The Road to Avalon

Joan Wolf, Author
Joan Wolf, Author Dutton Books $18.95 (358p) ISBN 978-0-453-00607-1
Reviewed on: 08/05/1988
Release date: 08/01/1988
Making old material new marks a master storyteller and with this fresh look at the legend of King Arthur, romance writer Wolf reaffirms her preeminence in those ranks. Although the Romans have already left Britain, Uther Pendragon is a Roman king, married to the Celtic princess Igraine, daughter of Merlin. Their son Arthur, conceived before Igraine's divorce from her first husband, has been raised in secret with Merlin's younger daughter Morgan, wherein lies the emotional heart of this tale. Arthur and Morgan, his half-aunt, share a love that cannot be acknowledged. When, as king, he must marry, Arthur weds the Celtic princess Gwenhwyfar, but he and Morgan remain lovers, while Gwenhwyfar, with Arthur's blessing, finds love with Bedwyr, the king's closest friend and ally. With the strength of his leadership and personality, Arthur unifies the British tribes, repells the Saxon threat and, adapting Roman ideas of government, establishes peace in the kingdom. But when Mordred, a young Celtic prince with an uncanny likeness to Arthur, comes to Camelot, jealousy and ambition threaten Arthur's dream. Portraying characters with crisp and memorable originality, Wolf capturesand enrichesthe tragic sweep of romance and idealism inherent in the Arthurian tale. Imaginative and moving, this narrative by the author of The Rebel and the Rose is historical fiction at its finest. (August)
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