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Merlin's Wood Paperback – 30 Apr 2009


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Product details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz (30 April 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575084197
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575084193
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 3 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 181,073 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Book Description

A powerful and compelling return to Robert Holdstock's award-winning Mythago cycle

About the Author

Robert Holdstock gave up his career in medical zoological research to be a full-time writer. His first novel of Ryhope Wood, MYTHAGO WOOD, won the World Fantasy Award. He died in 2009.

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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Neil Dewitte on 2 May 2009
Format: Paperback
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.
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Format: Paperback
One of the other reviews says this book's far fetched. Wouldnt it be dull if it wasnt? Its a fantasy book after all. And though a lot of the ideas have a lot in common with the Mythago series, its not strictly part of them. Its is however very good as are most of Robert Holdstocks books. So buy it and read it. Now!!
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Colin Leslie on 10 July 2009
Format: Paperback
Fantasy, when done well, has the power to pull you out of your mundane life and transport you to new places, it's escapism at it's purest. What if those other worlds were right here though, all around us, glimpsed in the shadows of the wild places, well that's how myths and legends have evolved. What we need is an author with the power to invoke those myths and bring them to life, ladies and gentleman meet Robert Holdstock.

There can be very few of us who have not stood in a wild place and felt the power of the place, very few who have run our fingers down the carvings of an ancient rock and not felt a connection with the carver. There is something deep in our psyche, which despite the technological marvels all around us, can still connect to us to our past when, rather than just observers of nature, we were a part of it.

Merlin's Wood is a collection of five stories which take the ideas of mythology, nature, pagan ceremony and mysticism and fuse them in unique, entertaining and brilliantly imaginative ways. Merlin's Wood itself is a short novel which borrows from Arthurian legend and in particular Tennyson's Idyll's Of The Kings to examine the legend of Merlin and the enchantress Vivien. Martin and Rebecca grew up on the edge of Broceliande forest in Brittany and, along with others in the area, know of its legends and myths. Returning to their childhood home, following the death of their mother, their childhood experiences and encounters with the darker side of the forest are revisited. It's not long before they find themselves drawn into the ongoing mysteries with tragic results. It's a marvelous tale, richly written in a lyrical almost poetic prose. The forest is described beautifully and the sense of place is fantastic.
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By brian harding on 14 Nov. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Enchanting and addictive.
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