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Merlin's Wood Hardcover – 22 Sep 1994


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 234 pages
  • Publisher: Collins; First Edition edition (22 Sept. 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0002246031
  • ISBN-13: 978-0002246033
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 15.6 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,148,352 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Robert Holdstock spent his childhood between the bleak Romney Marsh and the dense woods of the Kentish heartlands, landscapes that inspire much of his work to this day. His writing has received great acclaim and won many awards, including the World Fantasy Award for ‘Mythago Wood’.


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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Stephanie Noverraz on 24 Sept. 2006
Format: Paperback
Merlin's Wood is the fourth Mythago book. In this volume we follow Martin, coming back to France, to the edge of Broceliande, the forest of his childhood, for his mother's funeral. Four days later, his foster sister Rebecca arrives back from Australia, after years spent with Aborigenes, following songlines.

As children, Martin and Rebecca were secretly in love. Meeting now as adults, they finally give in to their feelings and a baby, Daniel, is born. When he realizes the infant is deaf, dumb and blind, Martin is devastated. However, the child will slowly recover his senses over the years... to Rebecca's expense. At first unable to remember songs, she will then lose her voice, and her sight, until mother and child disappear in Broceliande and drown in a pool.

Soon Martin realizes it was none other than Merlin and Vivien's undead spirits playing with his wife and son's bodies. The second half of the book is almost entirely dedicated to Merlin telling his tale.

I didn't like this fourth volume much and found it rather boring. To me, the plot was too far-fetched and again lacked the magical, "foresty" atmosphere of the first book. I actually much preferred the two short stories (Earth and Stone, about a man witnessing the creation of Newgrange in Ireland, and The Silvering, about Selkies) appended to the end of the book. John Howe told me Gate of Ivory was better... I hope he's right.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
A Rare Fantasy Treat 8 Feb. 2008
By Neil Dewitte - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It's a shame that Merlin's Wood or A Vision of Magic was never printed in the U.S. and has been out of print for 13 years. This book of one novel and two short stories is definitely an experience involving the imagination of a modern writer who has a unique approach to Fantasy.

The main novel is a meaningful work that falls outside of the genre of High Fantasy like Lord of the Rings, yet is engaging without using the mechanisms of popular "Genre Fantasy." The work is replete with magical and mythical vignettes, many of which are powerfully evocative of the primal and arcane. Midway through the narrative you can still expect to encounter some very interesting tales interwoven with the plot. In this work, the relationship between two well-known and powerful enchanters, Merlin and Vivien is central. In particular, the reader learns how their relationship has tragic consequences for a family living on the outskirts of Broceliande, a haunted sister-wood to Ryhope wood, the featured setting of the award winning Merlin's Wood. As usual, Holdstock focuses on familial relationships and loss involving a haunted and magical forest. The fantasy tropes at work here are loosely related to those in Mythago Wood, but unique in many ways. The tragedy of the main story progresses with an exordial horror.

The two short stories are interesting and engaging, yet disturbing on a primal level. This is a signature characteristic of many of Robert Holdstock's works. The first short story is an excellent and natural combination of both the Science Fiction and Fantasy genres. The second short story features a repellent protagonist who would offend most sensibilities and focuses on the power of metamorphosis.

While everyone will not like Merlin's Wood, it is definitely a worthwhile read for those serious about the Fantasy Genre and fans of the Mythago Wood series.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Too far-fetched for me. 24 Sept. 2006
By Stephanie Noverraz - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Unbound
Merlin's Wood is the fourth Mythago book. In this volume we follow Martin, coming back to France, to the edge of Broceliande, the forest of his childhood, for his mother's funeral. Four days later, his foster sister Rebecca arrives back from Australia, after years spent with Aborigenes, following songlines.

As children, Martin and Rebecca were secretly in love. Meeting now as adults, they finally give in to their feelings and a baby, Daniel, is born. When he realizes the infant is deaf, dumb and blind, Martin is devastated. However, the child will slowly recover his senses over the years... to Rebecca's expense. At first unable to remember songs, she will then lose her voice, and her sight, until mother and child disappear in Broceliande and drown in a pool.

Soon Martin realizes it was none other than Merlin and Vivien's undead spirits playing with his wife and son's bodies. The second half of the book is almost entirely dedicated to Merlin telling his tale.

I didn't like this fourth volume much and found it rather boring. To me, the plot was too far-fetched and again lacked the magical, "foresty" atmosphere of the first book. I actually much preferred the two short stories (Earth and Stone, about a man witnessing the creation of Newgrange in Ireland, and The Silvering, about Selkies) appended to the end of the book. John Howe told me Gate of Ivory was better... I hope he's right.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
More Mythago Goodness 18 Sept. 2010
By C. Robert - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Sometimes a challenge to locate, but this book is certainly worth it. A brief diversion from Mythago itself but contained within the same fictional universe, Holdstock fans will get everything they've come to expect: deliberate pace, haunting beauty, aching sadness, and an approach to fantasy that avoids the cliches of the genre. Find the time for it.
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