5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
A marauding band of medieval soldiers set fire to the garden,
This review is from: Mythago Wood (Paperback)
I don't read much fantasy - apart from the fabulous Terry Pratchett - and I don't think of that as serious fantasy. The genre has always struck me as rather too po-faced and credulous. However, the title of this appealed to me and made me imagine some magical story about being lost in woods. That is exactly what it is about.
Two brothers are brought up near a large wood somewhere in England. The youngest, Stephen, joins up to fight in World War II, leaving the fragile eldest, Christian, behind. When their mother dies and then their father, Christian, finds his father's journal. Always a remote figure their father would periodically disappear into the wood, sometimes staying away for days. The journal tells a strange story of the search for a woodland girl and encounters with strange historical myths - the Mythagos that, it appears, the father himself has created.
When Stephen, comes back from the war in Europe, he finds his brother deeply embroiled in the same search. Gradually, Stephen begins to understand the fascination of the wood, and when Christian disappears for almost a year, he sets out to find him.
The story is mystical and strange, but it holds to a kind of logic which keeps your attention from straying. The two men become locked in a battle for the woodland girl and have many adventures along the way towards a fairly satisfying denouement. It is a kind of romp through the mythology of the mystic wood and makes an exciting read. I had trouble suspending my disbelief in parts, since activity around the house they inhabit seems to never worry the neighbours or local police. Surely someone would have noticed something when a marauding band of soldiers from pre-medieval England arrived on the doorstep and set fire to the garden? But never mind, it is very enjoyable in a not entirely brainless kind of way.