Parvati Magazine March 2014 - Charm - Page 18

BOOKS THE MISTS OF AVALON Marion Zimmer Bradley G wenhwyfar, I would have you bear this in mind - charms often work as you would not that they would do.” - Morgaine It is now thirty years since Marion Zimmer Bradley’s book The Mists of Avalon dominated the New York Times bestseller lists and won the 1984 Locus Award for best fantasy novel. This retelling of the legend of King Arthur from the perspective of Morgaine, or Morgan le Fay, runs to almost 900 pages (yes, really!) and carries the reader through from Arthur’s parentage to the aftermath of his death. Yet he is not the most key player in the fifty-odd years of the book’s unfolding. Rather, it is the women around him - his mother Igraine, his sister Morgaine, his wife Gwenhwyfar - that most shape the trajectory of these years, for better or worse, as each woman seeks to do best what she feels her faith guides her to do. Morgaine begins the book as a little girl. She trains through her teen years as a priestess of the Goddess, learning self-mastery and the rhythms of the earth so that she can dedicate