The Witches of Avalon by Lavinia Collins

The Witches of AvalonA captivating new take on Arthurian legend

Morgan, the elder half-sister of newly crowned King Arthur, is on her way to becoming an accomplished witch. She learns quickly and soon makes a name for herself in Camelot.

Yet with war on the horizon, she puts more trust in her magic books and the sword Excalibur than in the people around her.

Morgan is never safe from the sinister, shape-shifting Merlin, or from the marriage plans that young King Arthur has made for her in order to secure his realm.

Will she listen to Merlin’s dark advice? And how far is she willing to go in her quest for freedom?

“It is as well to frighten people as to seduce them to get what you want.”

Enter Morgan’s world… addtogoodreads_zps55cd15da16The Reviewer JoyTAG

If you highly enjoyed Collins Guinevere Trilogy, you will adore the sequel to the story of Camelot presented through the eyes of Morgan, the powerful enchantress and half sister of King Arthur.

As a child Morgan was sent to live under the tutelage and protection of nuns at the Amesbury Abbey. Living at the Abbey afforded her the opportunity to spend her summers with Kay, Arthur, and Lancelot. Morgan was a quiet and kind child who often hid away in her room in the Abbey voraciously reading books. It’s fascinating to see her development from naïve child, to a young woman in love, to a young woman manipulated by darkness who is forced through circumstances beyond her control to rely on herself, dark magic and vengeance to survive. With the power of magic Morgan will become more than a pawn used in power plays to maintain the thrown. She will become a great force that will take down the greatest of men.

I liked that through Morgan’s story we not only get to know Morgan as a fleshed out character but we get to know her sister Morgawse from a different perspective. In Guinevere’s story we saw Morgawse cast as the wanton female who preyed upon Arthur but in this story we learn that she was a woman caught in the circumstances of her time. Morgawse had seemed to be nothing more than a petty, selfish and opulent person but now knowing her backstory and the trials she went through it shows she’s a woman who held her chin high out of necessity and strength of survival. Her follies were not always of her making and she had to deal with the cards that were forced upon her and play a dangerous hand that would keep her alive in a world ruled by violent controlling men.

Kay, one of the most loved characters from the Guinevere story, is brought back via his friendship and relationship with Morgan. I love reading more about Kay. He’s a character with a magnetic personality that draws you in. His relationship with Morgan is so beautiful yet heartbreaking. I now have a clearer understanding of how the changes and developments in his childhood friendships and teenage relationships affected him into his adulthood. I only wish the fates could have given Kay and Morgan an easier path in life but then that would make for a less intriguing tale of events.

Collins once again gives us a story of a powerful female protagonist pushing back against the powers of Camelot. She develops a multilayered character that embodies every part of the Morgan mythology. The story is an exciting and entertaining tale of a woman who is a witch, an enchantress, a seducer, a lover, a leader, a sibling, a friend, a foe, a victim and a perpetrator. Morgan is the embodiment of feminine power and feminine struggle. I can’t wait to read the second book!

Purchase LinksTAGKindle