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Black Spring

3.28  ·  Rating Details  ·  604 Ratings  ·  149 Reviews
Inspired by Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights, BLACK SPRING reimagines the passionate story in a fantasy 19th century society sustained by wizardry and the vengeance code of vendetta.

Anna spent her childhood with Damek and her volatile foster sister Lina, daughter of the Lord of the village. Lina has magical powers, and in this brutal patriarchal society women with magical
Paperback, 288 pages
Published October 1st 2012 by Walker Books Australia
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well, it's about time. FINALLY a retelling of Wuthering Heights that

1) retains the integrity of the original material by being written in the same general tone, style and atmosphere of Wuthering Heights without the author's feeling it necessary to turn heathcliff into a rock star or some such nonsense.

2) does not pretend that catherine and heathcliff were likable people kept apart by circumstances. they weren't. they were both selfish assholes whose romance destroyed everything around them whic
Emily May
Mar 22, 2014 Emily May rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult, fantasy, 2014
I made a little collage for this book that I posted to instagram:

And is it just me or would my college make the perfect setting for a beautiful and grim Wuthering Heights retelling?

karen's review does this book justice more than I think I ever could so I'll leave you with these few snazzy pictures and a short note: This has to be the PERFECT way to do a retelling. Especially for a book like Wuthering Heights, whose praises I have sung from the rooftops on a regular basis. It captures the wild be
Jun 16, 2014 Tatiana rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, 2014
Now I know of a new way of messing up a retelling - an author can create a retelling of a story so close to the original, that it becomes just a poor copy of it. (I think I even want to throw “plagiarism!” somewhere here.)

At first, I thought I would love “Black Spring.” Although from the very beginning the atmosphere in Croggon’s retelling of “Wuthering Heights” was very similar to the original, the writing was so spectacular, I felt that the author’s additions of magic and vendetta to Emily Bro
Aug 13, 2015 Nafiza rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own, 2015
OH. MY. God. Finding out that Ms. Croggon's writing another book nearly made me weep. It's going to be awesome, I'm telling you right now.

This was brilliant. I loved it.
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
Pages Read: 26

Reason for DNFing:
When I hear about retellings, I'm interested, whether for a book I loved or no. I actually really enjoyed Wuthering Heights, and thought Wuthering Heights + paranormal could be seriously amazing.

Here's the thing: I don't mean retelling literally. I don't want the book to read like it has literally been rewritten, like a lazy student might copy a paper but change every sentence's verbiage to not get caught plagiarizing. The story is, so far as I can tell from the b
Stuti (Turmeric isn't your friend. It will fly your ship
"If I am wrong," she said at last in a low voice," there is no right, either."

I love Wuthering Heights. I love Black Springs. I love moors and magic, and while I will always be a peninsula girl, I find it not in myself to reproach plateaus. I love the world, there is so much love, I am radiating it.

After a mediocre end to 2013, flax start in 2014, I have found my stride. Two fantastic, superb, will-give-my-one-pair-of-glasses-for-a-reread exciting books; books that I wasn't too sure about. How
Wandering Librarians
Lina is the daughter of a village lord. She has grown up with her companion, Damek, and they are inseparable, devoted to each other in a way no one understands. Lina is a witch, and although wizards are revered and respected, withes are put to death. Only Lina's status as a lord's daughter protects her. But Lina's life is filled with tragedy, and long after he death, a stranger to the village uncovers the whole sad story.

It was Wuthering Heights. And there really isn't much more to say. In Aliso
2.5 stars - Spoilers

-Wuthering Heights with less enthralling characters, less passion, and more of a YA vibe. Also, a wizard or two.

-The writing was dry and dull, especially all of Hammel's parts.

-There were too many boring info dumps.

-I wasn't a fan of most of the characters - Lina (Cathy) was more or less decent enough, but Damek (Heathcliffe) was awful. I didn't believe in the love or obsession between Damek/Lina at all - Lina did seem to genuinely love Damek, but I didn't buy Damek's feeling
Oct 21, 2012 Max rated it really liked it
This book scared me so deeply I put the book downwards so I couldn't see the face of the witch on the cover. I don't know if I can look at the front cover again- this book, whilst I was reading it, was far from scary and also, amazingly good with the simple, yet unique style of writing, yet the after taste of it is curious, and I am left in a confused state of what I just read. The story, for one, is so passionate and the love and death that bined together was so gothic and nourishing. The endin ...more
I was sold on BLACK SPRING quite quickly. Emily Brontë's WUTHERING HEIGHTS updated with magic and Albanian vendetta culture, done by an acclaimed fantasy author? I'm not the biggest fan of WURTHERING HEIGHTS, but I can see how a blood feud and a bit of wizardry would punch it up.

