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Lavondyss (Mythago Wood #2)

4.0 of 5 stars 4.00  ·  rating details  ·  1,082 ratings  ·  73 reviews
A haunting entry in the World Fantasy Award-winning Mythago Cycle

In Mythago Wood, Robert Holdstock gave us an intricate world spun from the stories of Irish and English mythology, a great forest steeped in mystery and legend, whose heart contains secrets that will change all who behold them.

Young Tallis is one such seeker. When she was just an infant, she lost her brother
Paperback, 416 pages
Published July 1st 2004 by Orb Books (first published 1988)
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Community Reviews

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I am NOT hyperbolizing when I say that Robert Holdstock was a very special writer and his Mythago Wood Cycle is something unique and extraordinary in the world of adult fantasy, specifically mythical fiction. Like the “mythagos” of his stories, I consider Holdstock to be an archetypal figure representing the truly literate fantasy writers who steal our breath away and unleash our imagination with their eloquent, master
2.5 - 3 stars (downgraded from a previous 5)

I am not quite sure where my previous 5-star rating for this book came from. I love Holdstock’s Mythago Wood, but on this re-read I found the second book of the Mythago cycle to be a sl-o-o-o-w burn which unfortunately never really seemed to ignite. I may simply not have been in the mood for this book at this time, but I think it’s more than that. There are significant pacing issues that drag the book down and Holdstock’s desire to both go deeper into
Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways
Rating: 2.5* of five (p79)


As good as Mythago Wood was, that is how good this book wasn't.

”I can't replace it,” Tallis called. “If it hasn't grown back then it wasn't meant to grow back. What can I do? I can't stick it back on. It's mine, now. The tine belongs to me, You can't be angry. Please don't be angry.”

Broken Boy roared. The sound carried across the land. It drowned the somber tone of the Shadoxhur
Nandakishore Varma
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, whe ...more
Kat  Hooper
ORIGINALLY POSTED AT Fantasy Literature.

Many times I don't like sequels because there's nothing new to learn. Authors tend to give us all of their world-building in the first novel, so I'm often bored by a sequel. But Lavondyss blew my mind. It is, I have no doubt, one of the best fantasy novels ever written.

In Mythago Wood, Harry Keeton entered the forest with Steven and he's been there for years. We got the sense back then that Harry had some secret personal purpose for going in — it wasn't j
We all make choices everyday that allow the immediate world to unfold in a particular way. This was the message in Holden’s book Lavondyss. We are creating and influencing life on multiple dimensions with every thought and action and these multiple dimensions and universes are all happening simultaneously. Trying to follow a linear trail back to where we or anything started is almost impossible. His writing incorporated concepts of reincarnation, transmigration of the soul, mystical or shamanist ...more
I have a bad habit of overusing the word “haunting.” Ergo, I worry that when I use it here, it won’t pack the punch it really should. Let me just say, then, that when I say Lavondyss is haunting, I mean it. This book settled into my bones like a hard winter. It will stay in my mind forever. I feel like I’ve lived a whole second life by reading it, and I’ll probably read it again at my earliest convenience just to see if I catch anything I missed the first time.

I had trouble getting into the pre

I read these books some years ago and have kept them with the intention of reading them again, but every time I pick them up I am *SPOOKED* all over again!!
Such was the profound effect they had on me...more so this book #2.
I am not usually such a scaredy pants and love a good gripping story but I have to confess that I was truly spooked out reading this book, while at the same time unable to put it down!
That is not to say that it is not a good book...on the contrary, it is so well written and t
Jun 02, 2010 Tina rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2010
I have just finished this book and I find myself kind of hollow, sad and full of after tought. I found this book to be more grim and it goes further than the first book in alot of things. It is so deep and I feel like I have just scraped the first layer, it is defently a re-read becouse I feel like I have missed alot of it. Not grasping the whole picture.
It was a haunting; sometimes hard sometimes funny ride, to Lavondyss. But it was a good ride thanks to Holdstocks fantastic writing.
May 03, 2008 Ollie rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: lovers of high-fantasy stories
Recommended to Ollie by: Lindsay
Tallis is a girl unlike others: as a baby, a mysterious stag that haunts the countryside appears at her house and leaves her a gift (of sorts); later, phantasmagorical figures follow her as she explores Ryhope wood near her home - the same wood in which her brother Harry (one of the main characters in the first book of this series) disappeared many years before. This piece of high fantasy tells the story of Tallis' entry into the fantastical world beyond the woods, and her attempts to reach Lavo ...more
4.5 stars, really, but I'm rounding up on account of Robert Holdstock's very heady signature cocktail of Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell. Only it's not a cocktail at all, but a visionary paste made of viscous golden sap mashed up with wildwood and heartwood, berries and blossoms, vivid algae and foul fungal decay, marsh stems and leaves sharpened like arrows, a hallucinatory mixture to be daubed on the temples and third eye. Set aside your mortar and pestle and find a comfortable position as you j ...more
Rebecca Saxton

