Review: Twilight of Avalon
Twilight of Avalon by Anna Elliot
From the cover:
Ancient grudges, old wounds, and the quest for power rule in the newly widowed Queen Isolde’s court. Hardly a generation after the downfall of Camelot, Isolde grieves for her slain husband, King Constantine, a man she secretly knows to have been murdered by the scheming Lord Marche — the man who has just assumed his title as High King. Though her skills as a healer are renowned throughout the kingdom, in the wake of Con’s death, accusations of witchcraft and sorcery threaten her freedom and her ability to bring Marche to justice. Burdened by their suspicion and her own grief, Isolde must conquer the court’s distrust and superstition to protect her throne and the future of Britain.
One of her few allies is Trystan, a prisoner with a lonely and troubled past. Neither Saxon nor Briton, he is unmoved by the political scheming, rumors, and accusations swirling around the fair queen. Together they escape, and as their companionship turns from friendship to love, they must find a way to prove what they know to be true — that Marche’s deceptions threaten not only their lives but the sovereignty of the British kingdom.
I’m a huge fan of historical fiction and I love all the old legends, stories, and tales told in the past so when I saw Anna Elliot writing a trilogy about Trystan and Isolde, I knew I had to pick it up. Twilight of Avalon, the first book in the series, left me with a mixed reaction, but in a good way.
At times, I found the plot to be a bit predictable and repetitive. Isolde continuously went from being captured to escaping back to being captured again. Lather, rinse, repeat. Despite the predictable plot though, I was completely engrossed by the story. I couldn’t put the book down for more than two seconds. I even ended up bargaining with myself because of this book and you know how that works. I would tell myself I’ll study one lecture of anesthesiology and then reward myself by reading one chapter of Twilight of Avalon. Of course, in reality, what really happened is that I would study half of a lecture and then read four chapters before I can force myself to stop. Even though I knew Isolde and Trystan would manage to find a way to escape and get out of the predicament they put themselves in (let’s face it, no author is going to kill of the main characters in the first book of a trilogy), I still wanted to know what would really happen and how they would escape. The book was entertaining enough to keep me going and kept me flipping pages.
In addition to the enjoyable plot, I really love the characters in this book. Isolde was an extremely well developed character. She’s complex and multilayered and Anna Elliot slowly unfolds each layer as we progressed through the book. Trystan wasn’t as developed as Isolde, but the foundation is solid and she’s leaves a lot of potential for his growth in the next two books.
I’m excited to continue the series and I can’t wait to get through the series. Although after my past experience with this book I might just have to wait until exams are over for this week before I pick up Dark Moon of Avalon. Yes, I know I have no self control when it comes to books.
Regardless of what kind of reader you are, I think you can find something enjoyable about this whether you’re a fan of Arthurian legends, historical fiction, or a pinch of fantasy. So far Twilight of Avalon has been a great start for the trilogy of Trystan and Isolde.