Unfortunately, BLACK SPRING hews extremely close to its inspiration. The frame story is the same, only providing a bit of interest when visitor Hammel completely disregards maid Anna's tale at the end. Alison Croggon's b
Beth Bonini
I've never been a huge fan of Wuthering Heights as a romance, although I will give it credit for being a compelling story. I could never quite get past the sheer unlikeability of the main characters, though. Somewhat surprisingly, then, I thoroughly enjoyed this retelling. The surprising bit is that Lina (Cathy) and Damek (Heathcliff) are every bit as stubbornly wilful (Lina) and brutishly vengeful (Damek) as the pair who inspired them, and every bit as tragic, but we are spared most of the reve ...more
Emily Duncan
I just want to take this book everywhere with me and love on it and write in the margins and love it as much as I’ve loved my copy of Wuthering Heights because it literally took everything I love with the story I love most and combined it all in splendour.
So, first, forewarning, Wuthering Heights is one of the classics that everyone claims to have read but haven’t/or they read it once and hated it. (Protip, very few people like Wuthering Heights during their first read. It’s one of my favouri
Black Spring managed to do something that I thought would have been impossible... It managed to retell the story of Bronte's Wuthering Heights in a way that was unique and strong enough to stand on it's own.

I loved the atmosphere of this novel, as it was dark and brooding and teeming with magic and curses. The world created in Black Spring is the home of wizards (who were feared and contemptuously respected) and witches (who were cast out and often murdered). There are vendettas that steal the
Knowing this was a tribute to Wuthering Heights going in, I knew it was going to be dark, depressing, and tragic. And it was. It's not the type of book I usually enjoy, but I love Croggon's writing so I picked it up even knowing it was going to be nothing like her Pellinor series. And it wasn't.

Croggon succeeded at writing a beautifully dark tale of a young couple trapped in a harsh society with no place for either them, doomed by their passionate and rebellious natures. The setting is a histor
Sajid Rabby
Mar 21, 2014 Sajid Rabby rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Sajid by: karen
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I really liked this book! I was really in the mood for reading gothic books after finishing Anna Dressed in Blood and Girl of Nightmares, so I picked this one up!

First I had my doubts on whether I would like a re-telling of Wuthering Heights but any doubt faded away soon after starting this book. I loved the way it was written especially the way the eerie atmosphere was portrayed. Loved the narrative structure of the book and the more I read, the more I was drawn to the gothic atmosphere, the d
Jul 16, 2015 Jo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars
In order to appreciate the beauty of this story, one has to appreciate Wuthering Heights. Alison Croggon does a brilliant job of using language that is eerily evocative of the original. But this is not just a retelling with different names, the land that she creates is amazing and magical. This is truly one of the best books of 2013. This book was sheer genius, but it takes a true appreciation of a novel that is not plot driven. It had its moments of intensity, but the strength of the n
Cass -  Words on Paper
Oct 07, 2012 Cass - Words on Paper marked it as top-wishlist
Shelves: aussie, 2012-release
That synopsis seems way too telling. But anyway, imagine you're just doing your usual thing, walking around and peeking at what people around you are reading, as you do. And... BAM! This chick with the haunted expression, with the caged-in windswept hair and thick eye makeup is staring back at you! You take a mental note of the title and now you're here. Except this is not the story of how you got here, because this book isn't yet released.

Ahem. If you just read this I'm sorry for wasting your t
Mel Campbell
It's a massive compliment to Alison Croggon that I enjoyed this book as much as I did, because I LOATHE Wuthering Heights. What I admire about Black Spring is that its metatextual relationship to Wuthering Heights is both more obvious and more subtle than I'd expected. But while I can appreciate this book intellectually, emotionally it didn't resonate. I'm left cold by this story and these awful characters.

From reading other aggrieved Goodreads reviews, it seems to me that some readers wanted Bl
Nadine Jones
I didn't love this book nearly as much as I expected to. It's all the things you want in a retelling of Wuthering Heights: dark, mysterious, passionate, brooding, hateful, remote, windswept, a little bit violent, a little bit compassionate, and loyal in tone. And yet ... here I sit, unable to rave about it.

Damek, as Healthcliff, really brings it - he's got the dark, brooding, violently passionate antihero vibe going on. Lina, as Catherine, is no slouch in these matters herself. These are two peo
Vanessa J
Dec 20, 2014 Vanessa J rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I picked up Black Spring, knowing absolutely nothing about it other than it was by an Aussie author and had a vaguely interesting premise about a girl born with 'witch eyes'. Not my usual thing, but the cover was creepily cool-looking like something out of a Japanese horror movie.

