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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning
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...
Published on 23 April 2003

3.0 out of 5 stars Lavondyss
I'm obviously struggling to be interested in his book. Heralded as great fantasy literature but I'm bored. Usual character agonising for chapter after chapter while the plot stalls. Yawn!
Published 6 months ago by Paul T

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderfully moving and evocative story, 18 Dec 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Lavondyss (Hardcover)
Following on from Mythago Wood, which sets the scene in broad terms. Lavondyss can be read independently, though. Sorry, I'm lost for words - it's brilliant! I've read 3 other books by Holdstock, one good, one bad, one indifferent, but this is magic!
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3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A creative tour de force, but do we care?, 28 Jan 2007
This review is from: Lavondyss (Paperback)
Mythago Wood was not only a powerful creation, it made a great novel with a potent story line. Lavondyss suffers here. The creation is as powerful as ever, but the plot is weak, even confused. Holdstock spends pages in intense description of his mythical world which is vividly brought to life, but one is left with the feeling that his interest is anthropological. Lavondyss is more a depiction of the wood and its inhabitants, than a real tale to be told.

The character of Wynn-Jones seems to be Holdstock's alter ego, feverishly noting the comings and goings of the personages that appear randomly throughout the wood. But it is almost a train-spotter's interest. Ultimately, the reader can be impressed with the imaginative power, but the purpose of all this creation seems to be unclear. The narrative does not demand it and it appears to be for the sole pleasure of the author himself, or fervent admirers of the sword and sorcery genre.

Holdstock's worlds also lack a coherence. Are they of the mind, are they "real" within the logic of his own creation? Worlds contain others like Russian dolls. It becomes confusing and in many respects irrelevant. One is left with the impression that the author is "making it up as he goes along". The writing is always vivid and impressive but the reader may well find himself eager to turn pages just to get something to happen. After the tenth eerie depiction of a snow-storm, the reader's attention falters.

The atmosphere of the forest is unremitting and it is a heavy one. There is little to delight. Everything smells, sweats, turns to mould and dirt. The characters are violent, dangerous and uncivilised; the Wood always inhospitable. This is not Tolkien's Lothlorien. Thus one feels little inclination to immerse oneself in Holdstock's vision and the principal interest of the book is to read on to find out if the characters are going to be able to extricate themselves from it. For the reader, that deliverance will come when the final page is turned.

Not a bad book, but unless you are a true devotee of the genre and share the author's quasi-scientific, anthropological interest in mythological characters, not one you have to read.
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Lavondyss by Robert Holdstock (Paperback - Jan 1991)
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