Review: Twilight of Avalon: A Novel of Trystan and Isolde by Anna Elliott

PhotobucketTwilight of Avalon: A Novel of Trystan and Isolde (Book One, Twilight of Avalon Trilogy)
by Anna Elliott

Publication Date:  May 5, 2009
Touchstone Publishing


SYNOPSIS:  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.

In Twilight of Avalon, Anna Elliott returns to the roots of the legend of Trystan and Isolde to shape a very different story -- one based in the earliest written versions of the Arthurian tales -- a captivating epic brimming with historic authenticity, sweeping romance, and the powerful magic of legend. 

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Sculptured from one of the earliest tellings of the legend of King Arthur, Geoffrey Monmouth’s History of the Kings of Britain, author Anna Elliott weaves an enchanting and spell-binding tale of Trystan and Isolde in her debut novel Twilight of Avalon.

Isolde’s family tree is quite bewildering. She is the daughter of Gwnefar, who betrayed Arthur with Modred, Arthur’s son with his step-sister Morgan. After Isolde’s birth, Gwen flees to a convent where she dies. Her father Modred is often away fighting his father Arthur for the throne, so she is left in the care of her grandmother Morgan. Morgan is a known healer and seer, though some call her a witch and she passes on her knowledge to Isolde, though the gift of sight has all but left Isolde as the novel opens.

Isolde’s husband and the High King of Britain, King Constantine, has been murdered and rather than give way to grieving she is plotting a way to save her country and herself from the clutches of the new High King, Lord Marche, whom she believes brought about Con’s death. She meets Trystan after they are both able to escape from Marche and combine forces if you will to warn others of Marche’s plans on deceiving Britain to the Saxons. Along their journey they naturally become close and as flashes of Isolde’s memories that she has hidden for so long start to resurface, she begins to remember her past.

This is actually my second time reading Twilight of Avalon and I didn’t think it possible, but I liked it even more this time around! I think the first time I was so eager to keep those pages turning and know what was happening next and this time I was able to slow down and savor it more. Anna Elliott is a remarkable storyteller and has created a world that I could get lost in on a daily basis! Not only are Isolde and Trystan fantastic characters, but I also adored Trystan’s loyal friends Kian and Hereric. With great writing, a strong woman protagonist, a hunky, but broken hero and one really nasty villain you’ve got the perfect formula for one fabulous book!!!

Stay tuned for my review of Book Two of the Twilight of Avalon trilogy, Dark Moon of Avalon, which will be released on September 14th.

Anna Elliott has also written a FREE short story titled The Witch Queen's Secret which features a minor character from Twilight of Avalon.  To download it, click HERE.

For more information, visit Anna Elliott's WEBSITE.  

FTC DISCLOSURE:  I was sent this book by the publisher for review.



  1. I wish I had time for a reread of this before getting to the second book!

  2. I often reread books I really like. Like you, I find I was in such a hurry to find out "what happened next" that I missed things. I get so much more out of the second reading. I will have to get this book. A friend is currently reading every Arthurian book she can get her hands on. I'll have to pass on the info of these books plus the free down load.

    Thanks for the review and the information.

  3. This sounds so very good. Thanks for this post.

  4. Thanks for the review - it's probably been 12-13 years since I read a book based on the Arthurian legends. This review made me think about getting back into them - I remember how much fun it was to return over and over again to the same characters but then discover the different interpretations!


  5. This is definitely a book I want to read when I have the time to pursue it. I love the cover as well. Arthurian legends have always been a favorite topic of mine to read about.

    Great review.

  6. I'm so sorry I'm only now managing to drop by and say thanks so much for such a lovely review! Funny you should mention the family tree, too--I'm just putting the finishing touches on an interactive family tree for my website that will hopefully help readers make a bit more sense of it all. I'll let you know when it's up and running! :)

  7. Thanks for the refresher because I am reading Dark Moon and having some mempry issues, but now it's all better :) Excellent review as always.

  8. Thanks for the refresher because I am reading Dark Moon and having some mempry issues, but now it's all better :) Excellent review as always.

  9. I'm adding it to the "shelf". Thank you!


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