I started reading and was struck by an incredible sense of familiarity, as if I'd read this before. Then about two chapters in, it struck me - this was the beginning of Wuthering Heights! Sure the world itself was diff
I have to say that I was rather thrown by this novel. I'm a big fan of Alison Croggon's Pellinor series, so I naturally jumped at the chance to read another one of her novels. Not what I was expecting. At all. The Pellinor series is high fantasy and has a very richly developed world. I hate to compare, but Black Spring just did not come even come close. I'm not going to turn this review into a comparison of which book is better, so I'll move on. Just a warning to fans of the Pellinor series, thi ...more
Oct 20, 2012 Meg rated it it was ok
*** also published at The Next Read ***

I’m not a big one for re-tellings of the classics. Mostly, they seem to run the range between cliché and blatant plagiarism with a rare few stand-outs. Wuthering Heights, in all its Gothic splendour, happens to be one of my favourite classics, so it was with a great deal of apprehension that I started Alison Croggon’s fantasy twist on this tale – and it wasn’t exactly a brilliant beginning. The format of this YA title is pretty much exactly the same as the
Novels On The Run
Feb 03, 2013 Novels On The Run rated it liked it
BOOK REVIEW by Michelle - 16th November 2013 :


“There is luck in being born ordinary.”

Black Spring is inspired by Wuthering Heights. I have not read any of the classics, yes, I know that may be a tragedy in itself.

Alison’s story within, is of darkness, passion, twisted love, lust, betrayal and vendetta’s, told from three pov’s, Hammel, Anna and Lina’s . Hammel, is more of a narrator at the start.

The story is set in Elbasa, the Red House. These walls have seen a lot.

C.J. Sarcasm & Lemons
Read more:

This is one of those books where I thought, "Hey, that cover is pretty. And look! It's a gothic romance! Based off of Wuthering Heights! That sounds neat!" Now let me tell you, my feelings about Wuthering Heights were: I enjoyed the story immensely even though I hated most of the characters. My experience was very similar with Black Spring. I wanted to wring Lina's spoiled little neck half the time, but the story itself was quite good--and would
Jodie Quintela
Oct 20, 2015 Jodie Quintela rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is what books are for!! Hell, I only paused reading because of my ailing stomach. By the by, it was such a wonderful book--deep and complex. It was like reading some serious-but-not-quite novels. The story is chilling to the bones and had my eyes glued to the pages for hours. I could have read this in a day with one sitting! I think I got what I expected and more. It's like watching a gothic romance movie.
Definitely 5 stars.
Oct 20, 2014 Beth rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

Black Spring

This brilliant, suspenseful book is well structured and has a very poetic feel to it. The style of writing the author uses is unusual because it is extremely detailed and it almost seems like she has tried to cram as many descriptive, deep, emotional and thought provoking words into each sentence as much as possible. I was at first unsure about the detailed sentences and it took me a while to catch on to this particular style of writing, but now I love it!!

The characters are
I was really disappointed by this book. I loved Croggon's "Pellinor" series (great world building, interesting plot, awesome characters), so I had high hopes for this book, and it paled in comparison to her previous works. I felt that the world building in this book was rather weak, and the addition of magic seemed half-hearted and unnecessary. There was no real explanation of the magic, and the story could have been essentially the same without it. As written, the magical aspect felt like it wa ...more
Kerryn (RatherBeReading)
I haven't read Wuthering Heights, which i plan to rectify sometime soon, so i really can't speak to the 'retelling' aspect of this book.

I found the way this book was written just really hard to get into. The sentences were just so heavy and filled with so many big words that it just bulked the story down. Large parts of the book had almost no dialogue at all and that made it very hard to get through as well, there was nothing to break up the heavy descriptive parts of the book.

I also found the w
Mar 09, 2014 Alice rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014-reads
I really enjoyed this book, it isn't a five star rating but it is definitely worth four stars in my eyes and considering I was very apprehensive about reading this book I am very happy with the outcome. I didn't read the back of this book properly until half way through and when I realised that it was a Wuthering Heights retelling it became so much better. Having read Wuthering Heights at the start of the year I think it was the perfect time to read this book and I felt that it made me appreciat ...more
I have always been a lover of Wuthering Heights so I thought this would be right up my alley. The writing style, very formal and journal like, did remind me of the classic and it was well done. However, the story itself didn't do as much for me as I had hoped.

It starts with a noble, Hammel, traveling to the far and uncivilized north for a change of scenery. The story sort of begins here with him having a horrible run-in with his landlord. I was incredibly confused because the characters in the b
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Alison Croggon is the author of the young adult fantasy quartet, The Books of Pellinor. The first volume was nominated in two categories in the Aurealis Awards for Excellence in Australian Speculative Fiction in December 2002 and named one of the Notable Books of 2003 by the Children's Book Council of Australia.
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