“Legends of the Grail” Book 2

Heroines of Avalon & Other Tales


Heroines of Avalon & Other Tales is now available as an eBook from Amazon or Smashwords.

Hardcovers will be available November 1, 2018. Pre-orders are available.

HEROINES OF AVALON AND OTHER TALES
THE LEGENDS OF THE GRAIL SERIES

Ayn Cates Sullivan
Belle Crow duCray (Illustrator)
Infinite Light Publishing (Aug 20, 2018)
Hardcover $26.95 (279pp)
978-1-947925-04-5

Clarion Rating: 5stars

Heroines of Avalon weaves the ancient stories of British Isles goddesses and heroines together in a feminine, melodic assembly.

Ayn Cates Sullivan’s Heroines of Avalon and Other Tales is a beautiful mythology collection focused on the goddesses and heroines of the British Isles, sharing their stories and imagining how they can be honored in contemporary lives.

The collection is divided into three sections—one on Welsh mythology, one on British mythology, and one on the myths of the women of Avalon. Each section is subdivided to cover goddesses and heroines individually—first giving background information on each woman’s place within the myths, including their cultural and religious significance and individual abilities, then presenting their stories, and then proposing how they can be honored today. The format is easy to navigate, and all of the information is easy to process.

Sullivan’s retelling explores how the women’s actions led to their growing into legends. The women covered include the Welsh “archetypal womb Goddess” Arianrhod, who is betrayed and tricked into motherhood, and the Arthurian heroine Elaine, who guarded the Holy Grail with her life but was reduced to a lesser role within King Arthur’s story. Stories and sketches capture the period details well, from clothing to weapons to royal courts.

These are stories that have been told before, but Sullivan makes them her own. Her writing is lyrical and focuses on making the women central within familiar stories. Its tone is reverent, and its details are magical, from Blodeuwedd’s transformation from a flower into a woman to Iouga’s spiritual connection to her river. Here, the fantastical is not shied away from—it is amplified.

The reading experience is thorough and provocative. While some of these women interact in the myths, their stories are incorporated in a way that makes linear reading unnecessary. Goddesses can be approached on an individual basis, according to their attributes and abilities or to reader interest.

Instructions on connecting with each goddess are included—such as channeling Blodeuwedd, who is made a patron of physical love, within relationships; or calling upon Elen, who protects travelers, when you’re on a journey—elevating the book beyond its educational aspects and encouraging reflection and interaction.

Each heroine is different, both in meaning and in personality, and their stories are differently told. Each story has a distinct tone that complements the personality of its character, enabling deeper connections to the goddesses and heroines. At first, legends are related from a third-person point of view; halfway through, the text switches to a first-person narrative.

Heroines of Avalon weaves the ancient stories of British Isles goddesses and heroines together in a feminine, melodic assembly.

Reviewed by Hannah Hohman
September 20, 2018

 

Heroines of Avalon & Other Tales Reader’s Favorite 5 Star Review: 5star-shiny-web1

“Heroines of Avalon & Other Tales by Ayn Cates Sullivan transports readers into the time of legend and revisits deities and legendary female characters linked to Welsh and British mythology. In this book, the author shares her insights and her journey to discovering her past, a journey that compelled her to research the extraordinary characters in her book. She says: “Recently I discovered through DNA testing that my family is related to the most powerful woman of the 12th century. Eleanor of Aquitaine (1122-1204), the daughter and heiress of William, Duke of Aquitaine and Count of Poitiers.” While her discovery can be judged to be stunning, her research into the myth of the Holy Grail creates beautiful mythical encounters, bringing to life “untold” stories of characters like the Goddess Arianrhod, Blodeuweddi, Iouga, Elen, also known as “Elen of the Ways,” and the Goddess of Sovereignty, Elaine and Dindraine in the Arthurian female Grail Knights.

The writing is beautiful and atmospheric and readers listen to the voices of women of legend. The stories begin with an informative commentary that shares the author’s personal journey and offers elements of myth and the culture around which these characters evolved. The reader will understand the feminine visage of God and the role of some of the heroic women in the lives and history of legendary heroes like Arthur. The literary allusions are manifold in this narrative, and they feature the Lady of the Lake, Morte D’Arthur, and the Arthurian Round Table. One understands the role of women in British mythology and that brave kings were nothing without them: “A king must connect to the spirit of the land through a woman.”

Heroines of Avalon & Other Tales is a gripping narrative, a collection of powerful mythical women that will keep the reader spellbound. Ayn Cates Sullivan combines her storytelling craft with research to provide readers with great entertainment. Each story includes symbolism, a spirituality developed around the deity, and poems evoking a spiritual atmosphere linked to the character. It is well-illustrated and loaded with symbolism.”

— Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo for Readers’ Favorite

About Heroines of Avalon:

Any nation or tribe that remembers and re-tells the stories of their people carry a torch of light and insight that continues to pass hope from one generation to the next. Heroines of Avalon includes a round table of inspiring women, including well-known Welsh deities and almost forgotten Arthurian female Grail Knights and landscape Goddesses. In this collection of British myths and legends, each heroine re-tells her story, often freeing herself from centuries of misunderstanding. These feisty women are inspiring role models. The book also includes practices that can help the reader journey to the deity and integrate the heroine’s life affirming qualities. This is the second volume in the “Legends of the Grail” series, which focuses on the Grail as Goddess. The series is designed to help us restore and embrace the qualities of the feminine that have been lost in most cultures and religions.  As the age of violence and domination ends, we look to the feminine archetypes to heal us both individually and collectively, so the planet can be restored. It is a book that invites wholeness and peace. An interview with Iva Kenaz and Ayn Cates Sullivan in Prague about the Heroines of Avalon. Why are myths and legends important to us now?

Categories:

Women’s Fiction, Goddess Studies, Celtic Mythology

Current Interest: 

According to the New York Times, actress Reese Witherspoon recently said that it is important to bring “women to the front of their own stories and make them the heroes of their own stories.” (January 31, 2018, front page.) The three books in the Legends of the Grail series which can be read in any order, are written in such a way that each woman, goddess or heroine becomes the champion of her own tale.

Audience:

Anyone wishing to find feminine role models, and those with British or Celtic roots, which includes half of the population of the United States.

Mission of the Book: 

The purpose of the book (and the entire Legends of the Grail series) is to help women and men remember their wholeness. We are at critical turning point in our planetary history. It is time we remembered to care for one another and this Earth. These are stories date back, in some cases, as far as 8,000 years, yet the wisdom is timeless. We need tales of light and hope so that our children have a future to live into!

Pre-order now – Launches November 1, 2018 ISBN: 978-1-947925-04-5 (hardback) Pre-launch Review copies available now.

Contact info@infinitelightpublishing.com for details: 978-1-947925-06-9(eBook) 978-1-947925-08-3 (paperback)