I immediatley started to read this after reading Mythago Wood. I enjoyed this book even more, due to feeling that I had a better understanding of what was going on. I grasped it in the first book, but still liked the futher explanation of the "Wood". This is an extremely well written book, very original, and extremely thought provoking. Even after finishing the book, I believe I fully understood what I read, but on many levels I am sure I have missed certain elements of what the author was tryin
-Desarrollos del concepto original que son similares en la forma pero distintos en el tono.-

Género. Narrativa Fantástica.

Lo que nos cuenta. Tallis Keeton es una niña atraída por el bosque Ryhope, junto al que nació y se ha criado y con el que tiene muchos más lazos en común de lo que ella piensa. Tallis puede ver cosas que otras personas no perciben, y está convencida de que su desparecido hermano Harry se encuentra en el bosque, un lugar que la cambiará. Segundo libro de la serie Bosque Mitago.
Theo Logos
Hard to know how to rate this one; the writing was excellent, and the concepts fascinating, but I never felt completely swept up with the characters in the story, and sometimes felt like I was slogging my way through despite the obvious quality of the ideas and writing. For much of the story I experienced the frustrating feeling of being trapped in a labyrinth. This may well have been intentional, but I can't say that it was always an enjoyable experience. Still, the concept alone is worth picki ...more
Mar 27, 2014 Phoebe rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in exploring Jungian concepts who can be generous to reedy plots
Shelves: fantasy
I would compare this story to really nice, slow cooked ribs. It's so good when you pick it up, but you can't help but notice that as you eat, a larger portion of it is falling off the bone. You are trying to eat fast enough, but it's all falling on the floor now and now your dog is horking it down without any appreciation for how long it took to make and ugh sauce is all over your hands and you're just holding the bone and that wasn't NEARLY enough food and it started out so yummy but dinner is ...more
The first half of the book gets 5 stars, i loved everything about it, but when she entered the magical woods and the weirdo Ice Age shamanic second half began, it just totally lost steam and sense. It was a struggle to get to the end, and by then my mind was reeling with disturbing cannibal and cave man details. It just got a little too weird.
Kat Young
Sadly I caught onto the twist ending about two thirds of the way though the book and the middle was a little repetitive. It wasnt as amazing as 'Mythago Wood' but it gave you more facts about the woods and Mythagos and the writing was still superb so I loved it for that :)
i first read this book when i was around twelve. and i'm reading it again for probably the fifth time. when i first read it, i started making masks and totems and leaving them in the yard for the dog to chew and bury. it's haunting and the best in this loose series.
Heidi Wiechert
I felt like this book took too long to put Tallis into the mythago wood. For those of us who had read the first entry in the series, we knew that it is possible to get there, just difficult and dangerous, and this novel took 200 pages to go over that same material, again. And, once she gets there, things move too quickly and I felt like the author skimmed over key portions of the story that he could have lingered over. The ending was masterful though, unbelievably spooky. So, I suppose my compla ...more
Damn. Such a hard book to rate... just finished it and can´t seem to put it together. I even ended up searching about the book ending on the internet since I was not entirely sure whether it was intentionally as ambiguous and open for interpretation as I thought it was, or if I was just too thick to understand it correctly. From what I gathered, the first option seems to be true. I had such a hard time not only rating, but reading this book as well. There were times - about halfway through the r ...more
William Boothe
I.....I just don't know what heppened. The first book was so good. I read it in two days. It has been three weeks and I just can't finish this book. My e-reader tells me I am at 67%, and I will not be reading any further. I don't care one lick what happens to Tallis. The beginning drew me in and, once she enters the wood, the book spit me back out. Reading this book was akin to something like watching five-year-olds play chess for the first time and making up their own rules. In the beginning yo ...more
c1988 - OK so I tried the sequel to the Mythago Wood (which I did not understand a jot of) and was still unable to grasp the concept. I have tried to read various synopses, reviews and crits - but its still all c**)p to me. Not sure why I wasted my time especially when the first book already made me feel stupid. Everyone else seems to get - writes rave reviews - the book actually gets awards yet it is still a complete nonsensical piece of rubbish to me. There is always the possibility of the "Em ...more
This is a book that impressed me from the first time that I read it. The traditional fantasy quest is here transformed into a quest through the sub-conscious. As the child-heroine grows to adulthood within the collective mythological unconscious she journeys back in time towards more basic and fundamental archetypes in an attempt to find her long lost brother. Here there is much to enjoy about how myths shape our thinking and how by accepting or rejecting the patterns laid out in myths we accept ...more
I didn't love this book nearly as much as I loved Mythago Wood. Mythago wood is tied as my favorite book and I was excited to read more of that world. I didn't care for the main character and I think that's where this book fell a little flat for me. I still look forward to reading the other books in the Mythago world.
This book is so good. It's precursor, Mythago, won the British Fantasy Award and this deserved to, also. It calls out to the deep primeval subconscious that lurks within every civilized person; our primitive religious and totemic past, wandering through the steppes, girding ourselves with animal bones, listening to the words of the shaman. The main character is a teenaged girl with an obsessive interest in the nearby woods. The woods are teeming with mythological avatars and can be anytime in th ...more
This is a hard one to rate. I couldn't put it down, couldn't wait to read it at night, loved the idea and imagery, but I hated it, too. It was confusing (very, very confusing), and in the end, it didn't deliver the clear ending/explanation I needed to this 2-part saga. Still, I love it. And hate it.
Joac Castro
Con historias serpenteantes y misteriosas, Lavondyss logra de buena forma mantener al lector interesado en una línea argumental compuesta de jirones de otras, trenzando un trabajo bien elaborado que explota en revelaciones inesperadas.

