The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
A retelling of the Arthurian legends from the perspective of the women who are traditionally in the background of the tales this is a complex book full of moral dilemmas.
The lives of these women are harsh and full of deaths and forced marriages and they struggle with the choices the men around them make which made this novel tough going in places.
The conflict between the pagan matriarchal society of Avalon and the increasingly Christian Camelot is a focus in much of the novel and is very well presented in all its facets. Morgan Le Fay is a familiar character in popular culture and is typically a one-dimensional evil sorceress. Here she is the main character (called Morgaine) and the villainous actions that she is known for in film and literature are understandable now that we see her side. In this respect the book reminded me of Gregory Maguire's Wicked.
I am counting this book as my 'retelling of a classic story' for the Read Harder Challenge.