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Lavondyss (FANTASY MASTERWORKS) Paperback – 11 Jun 2015

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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz (11 Jun. 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1473211999
  • ISBN-13: 978-1473211995
  • Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 2.5 x 19.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 336,955 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Book Description

The haunting sequel to the World Fantasy Award-winning Mythago Wood.

About the Author

Robert Holdstock (1948 - 2009)

Robert Paul Holdstock was born in a remote corner of Kent, sharing his childhood years between the bleak Romney Marsh and the dense woodlands of the Kentish heartlands. He received an MSc in medical zoology and spent several years in the early 1970s in medical research before becoming a full-time writer in 1976. His first published story appeared in the New Worlds magazine in 1968 and for the early part of his career he wrote science fiction. However, it is with fantasy that he is most closely associated.

1984 saw the publication of Mythago Wood, winner of the BSFA and World Fantasy Awards for Best Novel, and widely regarded as one of the key texts of modern fantasy. It and the subsequent 'mythago' novels (including Lavondyss, which won the BSFA Award for Best Novel in 1988) cemented his reputation as the definitive portrayer of the wild wood. His interest in Celtic and Nordic mythology was a consistent theme throughout his fantasy and is most prominently reflected in the acclaimed Merlin Codex trilogy, consisting of Celtika, The Iron Grail and The Broken Kings, published between 2001 and 2007.

Among many other works, Holdstock co-wrote Tour of the Universe with Malcolm Edwards, for which rights were sold for a space shuttle simulation ride at the CN Tower in Toronto, and The Emerald Forest, based on John Boorman's film of the same name. His story, 'The Ragthorn', written with friend and fellow author Garry Kilworth, won the World Fantasy Award for Best Novella and the BSFA Award for Short Fiction.

Robert Holdstock died in November 2009, just four months after the publication of Avilion, the long-awaited, and sadly final, return to Ryhope Wood.

www.robertholdstock.com


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 23 April 2003
Format: Paperback
This is a wonderful book - the story is captivating, haunting, moving, terrifying, beautiful and, above all, it will make you think.
It's maybe not as immediately accessible as its' predecessor 'Mythago Wood', but the complexities of Lavondyss make it far, far more readable and as a result will sustain further re-readings.
If you like to THINK when you read a book and like to have your imagination fired with a wonderfully written fantasy, then give this a try. I doubt if you'll regret it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A. Whitehead TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 27 Sept. 2009
Format: Paperback
In the 1950s, young Tallis Keeton forms an unusual bond with the woodland that lies beyond her house, Ryhope Wood. But she cannot enter the wood until she learns the true name of the meadow that separates it from her home. As she struggles to achieve this, she realises her brother Harry is lost in the woodland, and to find him she must seek out the realm of ice and fire in the heart of the wood, the realm known as Lavondyss...

Lavondyss is a stand-alone companion novel to Robert Holdstock's earlier Mythago Wood. Although set after the earlier novel and exploring (tangentially) the fate of one of its characters, the book does not require foreknowledge of the first novel. Instead, it focuses on 13-year-old Tallis and her quest to find a way into the forest using rituals, masks and the power of myth and story.

Lavondyss is a brain-melting, complex novel that juggles a huge number of ideas and themes. Mythago Wood is an exemplary exploration of the ideas of mythology and where those images that resonate so strongly with us come from, but it's very much a high school diploma compared to Lavondyss' Ph.D in metamorphic imagery. Despite only being about 450 pages long, it took me weeks to read this book as I had to analyse and re-read almost every single paragraph to make sure I was grasping what the author was saying. Getting to the end and consulting the book's entry in The Encyclopedia of Fantasy, I'm still not entirely sure I did 'get' it in the end, but looking at other online reviews it appears that this reaction is not uncommon. Lavondyss is an astonishingly dense and layered novel that I suspect will require multiple re-reads before a true comprehension emerges.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Iain Mackenzie on 16 May 2003
Format: Paperback
Robert Holdstock is a story teller par excellance! He eshews the shining gothic traditions of much science fantasy writing, and tells his tales in 'warts an' all', brutal, dialectic detail. Few books resonate for so long after reading, so that one is compelled to re-read this tale set amid the 20th century, and set against the last 10,000 years of northen hemispheric legend. Read Mythago Wood, the first book, to ease your way into the masterpiece that is "Lavondyss"! A tale of obsession, courage, horned gods and dark longings, desparate quests and Vaughn Williams! A beauty.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Murray on 1 May 2003
Format: Paperback
Lavondyss is the mythical place of renewal sought by Harry Keeton, the scarred pilot who accompanied Steve Huxley in Holdstock’s earlier book, Mythago Wood. This story follows Harry’s much younger sister, Tallis, who is connected from an early age with the magic of Ryhope Wood. She spends a childhood similar to that described in Arthur Machen’s “The White People”, wandering in and out of the magical realm, her games and play inseperable from ritual and magic. Finally she goes on a quest for her brother, who she realises is trapped in the depths of the wood. It’s a journey that takes her longer than she expects, and to a far stranger place than she imagined.
A bit of a shift in intensity from the first book, Lavondyss is much weirder. There is (at moments, quite literally) much less of a solid ground to the tale, as it sacrifices unity of story to the fantastic images and mini-dramas thrown up by its dream-like, shamanic logic. In this sense, it is a very different book to Mythago Wood — less a story, more a mystic vision quest. I think, though, that Holdstock’s Ryhope Wood series is less about following one story, and more about the accretion of mythical images, much like the magical wood itself.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 23 Mar. 2003
Format: Paperback
One of the most wonderfully imaginative, evocative, absorbing and compelling fantasy books that I have ever been fortunate enough to read. Truly awe-inspiring and also complex - this is most certainly a book that needs to be read time and time again as further reading will reveal more hidden complexities. However, you'll appreciate it even more if you read Mythago Wood first (by the same author - also a marvellous book). Simply wonderful.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 24 May 2003
Format: Paperback
Its pretty clear from the size and complexity of this book that Robert Holdstock became emboldened by the success of the first novel in the series 'Mythago Wood'. Why else would he write a sequel twice the length and positively bursting with ideas. The daughter of our hero vanishes into the wood and he sets out out on an epic journey to find her. What follows is an dark magical tale not unlike the wood he travels through which will delight anybody who loves the power or myths and an imagination at the peak of its power.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Khosmos on 9 May 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Mythago Wood series are really worth reading. Strongly recommended to anyone who's still interested in written fiction and definitely to those, who are interested in anthropology and European mythology.
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