Me agradó muchísimo más que la precuela, que por lo demás comparte solo algunos elementos y no constituye continuación directa, por lo que todavía quedan asuntos sin resolución completa. Por lo mismo, buscando información descubrí que el ciclo tiene más partes que
Jul 14, 2009 Astraea rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: I'm not really sure
Recommended to Astraea by: A friend
Shelves: andy, gabe
The first half of the book is enticing. It pulls you right into Tallis' world and the discoveries she makes as she matures. Unfortunately, the moment she enters the alternate time dimension, the entire thing collapses on itself and proves to be cold, clammy, and full of tiny bones and things you don't want me to mention. Nasty, brutish and too damn long. I have rarely been so disappointed with a fantasy novel of any kind. Please read Moonwise and Cloud & Ashes Three Winter's Tales instead.
Marne Wilson
I really enjoyed the first part that takes place in the real world, but just as with Mythago Wood, I found the story confusing and muddled once the action shifted to the wood itself. Some have faulted Holdstock for losing control of the story, but I wonder if this was part of his point. No matter how much preparation you do, and no matter how much you think you understand it, once you enter the wood you will forget all your training and do nothing more than struggle to get out again. That's the ...more
Somehow Holdstock managed to take an amazing story (Mythago Wood), and create a new, wonderful story with different characters and a different way of looking at Ryhope Wood. Harry Keeton, a major character in the first novel, is very much a secondary one in Lavondyss, while Mythago Wood's very minor Wynne-Jones is revisited in much more detail. It's not all that often that authors manage to write a good sequel with completely different characters and a different way of looking at whatever the st ...more
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Robert Paul Holdstock was an English novelist and author who is best known for his works of fantasy literature, predominantly in the fantasy subgenre of mythic fiction.

Holdstock's writing was first published in 1968. His science fiction and fantasy works explore philosophical, psychological, anthropological, spiritual, and woodland themes. He has received three BSFA awards and won the World Fantas
More about Robert Holdstock...

Other Books in the Series

Mythago Wood (7 books)
  • Mythago Wood (Mythago Wood, #1)
  • The Bone Forest (Mythago Wood, #3)
  • The Hollowing (Mythago Wood, #4)
  • Merlin's Wood (Mythago Wood, #5)
  • Gate of Ivory, Gate of Horn (Mythago Wood, #6)
  • Avilion (Mythago Wood, #7)
Mythago Wood (Mythago Wood, #1) The Hollowing (Mythago Wood, #4) Celtika (The Merlin Codex, Book 1) The Bone Forest (Mythago Wood, #3) Gate of Ivory, Gate of Horn (Mythago Wood, #6)

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“you were both hunter and hunted; the shadow of your thoughts was the beast which killed you.” 6 likes
“Bone always outlasts feather” 3 likes
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