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CompleteMartialArts.com - The Lady of the Sea: The Third of the Tristan and Isolde Novels (The Tristan and Isolde Novels)

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Manufacturer: Three Rivers Press
Average Customer Rating: Average rating of 3.0/5Average rating of 3.0/5Average rating of 3.0/5Average rating of 3.0/5Average rating of 3.0/5

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Binding: Paperback
Dewey Decimal Number: 813
EAN: 9780307209856
ISBN: 0307209857
Label: Three Rivers Press
Manufacturer: Three Rivers Press
Number Of Items: 1
Number Of Pages: 352
Publication Date: 2005-11-22
Publisher: Three Rivers Press
Release Date: 2005-11-22
Studio: Three Rivers Press

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Editorial Reviews:

The final thrilling chapter in the Tristan and Isolde trilogy

Isolde, heir to the throne of the queens, is now a sovereign in her own right. With the glories of the throne comes the responsibility of a queen, and Isolde knows she must return to her beloved Western Isle. She can no longer tolerate her marriage to King Mark of Cornwall, a marriage she has accepted for years to save her country from the threat of war—and to be near her only love, Mark’s nephew, Tristan of Lyonesse. And so she leaves Cornwall and comes home to Ireland, where her lords face a growing threat from the warlike Picti, who live in the barren highlands to the north of England. The Picti have a bold new king, Darath, who is determined to take the riches of Ireland for his own people, whether by war or by marriage with Isolde.

Isolde gathers her armies to confront the Picti while facing a violent conflict with King Mark, who vows he will not let a prize like Isolde, and Ireland, slip from his grasp. Isolde is last in a line of famous warrior queens who have guarded Ireland from time before memory, and now she—and her knight, Tristan—must play out their fate and face her enemies in a final battle, a war that could spell ruin for them both.

To download a free copy of the discussion group guide in this book visit CrownPublishing.com.

Spotlight customer reviews:

Customer Rating: Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5
Summary: Glad to finish the series up
Comment: I think the first two books were much better than the last, wishing perhaps that the story should have ended with Tristan's death at the end of book two, like all other sources to this ancient story. The third book though good in some parts lacked in both drama and substance. I hate when books are drawn out in immense detail but this book certainly could have used it. Events such as the Picts leader's departure was too hasty, and unbelievable (like he would give up the Queen and ruling Ireland with just one short conversation, after his resolve to do so had been so ardent). Also was the event of Mark's demise, when he instantly regrets and realizes his sins as he is dying. I didn't like how Tristan is so guilt stricken when he kills men, which are all those seeking to bring about his demise, like Andred and Mark. If somebody wanted to kill me as those two did, I'd have no trouble giving them what they deserve, and I wouldn't cry about it afterward. Then there is Tristan and Isolde's relationship through most of the book. They blow hot and cold every time they are in each others presence, and they keep holding back words that should be spoken. Those aren't the dealings between true lovers. I may not read this series again, but I will consider this author's Guinevere series. Good series beginning and middle, bad ending.

Customer Rating: Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5
Summary: THE LADY OF THE SEA Is A Very Worthy Read!
Comment: This is the final book of a trilogy regarding another timeless favorite story, Tristan & Isolde. This story is also from the Arthurian legends and is very similar to the love triangle of Arthur, Lancelot & Guenivere.

The best by far of the three novels brings to a conclusion Tristan and Isolde's story. They endure and triumph over many seemingly insurmountable obstacles, not the least of which is King Mark. However, they provide many of their own problems by, at times, doubting each others love and fidelity.

Isolde decides that she can no longer remain married to King Mark of Cornwall. He has carried on with his mistress for years and was only a marriage of convenience from the start. It was never consumated and was only initiated to prevent King Mark from invading her kingdom, the Western Isle, Ireland.

Tristan and Isolde must weather many separations, extreme conditions and Mark's relentless pursuit of them both to finally and permanently come together.

The book was very suspenseful, engaging and extremely hard to put down. I highly recommend it and believe it can also be read as a stand-alone novel.

Customer Rating: Average rating of 1/5Average rating of 1/5Average rating of 1/5Average rating of 1/5Average rating of 1/5
Summary: Mind-numbing.
Comment: I felt obligated to finish the trilogy. It was a mistake. This book was so unbelievably boring. You see, Tristan and Isolde get separated. Then Tristan is beset by something and then Isolde whines to the Goddess, oh my love my love. Then they get back together, and then they get separated and then Tristan is beset by something and Isolde whines to the Goddess, oh my love my love. Repeat. It's horrid. I wish I could get a refund. Truly, don't waste your time. Try the Kushiel series by Jacqueline Carey, it's a way better investment in your time (and reading dollar.)

