Title: Sunrise of Avalon
Author: Anna Elliott
Release Date: September 13, 2011
Genre: Historical Fiction
Rating: 4 out of 5
Warning: This book may contain spoilers for the previous books in the trilogy, Twilight of Avalon and Dark Moon of Avalon.
Isolde thought she and Trystan could finally be together after all that has kept them apart, but the lure of settling his past is too strong for Trystan. Once again, she lets him go, unsure of whether he will return to her. Meanwhile, Isolde must turn her attention to High King Madoc and his tenuous hold on the alliance against Octa and Lord Marche. She knows there is a traitor on the council, but who could it be? And what kind of damage might they do before they are discovered?
Sunrise of Avalon is the explosive conclusion to Anna Elliott’s Trystan and Isolde trilogy, and Elliott makes sure the reader is in suspense from beginning to end. From the first page, it’s clear that the novel will end with some sort of great battle; after all, that’s what the entire trilogy has been leading to. But the author takes her time getting there, weaving multiple intricate plots that all come together in a satisfying conclusion.
Isolde has grown up by the time Sunrise of Avalon begins, but she is still the same woman readers have come to know and love. She’s strong, resourceful, and incredibly brave. She has a wonderful desire to help others, even if it comes at great cost to herself. She hasn’t lost that tendency to rush in before thinking things through, which can be frustrating, but is a real testament to her sense of duty.
Readers really see the relationship between Isolde and Trystan for the first time in Sunrise of Avalon. It’s been wonderful to watch their love unfold over the course of two books, but this is the first time the reader really gets to see them as a couple. I’ll admit that their interactions seemed a bit modern to me, but I found it satisfying overall. I would have enjoyed that exploration continuing over the course of the novel, even if Trystan had to depart. It’s understandable why he felt he needed to take the action he did, but it’s unclear why he decides he can’t be with Isolde at all except to create drama for the book.
There are many reinventions of the Arthur legend in print today, but Anna Elliott’s is one of the most creative and enjoyable that I’ve come across. She completely reimagines the tale, creating an entirely new history, and crafts it as historical fiction rather than fantasy. I highly recommend this entire trilogy, with one caveat - it’s much easier to read these books close together than to wait lengthy intervals between each. The books are carefully written with many subplots, and though Elliott does try and provide a refresher, it’s much easier to have the previous book fresh in your mind before picking up the next. Now that the entire trilogy has been released, I definitely think that interested readers should seek it out.