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The Forest House  By  cover art

The Forest House

By: Marion Zimmer-Bradley
Narrated by: Rosalyn Landor
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Publisher's Summary

She was Eilan, the daughter of a Druidic warleader and gifted with visions. In a land struggling to survive both Roman conquerors and her own people's enemies, surely fate had marked her to become a priestess of the Forest House.

But first Eilan had chosen a different, forbidden path - to love Gaius, a soldier of mixed blood among the legions sent to subdue her country. So she must hide a terrible secret when she is anointed as the new High Priestess. With mighty enemies poised to usurp the wealth of magic the Forest House sheltered, Eilan could only trust in the power of the great Goddess to find her destiny amidst the treacherous labyrinth in which fate had placed her.

©1994 Marion Zimmer Bradley (P)2010 Tantor
  • Series: Avalon, Book 2
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Critic Reviews

"With the sure touch of one at ease in sketching out mystic travels.... Bradley writes with an unhurried pace and uncluttered staging." ( Kirkus Review)

What listeners say about The Forest House

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Re-recorded and highly effective

This is not a reissue/transfer of the unabridged cassette tapes that were originally produced. Everything about this new recording is outstanding. Rosalyn Landor is an absolutely, perfectly beautiful interpreter of these characters and words. In fact, she's so wonderful, I wish she had also been engaged to rerecord The Mists of Avalon as well; she is really *that* good! This story, though slighter than Mists, is a wonderful tale and forerunner to the main novel of the saga. If you've heard the cassettes and haven't really cared for them, I urge to you get this new recording and hear this beautiful story for the "first time."

41 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Good story, stay with it and you will enjoy it

Would you listen to The Forest House again? Why?

Yes, it is a large book and has a lot of details to get through in the first 5 chapters. If Rosalyn Landor had not made it so easy to stay with it, I may not have finished it. But after those first 5 chapters you have a great understanding of what is happening, time frame, and the lead people in the book. Then it gets good and I am going to read the next one of these books.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Forest House?

Beltane Fires

What does Rosalyn Landor bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

She has a rich and engaging way of sharing a story that makes you feel like you are experiencing it. Very easy to listen to and like I stated above, without her reading this story I would have put it down.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Beltane, The Lady

Any additional comments?

Problem I have is finding out which is the next real book in this as there are two with Avalon that could be the next one. It is important with this novel to stay with the time frame so if you could make that happen it would be a great improvement. You have the series which are numbered, but the confusion is with the Lady of Avalon and the final book as the producer's information doesn't tell you where in the timeline they fall.

12 people found this helpful

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Could only stand it for 20 minutes

Any additional comments?

The narrator was so annoying I just couldn't take it. The women's lines sound like men, and men's lines sound like old nuns. egad.

8 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Bad narrator.

All the male caracters sound old and pompous regardless of age. A big big negative!

7 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Enjoyable book

What did you like best about The Forest House? What did you like least?

Good story, a little slow in places, but still held interest.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

Good ending, and leads you into the next book.

6 people found this helpful

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Disappointing

I wanted to give this book a chance as I consider 'The Mists of Avalon' to be a masterwork. After seven chapters I had to bail out of this profoundly unengaging novel---totally opposite from the 'Mists' which pulled me in from the first page.

5 people found this helpful

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Amazing writing, story, and narration

The forest house is the prequel to the mists of avalon. I enjoyed both books and want to reread the latter to see more of the connections between the two.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Emotionally Draining

I cannot recommend this audio book any more highly. The story kept me enthralled and the narrator was fantastic. I early on recognized that the story was derived from plot of Bellini's Norma which only made the inescapable ending more emotional for me. I liked this audio book so much that I have already purchased the next two books in the series, especially because they are performed by the same narrator.

3 people found this helpful

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Narration is awful. I have tried twice

I just cannot abide this narrator. Overly enunciated like an English Lit teacher reading from a textbook.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars

Awesome book, narcoleptic reading...

Would you try another book from Marion Zimmer Bradley and/or Rosalyn Landor?

I read the book years ago and it is amazing and a great prequal to the Mists of Avalon. The woman reading though, put me out within 3 minutes every time I pressed play. Of course I'd read/listen to another book by Marion Zimmer Bradley, but not if Rosalyn Landor's name is attached to it.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Her voice just made me sleepy.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

The story!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Tasha Walsh
  • 06-13-20

Great truth within

I've just read this the 3rd time. So special! always. it holds a great truth!

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Ms. Jane E. Walters
  • 02-15-20

Inspiring

I read Mists of Avalon years ago as I have always been interested in the spirituality of the women in my ancestry. I believe in their magic, which is bought to life in this series, and inspires an inherent need to rekindle what was lost when the male dominant thinking took over.. Bradley seems very knowledgeable about all these secret, mystical ways that lost their value along with the value of what women can be at their very best. These stories speak to an empty space within us. I am hoping that the rest of the series is made available to audible soon. In my opinion Bradley is a great writer, and her stories are rich, deep and compelling.

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Treehugger
  • 11-17-19

Good epic story

This tale is set in mediaeval times by the sound of it (I'm not quite sure - several decades or even perhaps a century after the reign of king Arthur perhaps?) The narrator is very well spoken and enunciates carefully, helping the text along with her carefully expressive delivery. She makes perhaps rather too much of an effort sometimes, as if she's reading a children's book to a class, so that all the male characters sound rather like pompous elephants! They are a little over exaggerated and sound a little ridiculous. Apart from this, I can see that she's trying very hard and this is an enjoyable book to listen to.
It's a good read for fans of Marion Zimmer Bradley (as I am) and I like novels set in the past, as we get a good feel for all the details of old times. This book is a little slow paced perhaps, with not very much going on and slow to heat up , it's not exactly gripping and It actually laid it down several times and started other audio books in between listening to it,
but it recreates a interesting and accurate atmosphere of the times.

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • CantVal
  • 09-03-19

Shame about the narration

Although this story is not quite As good as the Mists of Avalon it is a great pity that the narrator of the Mists was not used for this as it would have been so much the better for it

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • jenny wren
  • 03-01-16

Prequel to Mists of Avalon

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

I found the narrator's male voices irritating because they all sounded pompous and old. You don't have to try and sound like a man if you're reading a male character's speech.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-15-20

Beautiful

It took me a little while to get into this, the to begin I Found it hard to listen to the narrator. However 30 minutes in I was hooked. Beautiful story and beautiful performance. Please listen

1 person found this helpful

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  • Fran Turner
  • 07-25-17

Enthralling

Great story of the Romans and the Britons and how the Pagans. A very good read.

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  • Mira M.
  • 04-05-22

Fascinating story

The story is fascinating, the characters showed with all their facets, strenghts and weaknesses.
The mix of religion, power and its abuse as temporary today as it was then.
Very well written and told, An absolute Go for me.