Ancestors of Avalon
In 1982 Marion Zimmer Bradley wrote The Mists of Avalon, a retelling of Arthurian lore from a feminist perspective. Bradley, eventually assisted by Paxson, continued this series until her death in 1999 – leaving Paxton as heir to the Mists legacy. This prequel begins as the islands of Atlantis sink into the sea. Among the boats of refugees are Tiriki and Micail, married Guardians of Atlantis, who are prophesied to rebuild the temple. In the confusion, they become separated and Tiriki’s boat drifts north to the desolate Tor, away from Belsairath, an area already inhabited by previously displaced Atlanteans. Micail’s vessel finds Belsairath, and he is convinced by Prince Tjalan to coordinate the construction of megaliths that, unknown to Micail, are to help them enslave the land’s current occupants and recreate the opulent Atlantis kingdom.
While not even Bradley’s own subsequent Mists novels are as complex and moving as the original, Paxson’s effort is commendable as she builds upon references Bradley made to the Atlanteans in previous novels. Along the way, Paxson gives a reasonable explanation of how these people from Atlantis came to Britannia, how they integrated with the native residents to form the mysterious Avalon, and how and why the megaliths of England were formed.
This novel is required reading for those addicted to the Mists series. However, the novel is accessible on its own and will be fascinating to anyone intrigued with the mystery of Britain’s megaliths or lost continent of Atlantis mythology.