The triumphant return to the world of MYTHAGO WOOD, one of the greatest fantasy novels of the twentieth century.
At the heart of Ryhope Wood, Steven and the mythago Guiwenneth live in the ruins of a Roman villa close to a haunted fortress from the Iron Age, from which Guiwenneth's myth arose. She is comfortable here, almost tied to the place and Steven has long since abandoned all thought of returning to his own world. They have animals, protection and crops.
They also have two children, a combination of human and mythago. Jack is like his father, an active boy keen to know all about the outer world'; Yssobel takes after her mother, even to her long auburn hair.
But this idyll cannot last. The hunters who protected Guiwenneth as a child have come to warn her she is in danger. Yssobel is dreaming increasingly of her Uncle Christian, Steven's brother, who disappeared into Lavondyss and Jack wants to see 'the outer world' more than anything. Events are about to overtake them.
He is a compelling myth-maker, creating new legends, heroes and villains, new wonders to wake our dormant sense of wonder. THE BROKEN KINGS is simply magical. - The Times.
What lifts Holdstock's trilogy far above most other fantasy creations is his skill at recreating myth and investing its stock figures with startling reality, emotion and motivation. THE MERLIN CODEX will add to his already considerable reputation as a master fantasist. - Guardian on THE MERLIN CODEX.
One of the finest living crafters of myth. - Publishers Weekly.
A new expression of the British genius for true fantasy. - Alan Garner on MYTHAGO WOOD.
Robert Holdstock (1948 - 2009)
Robert Paul Holdstock was born in a remote corner of Kent, sharing his childhood years between the bleak Romney Marsh and the dense woodlands of the Kentish heartlands. He received an MSc in medical zoology and spent several years in the early 1970s in medical research before becoming a full-time writer in 1976. His first published story appeared in the New Worlds magazine in 1968 and for the early part of his career he wrote science fiction. However, it is with fantasy that he is most closely associated.
1984 saw the publication of Mythago Wood, winner of the BSFA and World Fantasy Awards for Best Novel, and widely regarded as one of the key texts of modern fantasy. It and the subsequent 'mythago' novels (including Lavondyss, which won the BSFA Award for Best Novel in 1988) cemented his reputation as the definitive portrayer of the wild wood. His interest in Celtic and Nordic mythology was a consistent theme throughout his fantasy and is most prominently reflected in the acclaimed Merlin Codex trilogy, consisting of Celtika, The Iron Grail and The Broken Kings, published between 2001 and 2007.
Among many other works, Holdstock co-wrote Tour of the Universe with Malcolm Edwards, for which rights were sold for a space shuttle simulation ride at the CN Tower in Toronto, and The Emerald Forest, based on John Boorman's film of the same name. His story, 'The Ragthorn', written with friend and fellow author Garry Kilworth, won the World Fantasy Award for Best Novella and the BSFA Award for Short Fiction.
Robert Holdstock died in November 2009, just four months after the publication of Avilion, the long-awaited, and sadly final, return to Ryhope Wood.