by Robert Holdstock
Category: Fiction / Fantasy
332 pages; ISBN: 0765311100
Rating: 9/10 (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner
Tor Orb, May 2005, $14.95, 332 pp.
Overcome and unable to move following the death of his son Alexander, Richard Bradley feels he has no reason to live. However, just as his despair overwhelms him Richard meets scientists Alexander Lytton and Helen Silverlock, who believe that the lad still lives, but in some way foreign to human thought in the midst of the mankind’s unconsciousness within the dark Ryahope Wood. They further explain that they have studied the wood that is under siege from the mind of its newest entry, Richard’s son. Lytton and Silverlock hope that Richard can save their precious wood from his son whose fears are destroying it.
Unable to resist even the slightest hope, Richard follows scientist Arnauld Lacan into the wood where he begins to find a weird world with different natural laws as all myths breath here. However, he fails to find Alexander, whose lament continues to erode the wood. As he penetrates myths and legends with no gain to his quest, Richard loses his last sliver of hope until he encounters Sarin the Tall Grass Lady from biblical times, who if she chooses can help him complete his quest though he does not know if she would and if she does what the outcome would be..
This is a terrific deep fantasy that like its predecessors (see MYTHAGO WOOD and LAVONDYSS) is extremely complex and rich so it will take several days to read to taste the vast flavors. Readers will wander along with Richard savoring various mythos like Jason (some are worth re-reading because one time is not enough) as the multifaceted story line contains so much to grasp. Robert Holdstock is at his mythological best with this Mythago Cycle entry.
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