hoping for all along as I had become quite emotionally attached to the characters and believed they deserved the ending Anna bestowed upon them (I would have settled for nothing less).

Anna is one of those amazing author’s who invoke a sense of place within her novels, you feel as though you’re able to draw back the veil, standing like a wraith watching the story unfold before your eyes, you smell the herbs, the sweat & anxiety of battle, hear the cries of the injured and feel the bond of eternal love between Trystan and Isolde. This had to be my favourite of the three novels, not because it was written any better than the previous two but because it tied the story up with a neat bow; it quenched my thirst for Arthurian legend but at the same time, satisfied my longing for a happily ever after.
The conclusion to a wonderful love story made me laugh and cry and I have no doubt that it will remain forever one of my all time favourite Arthurian series and books read to date. I couldn’t possibly recommend it more, if you love Arthurian Legend, Fantasy and a well researched & written novel, then go no further, for you will not be at all disappointed!

Review copy gifted by the author, Thank you Anna, you know how much it meant to me x

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