Author: Anna Elliott
Release Date: May 5th, 2009 (originally April 18, 2009)
Pages: 432 (Paperback)
Genre: Romance | Historical | Arthurian
Series: Twilight Of Avalon #1
Read: from August 8 to 13, 2012
Source & Shelf: Purchase | Own
She is a healer, a storyteller, a warrior, and a queen without a throne. In the shadow of King Arthur’s Britain, one woman knows the truth that could save a kingdom from the hands of a tyrant…
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.
*This review might contain spoilers*
I’m a bit upset with this book despite the 4 cups I gave it; the story continues. Since this book is a novel of Trystan and Isolde, I guess I was expecting a little bit more of romance than the obvious attraction between the two characters. However, I am sure the is going to appear loads of it the upcoming books. At least, I’m hoping it will.
I will be honest, I was a bit reticent at the beginning. As a person who has read several books concerning the Arthurian legend, having Modrer and Guinivere (in this case Gwynyfar) having a daughter together was simply strange. And having the love story of Trystan and Isolde in the middle was also something that made me raise my eyebrow in concern. I was scared of what would come after that. But this book managed to surprise me and it’s not in King’s Arthur court but a generation afterwards.
Arthur died and Constantine is in the throne. He’s married to Isolde, who is Arthur and Morgan’s granddaughter. A bit weird for me but still a nice touch. I do believe Anna Elliott managed to put both legends together, mix them up and create a very believable story.
The books starts with Constantine’s death after a battle against the Saxons. There’s a council in which they need to determine whether to find themselves a new High King or to scatter around, depending completely on themselves for survival.
The politics is one main pillar in this book. And I found myself reading more and more to know what they would decide ’cause Isolde’s future lied at their hands. And I’m not into politics for that matter. I was overwhelmed with the amount of injustice the Medieval times went through but couldn’t help praying for Isolde to take a step forward and try to open the eyes of the council.
And, as if the Saxons weren’t enough trouble, Isolde is later accused of witchcraft. Being Morgana le Fey’s granddaughter, the men looked at her as if she were something malign. The council didn’t care whether she was the late High King widow or not… if something strange and unexplainable happened, the fault was Isolde’s.
And then you have this prisoner who turns out to be Trystan. And he’s connected to Isolde in a way you only find out with Isolde herself. Let’s just say that her memory was “erased” by herself after the battle that killed her father and grandfather – she was just a child back then and she was forced to married Constantine. Trystan unlocks those memories and the romance I was highly anticipating, was just an obvious attraction and friendship.
The book is mainly told by Isolde’s perspective. She’s a fighter, a strong and independent woman who would do everything she could to stop the throne falling into the wrong hands. She kind of reminded me of Morgaine’s from The Mists of Avalon which was something rather, let’s say, sweet since she’s Morgana’s granddaughter. Elliott did a nice job in creating a credible character with whom we can relate to. She’s a very human character which contrast with what people think of her.
Overall, I really liked this book though the romance was missing. I want to continue this series – even though the price of Dark Moon of Avalon isn’t that inviting.
If you like medieval romances, battles with a bit of witchcraft, I recommend you to pick this book.