One of the first gifts I received from my husband was The Mists of Avalon. Marion Zimmer Bradley wrote the book in 1982.
It is the story about King Arthur, from the point of view of the women of Avalon. The usual cast of characters are present in the novel; Arthur, Gweneviere, Merlin, Morgana, the Lady of the Lake, and others, including the sword Excalibur.
Some reviewers call this a femnist book. There is also the conflict between Christian and pagan points of view that many are drawn to. In the reviews I've read people seem to love or hate the book. The fact is, I loved it 100%. The story, itself, is well-written. The point of view from the women's perspective is unique and interesting.
One review by Beth Derochea calls it "one of the more controversial books in Arthurian fiction."
The book has since been made into a tv movie. This is a link to the tv movie site with various pictures and a synopsis that is quite good, with lots of pictures from the movie. Actors such as Julianna Margulies, Uli Edel, Mark Lewis Jones, Caroline Goodall, Michael Byrne, Michael Vartan, Hans Matheson, Joan Allen, Samantha Mathis, Anjelica Huston, Clive Russell, and Edward Atterton are in the movie. The movie trailer is linked here.
As a big fan of all things Arthurian, I found this book and its different perspective really intriguing. I loved it all of those years ago, and still love it now. I've recently reread it and still find it interesting.