Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Ravens Of Avalon
Boudica, a Briton princess, arrives on the Isle of Mona to study the old ways with other children of chieftains and talented youth. After several years, Boudica, like the others, is given the option to stay on Mona or return home. Lhiannon, a young priestess who befriends her, also has a difficult choice—should she follow her heart or strive to strengthen her visions, thereby better serving the Britons, by remaining pure?
As much as Boudica cherishes Lhiannon’s friendship, she realizes that her fate is to further her family’s alliances through marriage. Meanwhile, the Roman army is intent on conquering Britannia, and Lhiannon uses her magic to assist the Celts as they fight a losing battle for their land. After surrendering to Rome, the Iceni have a short period of peace before the Romans begin to inflict indignities that cannot be ignored. The Druids call upon Morrigan, the battle goddess, for assistance—which affects Boudica, now Queen of the Iceni, and eager to defy the Romans.
Paxson’s continuation of Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Avalon series compares favorably with the books written by Bradley alone. A prequel to The Forest House, this novel was envisioned by Bradley and Paxson as they co-wrote one of Bradley’s final works. Included are many Druid rituals, no matter how brutal, and a well-researched history of the Queen of the Iceni, whose actions shaped history during the middle of the first century AD.
Nestled chronologically between Ancestors of Avalon and The Forest House, Ravens of Avalon can easily be enjoyed without prior exposure to the series. As feminist fiction, this novel will appeal to anyone interested in women’s perspectives of epic battles as well as spirituality prior to Christianity’s dominance.