Author: Marion Zimmer Bradley
Publisher: Baen Publishing, 1987
Series: Stand Alone
"There was a prophecy, long ago when I was still young -- A child will be born of a line first risen, then fallen; a child who will sire a new line, to break the father's evils forever."Synopsis: A wounded Atlantean prince...a deadly battle between Dark and Light...and the sisters Deoris and Domaris, whose lives are changed utterly by the magic involving them. These are the elements of "The Fall of Atlantis", Marion Zimmer Bradley's epic fantasy about that ancient and legendary realm. — On one side stand the Priests of the White Robe, guardians of powerful natural forces which could threaten the world if misused. Ranged against them are the Black Robes, sorcerers who secretly practice their dark arts in the labyrinthine caves beneath the very Temple of Light. Caught between are Domaris and Deoris, daughters of the Arch-priest Talannon, trapped in a web of deadly sorcery-the same forbidden sorcery that could bring about the fall of Atlantis.
Review: This book was a great first choice for the year! It was almost impossible to put down and the 500+ pages went by like a breeze. There really is no one better at historical Fantasy than this author. She proved that to me in her Avalon series and in this book, she proves it again.
It becomes clear at the end of the story that Atlantis will eventually be destroyed, but it was not their fault. Another land, far across the ocean, used magic that caused a cataclysm that would reach the island nation of Atlantis and sink it beneath the waters.
Meanwhile, there were so many rich and varied characters and so many breathtakingly real places that this story drags you unwittingly into complete belief -- belief in magic and belief in Atlantis both. No "real" places are ever mentioned, so I was left wondering where was this magical part of the world?
I found myself so drawn into the light and dark sides of this story and so in love with the main characters, Domaris and Deoris, that I was actually upset that I'd finished the book so quickly. I didn't want it to be over. Every part of their lives was imbued with magic and mystery. Their religious beliefs were firmly rooted in this mysterious link with the gods and magic.
My only complaint is that so much of the darkness seemed to revolve around the use of women for sex and power. But, even that couldn't dissuade me from genuinely loving this story. The dark priests were so dark sometimes, it made the light magic seem that much brighter, which I'm sure is what the author intended.
Rating: 9.5 / 10