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Avilion (Mythago Wood 7) Paperback – 16 Jul 2009

4.2 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz; Export ed edition (16 July 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575083018
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575083011
  • Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 2.4 x 23.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,449,228 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

"An enthralling reworking of myth and a haunting vision of love and loss unmatched in contemporary fantasy." (Eric Brown THE GUARDIAN)

Much of Avilion's power lies in the way it's told. The prose is simple, vivid, urgent quality from rhythm and sound and the cumulative effect of short sentences. It's also sprinkled with phrases that resonate in the imagination like bard song, whose imagery is rooted in woodland. With its emphasis on endings, renewal and the inexorable power of story, this a fitting intensive revisiting of the world and themes of Mythago Wood. (Nic Clarke SFX)

"The plot is as rich and inventive as ever (the wealth of possibilities contained in this primeval, haunted woodland seems inexhaustible), but the tone is lighter, with a wider range. There's even space for a few jokes, and many surprises. This is a wonderful, grown-up fantasy about growing up and moving on, and going home." (Lisa Tuttle THE TIMES)

"Avilion is quintessentially British fantasy, and a compelling and beautiful read. Like the wood, it is dark and dense and every detail counts; it is a mark of Holdstock's quality that in the hands if any lesser writer this novel would have been twice as long." (David V Barrett FORTEAN TIMES)

Book Description

The triumphant return to the world of MYTHAGO WOOD, one of the greatest fantasy novels of the twentieth century

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
It's only taken 25 years but it's been worth the wait. Holdstock has finally been persuaded to write a direct sequel to his World Fantasy Award winner, Mythago Wood, and it lives up to its primogenitor. After beating about the bush in tangential titles sharing the unique mythos of Ryhope Wood - some more effectively than others ('Lavondyss', which followed MW, is a novel of haunting beauty in its own right) - Holdstock has finally picked up the storyline directly from the famously open ending of the first, which saw Steven's glimmering girl, Celtic princess Guiwenneth, being abducted by his father (in the primal figure of the Urscumug) and taken back through the wall of fire that guards the way to Lavondyss. A coda relates how a giant came to a tall stone marking the edge of his known world, the head of a valley where he met a hunter waiting for 'the girl who came back through the fire' and this bequeaths the valley with its later name, imarn uklyss.

And finally, she did.

Steven and Guiwenneth are reunited. They settle down in the valley in an old Roman villa (a mythago conjured from Steven's memory) and have a couple of children, Jack and Yssobel. Avilion resumes the story at the point when this idyll is shattered. Guiwenneth has disappeared and Yssobel has gone to find her - heading inwards to Avilion/Lavondyss. Jack (half human, half mythago like his sister - both 'red' and 'green') journeys outwards to the edge of Ryhope - desperate to see the world of his father, the Lodge where it all started, the village of Shadoxhurst, and hopefully find some clues that will help in the search. By the time Jack reaches 'the fields we know' it is the present day (the original disappearance of the three Huxley men - George, Steven and Christian - occured in the late Forties).
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Format: Paperback
I loved Mythago Wood when it was first released and adored the follow-up, Lavondyss, even more. Unfortunately, all subsequent books based on Ryhope Wood have been something of a disappointment. They weren't 'bad' as such, but they weren't a patch on the first two.

With 'Avilion' Holdstock appears to be getting back on form - it's not as good as Mythago Wood and not a patch on the superb Lavondyss, but it's still a good read which shows a great deal of imagination.

My main problem was with the characters - I didn't really feel any great sense of connection or empathy for them, something which certainly didn't apply to the characters in Mythago Wood and Lavondyss.

Still, Avilion is a good read - I'd give it 3.5 out of 5 stars but as you can't give half stars I've gone for four out of five.

Come on Robert, next book let's have something as utterly superb, complex, mesmerising, deep and atmospheric as Lavondyss with characters you can really love. Please?
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Format: Hardcover
Intensely imagined and beautifully written as you would expect with some fascinating creations and reimagining of historical and mythological figures and a sideways look at one of the most compelling of Arthurian legends: the death of Arthur and his transportation to Avalon, I loved the concept of Legion, an army of all armies travelling through time and dimensions from battle to battle. Not quite up to 'Lavondyss' which remains my personal favourite book in this cycle but way way better than most fantasy on the shelves at the moment.
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Format: Paperback
Robert Holdstock at his finest! This book ties off a lot of loose ends from the Mythago series and is therefore esential reading for fans of the Mythago wood epic. Holdstock creates a world where we should all venture to, in order to control our thoughts! It's hard to believe this series is over, or is it? I wonder will Yssi carry the torch now?
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I saved Avilion to read over Christmas and therefore avoided reviews and websites. Finished it 2 days ago to discover Rob had died in November. It's tragic that this is his last published work as I think he has been been one of the finest novelists writing in English since Mythago Wood was first published. Avilion, though good, for me isn't his best: I would take Lavondyss to my desert island. It does have some great passages especially the simple domestic scenes of family argument but maybe because of this, doesn't have the mind bending strangeness of the first two Ryhope Wood novels.

Thank you for many years of pleasure Mr Holdstock.
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By Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 23 Aug. 2009
Format: Paperback
If there is one thing that can be said about authors it's that the older they get from their original release the more mature a tale is presented. What makes Holdstock (who incidentally has a very Jeremy Irons look) such essential reading is the way in which he is beautifully blended British myth with his own style of storytelling. Whilst its been a few years since his original Mythago Woods novel was released you can tell from the way that it ended there was always more to follow but that he was saving it for a time he thought that he could present something special for the reader. That is exactly what happens within this offering.

Wonderfully creative, we return to the original protagonist for a brief stint to take up his theme through his children with the Mythago Huntress, Guiwenneth as they come to terms with their heritage and seek to find their own place within the world. It's ideal fantasy fare and whilst some would argue to read it on its own I underwent a full Holdstock series reread just to check that my expectations would be met. A cracking offering from the author and I suspect a tale that will get nominated for a good few awards. Great stuff Robert.
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