PRIESTESS OF AVALON (AVALON #4) by Marion Zimmer Bradley & Diana L. Paxson

While THE MISTS OF AVALON, the first volume in this series was set in Britain in the five hundreds CE, when the Romans left, the Anglo-Saxons arrived and Christianity was ascendant, PRIESTESS OF AVALON is set some three hundred years earlier, between the years 249 and 329 CE so we experience Avalon and its Priestesses in their heyday.

PRIESTESS OF AVALON is the tale of Julia Coelia Helena, daughter of Julius Coelius, a Roman nobleman, and Rian, a Pagan woman associated with the priestesses of Avalon. Rian calls her daughter Eilan. And so we have the tale of the Empress Helena, mother of Constantine the Great, renowned for her Christian faith, and her influence over her son which caused him to make the whole Roman Empire Christian. But in this telling, her faith is more complex and never far away from the Pagan roots of the Goddess.

If you love reading well-known tales told from the unusual perspective of the women involved, you will enjoy this story. Five stars.