Isolde, Queen of the Western Isle

Isolde, Queen of the Western Isle by: Rosalind Miles

Published: 2002

# of pages: 340

This is the first book in the Tristan & Isolde trilogy by Rosalind Miles. She also wrote the Guenevere novels, which I haven’t read. Honestly, this book really wasn’t that great and I don’t recommend it. I don’t want to spend too much time on this post for those reasons but I didn’t enjoy it because it really wasn’t well-written. I know I could have done a better job and I don’t write novels for a living! The author doesn’t leave anything subtle, she says every single thing, she doesn’t let you get to know a character’s feelings, etc. because she tells you exactly what to think. Also, she makes the bad guys too bad and the good guys too good, which I personally feel isn’t the best way to write. It doesn’t really encompass human nature, it’s not realistic.

The novel takes place when the Christians were coming in as missionaries and trying to convert the “pagans” in Britain and Ireland. So I understand that they are the antagonists in that case, since the main characters follow the old ways. But some of the “facts” Miles includes are not sound. She puts one character in there who claims that Christian communion was stolen from the pagan religion of the Lady giving wine and bread to the hungry. Which I don’t think is the case, communion is an adaptation of a Jewish holiday and is a symbolic remembrance of Christ’s sacrifice. It doesn’t really have to do with giving food and drink to hungry people. I’m not an expert in that field, but it just seems like Miles was trying really hard to make the Christians look “bad” for personal reasons. However, if this topic sounds interesting to you, read Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier. It’s very similar in content and is SO much better.


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