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Black Spring [Hardcover]

Alison Croggon
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

27 Aug 2013
Inspired by the gothic classic Wuthering Heights, this stunning new fantasy from the author of the Books of Pellinor is a fiercely romantic tale of betrayal and vengeance.

In a savage land sustained by wizardry and ruled by vendetta, Lina is the enchanting but willful daughter of a village lord. She and her childhood companion, Damek, have grown up privileged and spoiled, and they’re devoted to each other to the point of obsession. But Lina’s violet eyes betray her for a witch, and witches are not tolerated in a brutally patriarchal society. Her rank protects her from persecution, but it cannot protect her from tragedy and heartbreak. An innocent visitor stands witness to the devastation that ensues as destructive longing unleashes Lina’s wrath, and with it her forbidden power. Whether drawn by the romantic, the magical, or the gothic, readers will be irresistibly compelled by the passion of this tragic tale.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 281 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press (MA) (27 Aug 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0763660094
  • ISBN-13: 978-0763660093
  • Product Dimensions: 21.3 x 14.5 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

More About the Author

Alison Croggon is an award-winning poet. She has also written extensively for the theatre. Alison lives in Melbourne with her family.

Product Description

Book Description

A fantasy reworking of Wuthering Heights which interweaves wizard lore and vendetta with Emily Bronte's beloved classic. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Alison Croggon is the acclaimed author of the Books of Pellinor, a high fantasy quartet which consists of The Gift (9781406338768), The Riddle (9781406338751), The Crow (9781406338744) and The Singing (9781406338775). Alison is also an award-winning poet whose work has been published extensively in anthologies and magazines internationally. She has written widely for theatre, and her plays and opera libretti have been produced all around Australia. Alison is also an editor and critic. She lives in Melbourne with her husband Daniel Keene, the playwright, and their three children. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars
3.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars BLACK SPRING. 14 May 2013
An evocative reimagining of Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights according to the outer back cover.

Hmm, though not totally unfamiliar with the story I've never actually read Wuthering Heights so I can't possibly comment on this BUT as comparisons with Gothic classics seem to be the order of the day I admit that for me the opening chapters of Black Spring put me in mind of Bram Stokers Dracula.

Rather disappointing all round. The dual narratives (the story telling is shared between Hammel and Anna) did nothing for me and whilst I thought it very brave of the author to combine witches and wizards with a Gothic-style love story, it just didn't work well for me.

Though written for the Young Adult market (for those 14 and over according to the cover) whilst I suspect it will be just as appreciated (or not) by those much older I wouldn't think it particularly suitable for younger readers due to the 'vendetta' which, without giving anything away, is quite harrowing to read.

Copyright: Petty Witter @ Pen and Paper.Black Spring
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3.0 out of 5 stars Black Spring 24 Jan 2013
Orgionially published on [...]

Black Spring by Alison Croggon, award-winning poet, editor, critic and playwright, is a re-imagining of Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights, the same Gothic love story with a fantasy twist of witches, wizards and the vengeance code of vendetta.

Black Spring is unique in YA as it is written in a layered, almost poetic prose. Lina (Kathy) returns home to the barbaric north. She's a witch and is under threat from the wizards. (While wizards rule, the witches are burnt.) Her foster brother Damek is brooding and infatuated with Lina.

When Lina and Damek lose their father, they also lose their land. The King gives it to Masko a spiteful gambler. Lina and Damek suffer by Masko's mistreatment, which was at times almost too grotesque to read.
Hammel (Mr. Lockwood) misadventures to Dameks house and is taken ill after the satanic treatment. While he recuperates, Anna (Nelly) tells him the doomed story of Lina, Damek and Tibor (Edgar) and their tragic story.

The vendetta is explained well and adds to the sense of constant unease and suspense; it highlights how unfair people are treated by something that is considered to be the social norm. This parallels with Lina, if she were a man she would be accepted and revered.

There are two narrators, Anna and Hammel but the main character is Lina. She is the center of attention both in this story and on the page; just as she would have wanted.

Self-centered Lina and Damek tragic ends occur as a result of external influences, whereas it'ss the obsessive love between Heathcliff and Cathy that brings about their end. The true hero of this story is Anna, she is wise, level-headed and empathic.

I would heartily recommend a read, if not for the beautiful prose alone.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A passionate gothic fantasy 16 Jan 2013
Helen for [...]
Copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review.

When I heard that someone had decided to write a re-imaging of Wuthering Heights I wasn't sure whether to be impressed or horrified! Bronte's classic is such an iconic book it is a huge step to undertake to look at it in a fresh light. Cathy and Heathcliff have such strength of personality you wonder if anything could expand on that and their tragic, obsessive love is unique in literature. Having said all that, although I can appreciate Wuthering Heights, it is not one of my favourites so I was ready to see what someone else could do with it.

The story in Black Spring sticks pretty closely to the original, particularly in the beginning when Hammel visits the north to escape illness and a broken love affair (just as Lockwood does). He meets Damek (Heathcliff) an embittered and angry man living in an awful household and treating his young wife abominably. When Hammel returns to his rented house Anna (the maid, aka Nelly) tells him the story of Damek and his lost love Lina (Cathy).

Damek comes to live with Lina when they are both children. Until this point Anna has been Lina's closest friend despite the barrier caused by Anna being the daughter of a servant and Lina having come from the royal line. Damek and Lina spend as much time as they can together, both have a restless and wild nature and they literally run off and leave everyone else behind whenever they can. As they grow up Lina's father dies and due to the disfavour with the king his house and land is given to Maseko, an awful man who forces Damek to live as a servant and eventually causes Lina to leave when he assaults her. Damek too leaves and Lina then marries and has a daughter.
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4.0 out of 5 stars YA fantasy re-imagining of WUTHERING HEIGHTS 9 Jan 2013
By I Read, Therefore I Blog VINE VOICE
When a romantic indiscretion compels Oskar Hammel to leave the city, he rents a house in the grim and unforgiving Northern Plateau, a backwards place governed by the Blood Laws (a form of vendetta where male villagers kill each other until a wizard declares the matter resolved).

Following a supernatural experience at the house of his landlord, Oskar's housekeeper, Anna, tells him the story of the romance between Lina (the wilful daughter of the local lord who was born a witch) and Damek (a boy adopted by Lina's father). Passionate, wild and impossible their love will destroy each other and all who come near them ...

Alison Croggon's YA fantasy is a reimagining of WUTHERING HEIGHTS that takes the main elements of the original novel and reworks them to entertaining effect while staying true to the core themes.

I was apprehensive about reading this as I loathe WUTHERING HEIGHTS, but the deviations from the original kept me turning the pages. I particularly enjoyed the wizards, personified by the cruel and arrogant Ezra who wanders the countryside with a ragged mute boy, enforcing the Blood Laws against the terrified villagers. The way the vendetta destroys the affected villages, whittling away the men and forcing the payment of taxes to the king is chillingly depicted and comes with a final twist that's brilliantly revealed.

Brilliant, beautiful, wilful, selfish, arrogant and considered by all to be a witch owing to her stunning violet eyes, I liked Lina's determination not to be owned by anyone, even as I was irritated by her selfishness.
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