Ryhope Wood in Hertfordshire, England is where myth comes alive. It draws images from the dreams and the collective unconscious of human beings and produces beings called Mythagos
: heroes, shamans, fantastic beasts and beautiful damsels from the primordial depths of the psyche, walking about in flesh and blood. Robert Holdstock, award-winning author of Mythago Wood
, follows up the first tale of his fantastic realm with an even more daring one: a journey to The Old Forbidden Place, Lavondyss
, where all myth is generated.
Rivetting stuff, right?Wrong.Lavondyss
is one large snooze-fest. The story opens with a bang, then stays exactly where it is. The background is lovingly created, and we get to know more and more about the inner workings of Ryhope Wood and the location of Lavondyss: but Tallis Keeton's journey in search of her lost brother Harry (lost in Mythago Wood
) just does not take off.
As the story progresses, it begins to sound more and more like a notebook on world-building or a treatise: there is precious little action. And what there is, is disjointed. The story takes a huge leap between part one and two, and it is some time before the reader comes to grip with all that has happened in between. Holdstock's prose is good-one only hopes he had put it to better use.
The two stars are for the world the author has created. I honestly cannot give any stars to the story - whatever there is!