Customer Rating: Average rating of 2/5Average rating of 2/5Average rating of 2/5Average rating of 2/5Average rating of 2/5
Summary: Time for the story to stop.
Comment: This is the third in the Tristan and Isolde Series by Rosalind Miles and the story is tired. The first several chapters are a dull recap of the previous parts of the trilogy and do little to pull you into the new book. When finally the story did liven up and I felt it pulling me along to the next chapter, I was easily 90 pages in already. Even then, the story is much of the same. The author offers little new material and seems only to rework her previous ideas. The same characters are up to their same tactics to keep Tristan and Isolde from being together and being happy. Father Dominion is back to "bring Isolde down" and the lepers are back too. Again - same thing - new cover art. The new character of Darath offered some promise as he pledged his sword to Isolde; but I was disappointed that the story line came to an abrupt end and the character never reappeared. The most interesting part of the book was the opportunity to see the demise of so many characters who have been plodding along for 3 books. I enjoyed the first book greatly. The second was also interesting and my heart ached for the star-crossed lovers. Now, I'm a bit tired of the whole saga and I hope they live happily ever after because this story has been beaten to death.

Customer Rating: Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5
Summary: Exactly the ending you'd expect to the trilogy.
Comment: A brief overview of the trilogy:
Isolde is the princess of Ireland, married off to King Mark of Cornwall to protect her country, but deeply in love with his nephew, the fair and gallant Tristan. Mark is a self-absorbed, spoiled man, and his wife despises him. They never consummate their marriage, which Mark doesn't seem to mind until the third book. Tristan and Isolde seem to suffer no pangs of conscience, as they are not Christians as Mark, but follow the ancient Mother religion, and therefore believe that any woman has the choice to love and be with the man of her choosing. For twenty years Tristan and Isolde conduct an affair under the nose of the king. They navigate through seemingly endless trials and misunderstandings, never free to express their love.

Some readers may find this series more interesting than the Guenevere trilogy, for two reasons: the story of Tristan and Isolde is less well known than that of Camelot, and it's also a shorter tale, which allows the author more room for creativity. In the original myth, Tristan and Isolde both die around the events in the second book, The Maid Of The White Hands.

I was waiting for this third book for months, having finished "Maid of the White Hands" sometime in May. I wasn't exactly disappointed, but neither was I thrilled.

First of all, the book very definately follows Miles' typical style. The longing for lost loves, the mystical nature of the various Ladies and the Mother-right religion, the condemnation of Christianity, the idealistic resolution, were all there. If you've read the Guenevere novels and the first two in the series, you know exactly what I mean.

One thing I enjoy about Miles' work is the unique take on well-worn stories. I enjoy the way Miles both uses the myths as a framework and moves beyond them. I also enjoy the play between the Goddess worship and Christianity, rather than the strictly Christian viewpoint usually seen (in the story of Camelot/Holy Grail, etc.)

I found Isolde more likeable in this last book than previously, when she seemed to be ruled by circumstance and pride rather than her own will. Tristan, however, I'm not so found of. In this book the lovers are supposedly forty years old, yet Tristan does not seem to have matured at all. He maintains his blindly idealistic belief in honor, which hurts Isolde and puts them both in danger. Mark crosses the line from self-absorbed and foolish to violent and evil. His nephew Andred is a completely static character, his actions fully foreseeable. Also present are the scheming Christian prists, Merlin, and Queen Igraine.

This book seemed to me a rush job, and not a labor of love. Some finer points of logic were overlooked. Mark's actions grow increasingly outrageous and illogical (Isolde's treatment was witnessed by many, yet supposedly no one knows the truth); things are done by major characters that seem to have no consequences (particularly Tristan, at the end). Also, Tristan is king of Lyonesse, Isolde is queen of Ireland--yet Tristan apparently hasn't been back to his country in ten years or more, and Isolde has been away from Ireland for very long periods too. Wouldn't ambitious people like Andred try to take over in the monarchs' absences?

Second, although I realize authors don't want to just give things away every time, Miles creates artifical suspense by having characters be anonymous for several pages. For example, when Tristan and Isolde are hiding in a secluded castle, the author goes out of her way to make an approaching man seem ominous and dangerous, only to have him be a friend. This approach is overused, especially in the second half of the book. There are constant plot "twists", a number of which aren't terribly surprising, merely irritating because the build-up and mystery were not necessary.

Thirdly, the repetition of certain things grows very irritating. How many times now has Tristan appeared to Isolde disguised from both queen and reader for several pages? How many times does he ask "do you not know me, my love?" when he's been concealing himself deliberately? How many times does Isolde have imaginary conversations with her dead mother/"Mawther"? How many times now has she thought Tristan dead? And how many times do the words "No tears, no fears" have to be repeated? The refrain of "Goddess, Mother..." becomes grating after six books (Guenevere and Isolde both), as does "Erin. Ireland. Home." We get it already, Ireland is Isolde's home. Even within this one book, certain phrases are just plain overused.

I did enjoy this book, but it took longer than usual to read it because of all the mild irritations and frustrations. It resolved the trilogy in pretty much the way I expected, there's lots of chivalrous romance and adventure, and it's got a happy ending. Anyone who has previously enjoyed Miles' books will enjoy this one, but someone on the edge may find it a slogging, difficult read.

For a new reader of Miles' work, I would suggest starting with the Guenevere trilogy, as I found it much more enjoyable.

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