The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley
At Tintagel castle, Morgaine spends her days in the company of her mother and aunt, until the fateful day her mother is introduced to the new king, Uther Pendragon. Their meeting ignites a conflict between Uther and Morgaine's father, Gorlois, than culminates in Gorlois's death and the conception of Morgaine's half-brother, Arthur Pendragon. Follow Morgaine and the other women of Camelot, as they discover the wonders of Avalon, the intrigues of a Christian court, and the atrocities of war.
I first picked up The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley because it had the word Avalon on the cover, and a lovely picture of a woman holding a sword. When I started reading, I discovered a version of Arthurian legend told through the eyes of its women. It's difficult to adequately describe the feeling I get when I read this book: I feel transported. This story takes the reader to a world that most people consider male-dominated, and shows readers the important, even magnificent, roles that women might have played. Of course, this is a fictitious story, and I don't actually believe that the ladies of Avalon had any kind of mystical power, or that Avalon even existed. But this story has a way of grabbing you, and like Tehanu by Ursula K. Le Guin, forcing you to see the integrity and import of women's lives, even when they're doing such mundane activities as carding wool, spinning, or sewing.
View my suggested books by Marion Zimmer Bradley