Merlin's Wood Paperback – 30 Apr 2009
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A powerful and compelling tale of the birthplace of Merlin by the World Fantasy Award-winning author of Mythago Wood.
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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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Arrived in good time and well packaged. Got this as a present so cannot comment on the book itself but my husband really enjoyed it.Published on 22 Jan. 2014 by JB